As virus cases surge, number of COVID-related violations also rises — Lorenzana

Published September 21, 2021, 1:41 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

Along with the continuous rise of COVID-19 cases, the number of violations of minimum public health standards also increased to 1.9 million, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana revealed Monday night, September 20.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana virtually attends the”Talk to the People” address of President Duterte on Sept. 20, 2021. (Screenshot from RTVM livestream)

Lorenzana, who is also the chairman of the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19, said a total of 1,985,788 violations of minimum public health standards were recorded so far by the government.

These violations include individuals who were caught not wearing face masks and face shields, and disobeying social distancing among others.

“Mahigpit na nagpatupad ng minimum public health standards. Sa kabila nito, nakakalungkot na nasa one million… 1.9 million ang naitalang kaso ng paglabag (We strictly implemented the minimum public health standards. Despite this, it is saddening to know that around one million… 1.9 million violations were recorded),” he said.

Meanwhile, there were 122,580 individuals who were flagged at checkpoints and prevented to cross boundaries during the implementation of strict lockdown in different parts of the country.

Only authorized persons outside of residence (APOR) were allowed to cross the borders of adjacent cities and provinces during these times.

Of the number, a total of 16,148 individuals were considered as UPORs or unauthorized persons outside of residence.

“Alam natin na ang virus ay walang kakayahang gumalaw. Ang taong may dala nito ang nagkakalat ng sakit sa kanilang patuloy na paggalaw at pakikisalamuha (We know that the virus is not capable of moving on its own. The virus carrier is the one who spreads the disease because of their continuous movement and interaction with others),” Lorenzana said.

As such, he appealed to the public to obey the minimum public health standards to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

“Kami po ay nakikiusap sa ating mga kababayan na pairalin ang disiplina at malasakit sa kapwa nang hindi na lumala pa ang ating sitwasyon (We appeal to the public to maintain discipline and concern for others so our situation won’t get worse),” Lorenzana said.

On the positive side, the NTF chairman said the healthcare capacity, contact tracing, and testing capabilities were strengthened to address the recent surge of infections.

He said COVID-dedicated beds in hospitals were increased to 152,790 in 9,055 health facilities.

Additional contact tracers were also hired or trained and the total number already reached 136,726. The contact tracers were able to trace 132,358 cases, of which 21,058 were confirmed to be COVID-positive while 36,260 were suspected cases.

Testing capcity in the country also increased as a total of 19,382,245 tests have already been conducted so far.

“Patuloy nating pinalalawig ang mga testing laboratories gamit ang GeneXpert lalo na sa mga lugar na wala pang lisensyadong COVID-19 testing laboratories (We continue to expand the testing laboratories using GeneXpert [cartridge-based testing] especially in areas with no licensed COVID-19 testing laboratories),” Lorenzana said.