MANILA - Government will focus its COVID-19 response in communities to arrest the spread of virus transmission, the health department said Monday as it urged the public to cooperate as healthworkers regroup during Metro Manila's 2-week modified lockdown.
Aside from the virus epicenter, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal and Bulacan will be placed under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) from August 4 to 18 following the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.
The Department of Health said it would implement Monday a patient and community-focused response strategy as it found out that the rise in virus infections was "primarily driven by clusters within barangays."
"Active case finding in the community will only work if everyone is truthful in reporting symptoms, and disease transmission will only be reduced with strict adherence to isolation measures," the DOH said in a statement.
"It is only through the concentrated efforts of everyone that the Philippines will be successful in busting these clusters."
The agency said the following will be implemented under the CODE or Coordination Operations to Defeat Epidemic strategy:`
- community engagement activities to promote preventive behaviors
- active case finding via house to house symptom checks
- RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) testing for symptomatic patients
- Oplan Kalinga application for those needing quarantine and isolation
The DOH urged Filipinos experiencing mild COVID-19 symptoms to isolate themselves in quarantine facilities if they do not have their own rooms and bathrooms at home.
Patients who require facility admission may contact the COVID-19 hotline at 1555 and 02-894-COVID (26843), or reach out through the following telemedicine providers:
The CODE strategy will also buy time for the healthcare system to recuperate and the creation of "a substitution team that will augment our exhausted forces," the DOH said.
It added that it would meet with the Alliance of Health Care Professionals on Friday to "recalibrate the current strategy against COVID-19" following healthworkers' cry for assistance.
The Philippines on Sunday reported a record-high number of infections for a fourth straight day with 5,032 new cases, raising the nationwide total to 103,185. The tally includes 2,059 deaths and 65,557 recoveries.