MANILA - The government’s former adviser to the COVID-19 response on Saturday urged the participation of civil society in the fight against COVID-19.
“I think the civil society should step up to help,” said Dr. Tony Leachon.
This as coronavirus cases in the country continued to surge despite quarantine restrictions, with a total 153,660 COVID-19 cases as of Friday, including 6,216 new infections. Of the total, 71,405 have recovered while 2,442 died.
Leachon said he and several others would try to create a civil society approach in Quezon City, among cities with high COVID-19 incidence, to help government curb the spread of the disease especially when a more relaxed quarantine is imposed.
Enforcement of the modified enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila, Laguna, Cavite, Rizal and Bulacan is set to lapse on August 18, or two weeks after it was restored on August 4 on the appeal of exhausted health workers.
“Baka in one week o two weeks, magso-solicit kami ng pera para malibre ang mask at face shield sa mahihirap and then magpa-public health education,” Leachon said in an interview on ABS-CBN Teleradyo on Saturday morning.
(Perhaps in one or two weeks, we will solicit cash to give out masks and face shields to the poor and to conduct public health education [sessions].)
He added that they are also set to meet with Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte about the initiative.
Leachon said the civil society approach would work on three aspects: public health education; prevention of viral transmission by providing protective gear like face masks and face shields; and creating a model that could be replicated in barangays.
Malacañang on Saturday said that quarantine classification for Metro Manila and nearby Luzon provinces will be announced by President Rodrigo Durterte on Monday.
Other parts of the country remain under looser restrictions.