Metro Manila LGUs urged to focus on tracing, testing, treating COVID-19 cases


Posted at Apr 16 2020 09:17 PM | Updated as of Apr 16 2020 10:46 PM

Metro Manila LGUs urged to focus on tracing, testing, treating COVID-19 cases 1
Health workers conduct their routine swab testing severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) on their fellow hospital employees at the Sta. Ana Hospital in Manila on April 14, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Local government units in Metro Manila should zero in on tracing, testing and treating of COVID-19 patients in a bid to flatten the curve of the pandemic, a government official said Thursday.

In a virtual press briefing, National Task Force (NTF) COVID-19 Response spokesperson Restituto Padilla said they would localize the implementation of the national action plan to eliminate the threat of the virus and mitigate the impact of the crisis.

"Ang hangarin po natin 'is to flatten the curve' sa NCR dahil ito po ang sentro ng karamihan sa kaso ng mga COVID-19 sa bansa," he said.

(Our goal is to flatten the curve in NCR because that's the center of most cases of COVID-19 in the country.)

"I would like to emphasize, we cannot be complacent at this time nor at any time thereafter until our country is rid of this disease,'" he added.

To rein in COVID-19, Padilla said expanded and targeted testing, which is being carried out in South Korea, China and Singapore, should be conducted by LGUs.

Suspected coronavirus carriers, frontline workers and members of the vulnerable sectors will be prioritized in the testing, he said.

By scaling up tracing, Padilla said authorities would be able to identify COVID-19 hot spots.

"Kapag ating nagawa ito nang tuloy-tuloy ay unti-unti na tayong makakausad patungo sa 'new normal,'' he said.

(When we're able to do this, we can gradually shift towards the new normal.) 

The Philippines has so far tested 42,215 individuals since the virus, which emerged in Wuhan City in Hubei province, China, reached the country. As of Thursday, a cumulative number of 5,660 people have contracted the disease in the country.

The country's tally of infections include 362 people who succumbed to the disease while 435 have recovered.