THE Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (Opav) cascaded the salient points of the operations manual of the Covid-19 Vaccination Center to the Province of Guimaras.
Undersecretary Anthony Gerard Gonzales; retired Major General Melquiades Feliciano, IATF-Visayas Chief Implementer; Mia Fe Feliciano, IATF-Visayas; Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, DOH-Central Visayas chief pathologist; Engr. Ricardo Mendoza, operations head of Visayas Vaccination Operations Center (VVOC); and Dr. Eugenia Mercedes Cañal, DOH-Central Visayas Resu Cluster head, spearheaded the activity held at the Provincial Capitol Food Court on May 11, 2021.
Governor Samuel Gumarin, Provincial Health Officer Dr. NL Cathrel Nava, representatives from the five local government units (LGUs) in the province, municipal health officers and the chief of Dr. Catalino Gallego Nava Provincial Hospital, Buenavista Emergency Hospital and Nueva Valencia District Hospital participated in the roll-out of the operations manual.
Written by Feliciano, the handbook was designed to guide local government units in setting up efficient vaccination centers.
Gumarin said Guimaras started the fight against Covid-19 pandemic last January 2020.
"We organized the Executive Committee to fight Covid-19 with our Congresswoman Ma. Lucille L. Nava, former congressman and Governor Dr. JC Rahman Nava and Sangguniang Panlalawigan head Vice Governor Atty. John Edward Gando," Gumarin said.
He said for the first 10 months, the province had zero Covid-19 case until such time that a locally stranded individual (LSI) returned home and tested positive for coronavirus.
From then on, Covid-19 cases in Guimaras started to increase. However, with the protocols the Provincial Government has implemented, the province was able to control the spread of the virus.
"In Western Visayas, we're the least affected with the lowest number of Covid-19 cases recorded in the past weeks. We have zero but since yesterday, there's many positive cases recorded especially from the Municipality of Buenavista and other municipalities here in Guimaras," he added.
President Rodrigo Duterte, in his message, emphasized the challenges in the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines to communities.
"For a country comprised of islands separated by vast seas, one of the most difficult challenges in defeating the Covid-19 pandemic is the distribution of vaccines to our local communities. This is why I am pleased that the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas, the Department of Health-Region VII and our partners in the private sector have worked together in order to establish the Visayas Covid-19 Vaccination Operations Center (VVOC) in Mandaue City,” he said.
“I am certain that through the dedicated efforts of the men and women of the VVOC, we can ensure the efficient delivery, storage and distribution of the vaccines to various local government units in the Visayas. I am likewise confident that through the publication of the VVOC Manual, we can harmonize the steps to be taken by our Visayas LGUs so that their efforts would be aligned to our national vaccination plan,” he added.
Loreche, for her part, discussed the mutation of the virus, vaccination and its adverse effects.
The VVOC team aims to capacitate the LGUs in Guimaras to establish their own vaccination operations center to ensure smooth, unified, efficient, and effective implementation of the Covid-19 vaccination plan. (PR)