CEBU City Councilor Joel Garganera, who recently recovered from the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), has been appointed as an aide in the National Government’s efforts in containing the spread of Covid-19 cases in the city and in other parts of Visayas.
Garganera was named deputy chief implementer of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Cebu City, a memorandum released by the national IATF on July 14, 2020 stated.
Garganera was appointed in support of Deputy Chief Implementer of Covid-19 for the Visayas Region Melquiades Feliciano.
A Cebu City Local Action Plan (CCLAP) has also been formulated with the participation of different stakeholders “to streamline processes and systems and enhance the capability of Cebu City to stop the spread and the threat” of Covid-19.
As deputy chief implementer of IATF EOC in Cebu City, Garganera will manage the activities of the Covid-19 operations cluster; harmonize the city’s efforts by ensuring the course of action and close coordination with the regional line agencies, IATF and barangay officials; establish clear and close coordination with Feliciano, barangay captains and officials to identify key issues for the CCLAP implementation; and convene the Cebu City Task Force Against Covid-19, among other tasks.
As the City is ramping up its efforts to isolate individuals exposed to Covid-19 patients, more contact tracers are now undergoing training, Garganera said.
The City used to only have five contact tracing teams. But this week the City’s contact tracing teams have grown to 50.
He said the City is targeting to form 130 teams of contact tracers.
The teams are composed of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Bureau of Fire Protection, and nurses and doctors of the Cebu City Health Department.
The 50 teams started locating individuals exposed to Covid-19 patients on July 13. More teams will be deployed on Thursday, July 16.
To slow down the spread of Covid-19, Garganera said they must maximize the use of cluster clinics, establish a system for internal real-time updates, and increase the extraction and isolation of Covid-19 patients.
He said the City must also team up with the PNP and AFP to help the City in contact tracing efforts and reach out to barangay captains, who have knowledge on the ground level.
The City must also coordinate with epidemiologists closely, link up with funeral parlors for real-time update of deaths, verify data to ensure the integrity of statistcs presented to the public and coordinate with data analysts to improve the accuracy of the data, Garganera said.
With the actions and plans in place, Feliciano is optimistic that Cebu City will soon lower its daily Covid-19 cases if probable and suspected cases are detected early.
“Two weeks from now, we can see the changes in Cebu City,” Feliciano said. (JJL)