IATF to boost Cebu City's COVID-19 response, name Visayas deputy implementer amid rising cases

Angela Coloma, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 20 2020 12:49 PM

MANILA - The country’s coronavirus task force will lay down measures seeking to calibrate Cebu City’s "ground-level" response on the coronavirus crisis and designate a deputy implementer in the Visayas as the number of cases there ballooned over recent weeks.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Saturday said they will place measures in the city starting Monday, June 22 for a more “calibrated” response to the coronavirus cases in the city. 

"Inatasan ang IATF na i-evaluate ang ground-level response ng Cebu City simula Lunes para magkaroon ng mas magaling na calibrated response [sa kaso ng COVID-19 sa siyudad],” Roque said in a briefing on state television. 

(IATF was tasked to evaluate Cebu City’s ground level response starting Monday to have a better calibrated response on the city’s COVID-19 cases.) 

This, he said includes, installing a National Task Force emergency operations center and assigning a Visayas Deputy Implementer for Region 7 - where Cebu City is located. 

The government also wants to install outpatient services in temporary treatment and monitoring facilities, citing the low number of people utilizing facilities and the increase in the number of isolated individuals. 

The IATF also aims to harmonize Region 7’s data with government agencies such as the Department of Health, Department of the Interior and Local Government, and the National Task Force on COVID-19 response, and improve management of locally stranded individuals. 

The coronavirus task force also wants the stringent implementation of minimum public health standards in public places in the city. 

“[Kaakibat nito ang] ang mahigpit na pagpapatupad ng minimum public health standards sa health care, sa mga palengke, supermarket, government offices at mga workplace at iba pa,” Roque said. 

(This involves the strict implementation of minimum health standards in health care, in wet markets and supermarkets, government offices, workplaces, et cetera.) 

The Presidential spokesperson said he will expound more on the plan on Monday, when Malacanang has its press briefing. 

Cebu City last week was placed back under enhanced community quarantine, the strictest form of lockdown implemented by the Philippine government in handling the coronavirus crisis, due to the surging number of coronavirus patients. 

The National Task Force earlier raised the alarm over the surge of COVID-19 cases, with over 3,000 testing positive for the disease. 

A third of the city’s cases from the last two weeks came from 10 barangays (villages), DOH data showed. 

Local authorities earlier sought to appeal the ECQ implemented in Cebu City, citing that the surge in cases was attributed to extensive testing among its residents. 

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