Davao City, a role model

Photo credit to Davao City Information Office

DAVAO City's strict implementation of health protocol in fighting the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) can be replicated by other cities and municipalities all over the country, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said on Thursday, July 9, 2020.

Roque, during a press briefing in Davao City, was asked by the media on his observation of the city's implemented Covid-19 quarantine guidelines.

He said the city is very strict in its implementation, despite being under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) since July 1.

"Strikto po talaga ang implementasyon nila ng mga quarantine guidelines dito, bagamat [MGCQ] na ang Davao City, sarado pa rin ang mga tourist spots, at hindi pa nagbubukas ang Samal Island. Mukhang matindi ang pagpapatupad ng quarantine regulations dito sa Davao City (Davao City, despite being under MGCQ, is very strict in its implementation of the quarantine guidelines. As I observed, even tourist spots, such as Samal Island, is still closed to the public. I must say, they are tight in their quarantine regulations)," Roque said.

Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega, former Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) chief, meanwhile, said during the press briefer that the Davao City Government is coordinating well with the Department of Health (DOH) regional offices and with different hospitals in the city, which resulted to its harmonized Covid-19 response.

Vega cited having SPMC as the lone designated referral hospital for Covid-19 patients was a good strategy.

"Ito ang magandang strategy kasi 'yung mga private hospitals can accommodate the non-Covid [patients] na nanggaling sa amin. Kami naman ang nasa Covid. (this is a good strategy, wherein SPMC will solely cater Covid-19 patients while non-Covid patients coming from SPMC, will be referred to the private hospitals)," the health official said.

He added, "ang significance nito, mas maganda ang resources mo naka-pool sa isang referral center (The significant advantage of this is that all of your resources are pooled within the referral center)."

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio signed in March this year Executive Order (EO) No. 20 wherein all private hospitals in Davao City are not allowed to admit persons under investigation (PUIs) and Covid-19 positive patients.

The EO states that SPMC "shall be the primary hospital for severe and critical Covid-19 PUI and positive patients. Other centers available for mild PUIs shall receive patients referred to them by SPMC."

Duterte-Carpio, as the city lowers down its quarantine status to general community quarantine (GCQ), said they already coordinated with different private hospitals in the city in preparation for the possible surge of Covid-19 cases in the city.

As of press time, the city has not yet disclosed the name of these hospitals.

SPMC clinics and health emergency chief Dr. Ricardo Audan said the hospital's critical care utilization rate is still stable despite the rising number of reported Covid-19 cases in the city.

Vega, who is the point person for critical care utilization of hospitals and chief of staff of Secretary Francisco Duque III, was in Cebu City to monitor the city's handling of the Covid-19 outbreak.

The official said the situation in Cebu City has improved after it was placed under the stricter enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

“Bumaba na ang rates ng kanilang positive dito sa Cebu dahil sa ECQ at mayroon na ring decreasing trend sa kanilang mortality rates. So effective ang ECQ dito sa Cebu right now (the rates of positive individuals in Cebu has gone down because of the ECQ. There is also a decreasing trend in their mortality rates),” Vega said.

Meanwhile, Roque is currently in Davao after President Rodrigo Duterte returned to the city and had met with different members of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

The spokesperson said the IATF will convene again for the updated quarantine status of different localities, which will end on July 15.


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