THE Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has sent nine doctors, 10 nurses and 13 medical aides to Cebu City to help address the rising cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Vice Admiral Gaudencio Collado Jr., AFP vice chief of staff, said the team were inoculated with anti-flu vaccine and underwent testing for Sars-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes Covid-19.
The team departed Villamor Airbase in Pasay City on Sunday morning, June 28, 2020.
"We are proud of this team for stepping up in this dangerous but very important mission. This is what it means to be a soldier and we know more than anyone that no danger of disease will stop us from accomplishing our mission," Collado said during the send-off ceremony.
Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu, who is tasked to oversee Covid-19 response in Cebu City, reminded the team to take care of themselves in order for them to fully serve the others.
"You are representing the AFP. Take care of yourself and perform your duties diligently, not only as members of the Armed Forces but also as an individual. This way when all this is over you will have achieved personal fulfillment," he said.
"I am grateful to all of you for answering this call to help our health workers who are in the front lines against the pandemic in Cebu. We know this is difficult but your dedication, strength, and bravery will boost the morale of your fellow health workers," he added.
Cebu City, one of the emerging hotspots for Covid-19, has the highest number of cases of infection among the cities.
While most areas in the country eased quarantine restrictions on June 15, Cebu City reverted to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) because of the widespread community transmission of the disease and high critical care utilization rate.
As of June 27, a total of 4,831 cases were recorded in Cebu City, including 2,439 recoveries and 150 mortalities.Of the total, 2,242 were active cases.
The Philippine National Police earlier sent augmentation forces from neighboring islands to Cebu City as well as 150 Special Action Force (SAF) personnel to strictly implement ECQ protocols until June 30, 2020. (Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo/SunStar Philippines)