PCOO chief lauds Tacloban efforts in fight against Covid-19

TACLOBAN CITY, September 22 (PIA) — Secretary Martin Andanar of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) congratulated Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez for the city’s notable efforts in the fight against Covid-19 during the September 21 episode of Laging Handa Network Briefing. 

According to Secretary Andanar, Tacloban has seen a sharp decline in the number of daily confirmed Covid-19 cases from the first week of September up to the present.

“Aside from placing the city under the General Community Quarantine status from September 1-30, we have also noticed the good practices implemented in the city such as the utilization of hotels as isolation centers, the implementation of the Tacloban Safe City Application using the QR codes, and the empowering of barangay officials through the establishment of the Hyper Local Measures Kontra Covid,” Secretary Andanar said.

Grateful for the acknowledgement, Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez said during the program that hotels are suitable for isolation as these are complete with the needed facilities. According to him, this is also a sort of hitting two birds with one stone, considering the use of the entire hotel at a very large discount for isolating Covid-probabale individuals, and at the same time helping the business community.

“When certain individuals have been determined by the contact tracers to be close contacts of a Covid positive patient, we immediately isolate them. We just do the swabbing at the hotel and once tested negative, we send them home. For those with positive results, their quarantine continues,” the Mayor said.  

On the QR Code policy, Mayor Romualdez said that Tacloban, being the capital city of the region, this system has been a big help in identifying and monitoring the movements of the people in the city. The QR Code bearing the name and address of the person, is a mandatory requirement before being entertained in any business establishment. He also said that this is the best way of controlling people because when a person is an LSI or has just came from a  place under ECQ, the code automatically signals alarm, hence, an immediate attention is given.

The Mayor added, “We have also empowered our barangay officials through the establishment of a certain protocol known as the Hyper Local Measures Kontra Covid, in coordination with the city health centers. This is to easily monitor the barangay constituents particularly those returning residents and likewise the fisherfolks who are going in and out of their residents for livelihood reasons. These are all the measures we found helpful in the reduction of Covid cases in the city.”

The Tacloban chief likewise cited the housing projects at the northen barangays of the city as a contributing factor in mitigating Covid, considering  that high density areas were decongested and transmission minimized. The 11,000 housing units situated 20 kilometers away from the city proper, are being occupied by the Typhoon Yolanda survivors.

Being a Highly Urbanized City and the center of all business transactions, Romualdez has suggested for a separate protocol for HUCs, considering the number of people entering the city which is quite difficult to manage. He added that movements of people in areas under ECQ should be strictly regulated so as not to affect the city’s economy.

He also prefers to welcome returning residents as long as it is announced, monitored and regulated, as stopping their trips back home might have a reverse effect, making them go into unmonitored entries using the back doors.

Romualdez expressed his appreciation to the national government and other partner agencies through Secretary Martin Andanar and to DILG Usec. Jonathan Malaya who also guested during the program, for the good coordination and continuous support given to the city, while assuring public the best efforts the city could extend in coping with the health crisis. (ldl/gtt/PIA-Leyte)

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