War vs COVID-19 hits snag: Coordination mess among local officials

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 28 2020 11:59 AM

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MANILA - Local governments "do not coordinate well" in tracing those who had close contact with coronavirus patients -- an effort that should be led by the national government, Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla said Friday. 

For instance, about 90 percent of Cavite's 4,004 COVID-19 infections are linked to Metro Manila because around 100,000 residents of the province work there, he said. 

Cavite on the average traces 10 people who had close contact with every coronavirus patient and local officials share their information with authorities in other area, said the governor of Calabarzon's most populous region.

However, Cavite authorities "don’t know what happens next, if there is coordination, if they acted on it," Remulla told ANC. "We try to share our contact-tracing with them, but they don’t share their contact-tracing with us." 

Contact tracing “should be nationalized [and] it shouldn’t be a local matter,” he said. 

"It should be a concerted effort with one central authority tracing everyone. Local governments do not coordinate well with each other. It’s ‘your problem is not my problem.’ It should be a shared problem for all of us," said Remulla. 

"If you isolate the local governments to do it piece by piece, we’ll never get anywhere." 
 
Experts from the University of the Philippines predict that the country can flatten its coronavirus infection, meaning reduce the number of new cases, by the end of August or the following month, he noted. 

"I think the government, more than any time else, should focus on isolation and they should focus on testing," Remulla said.