THE Municipal Government of Guagua cited its long-term plans to contain the further spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
In an interview, Mayor Dante Torres said the town's long-term plans focus on strengthening the health sector and social services, and balancing health and the economy.
"At the height of the pandemic, what we really aim for is survival. To ensure that we can sustain our response to the crisis, we have to prioritize those three things. So what we do is check on our programs and realign our budget. We remove those we deem unnecessary like travel and conferences so that we can realign the funds intended for that to our Covid response programs," the mayor said.
In terms of infrastructure, Torres said the town's isolation facilities are still operational and fully funded.
"As early as March to April, we are one of the first municipalities to put up our own isolation facilities, which totaled to eight. These are fully funded with provision of three square meals per day for those who are quarantined here," Torres said.
Torres said the local government also intensified its contact tracing efforts since control of Covid-19 transmission heavily depends on this.
"In instances that we have Covid-positive constituents who are in other towns, we coordinate with those towns to help them in their contract tracing efforts as well so we can both prevent further contamination," he said.
The mayor added that they have capacitated their Barangay Health Response Teams (BHERTS) by devising a mechanism for the monitoring of persons under monitoring (PUMs) and patients under investigation (PUIs).
"Through this coordinated effort with the barangays, we have kept our infection rate at a minimum, until such time that our market was hit by the pandemic. Nonetheless, we were able to immediately contain the virus in the market and our cases now are at a declining stage," he said.
As part of strengthening the health sector, Torres said the local government also conducted rapid testing and provides multivitamins to frontliners.
In terms of providing economic stimulus, Guagua partnered with different government agencies like the Department of Social Welfare and Development to provide capital to those who want to start small businesses.
"We have also strengthened our partnership not just with the government, but also with the private sector and faith-based organizations to augment and sustain our efforts of curbing out the virus," Torres said.
Despite these efforts, the mayor called on the public to always adhere to the minimum health requirements like wearing of face mask and face shield, social distancing, and frequent handwashing.
"Let us not be stubborn. Let's respect the different guidelines and requirements set by the government. No one can beat Covid except ourselves. I hope we can unite in this fight," he said.
Torres also stressed the need for discipline and honesty in sharing information and whereabouts to aid in the town's contact tracing efforts.
"If you tested positive, do not be afraid or embarrassed. Instead, capitalize on this to warn others about the need to always be mindful of their health. This will also facilitate the government's contact tracing efforts if we all cooperate," the mayor said. (PIA)