Senator Risa Hontiveros on Tuesday called on the Department of Health (DOH) to icnrease its telemedicine capacity and information campaign about COVID-19 to offset the critical phase of the pandemic.
Hontiveros made the call after Health Secretary Francisc Duque III announced that the Philippines is now at “critical risk” for COVID-19 transmission, confirming an increase of 690 percent in a 7-day average of daily reported cases.
“Inuudyokan ko ang DOH na palakasin pa ang kanilang telemedecine capacity, pati na rin ang information campaign ukol sa home care ng mga pasyenteng may COVID (I am urgning the DOH to strengthen its telemedicine capacity, and its information campaign on home care tips for patients that have COVID),” Hontiveros said in a statement.
“Kahit mild cases pa yan, dapat mabigyan ng kakayahan at impormasyon ang ating mga pamilya pagdating sa pagmo- monitor ng kasamahan nilang natamaan ng COVID (Even if these are mild cases, every family should be given the capacity and information when it comes to monitoring companions that were infected by COVID),” she said.
Hontiveros also said it is high-time the DOH takes into account unreported COVID cases instead of limiting the movement of the people due to the Omicron variant.
Because aside from cases that were not subjected to contact tracing, many Filipinos are now self-administering antigen tests and are going on self home isolation once they tested positive.
“Kailangan natin silang masuportahan habang nagpapagaling sa kanilang mga tahanan (We need to support them while they are recovering within their homes),” Hontiveros said.
Moreover, Hontiveros renewed her call for the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to increase the number of PCR tests to 150,000 every day.
“At the rate we are going, IATF has to double their daily output,” the senator, who is seeking a another term in the Senate in the May 2022 elections, said.
“Kasabay nito, dapat libre ang tests para sa mga high-risk individuals, at sa mga vulnerable sectors, tulad ng ating mga senior citizens (Aside from this, tests should be administered to high-risk individuals, to the vulnerable sectors, like our senior citizens),” she reiterated.