Ramp up testing, tracing, vaccination during 2-week ECQ in Metro Manila – health advocate

Published July 30, 2021, 5:48 PM

by Jhon Aldrin Casinas


A health reform advocate has urged to government to boost coronavirus testing, contact tracing, and vaccination in Metro Manila as the region will go into another round of lockdown due to the threat of the Delta variant.

“While we are on ECQ (Enhance Community Quarantine) for two weeks, the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) and DOH (Department of Health) should ramp up on testings, tracings, and vaccination,” said Dr. Anthony Leachon on Friday, July 30.

President Duterte has approved placing the National Capital Region (NCR) under the strictest quarantine classification from August 6 to 20 to stem the rising number of cases and prevent spread of the highly contagious variant.

While he does not believe in lockdowns “if healthcare capacities are in place,” Leachon expressed support to the government’s move to impose stricter preemptive quarantine classification.

“We need to be agile and forward looking. This is a ferocious and highly transmissible variant. Prevention is better than an overwhelmed healthcare system,” the former government health adviser said.

“It’s manageable at this present situation. But if we will be complacent , this surge might last longer than the second surge in March and April,” he added.

The Health department said that eight infected patients with the Delta variant in the country have died, noting that six of the fatalities were local cases while the two others were returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs).

Meanwhile, Leachon reiterated that a “sense of urgency is needed” to slow down the spread of the virus and prevent a scenario of a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

“More testings and organized contact tracings at workplaces are needed. We are failing miserably here in these two pillars,” he said. “Rapid vaccination is a must. Let’s continue but we should prevent super spreader events.”