'Hope' in Philippines' COVID-19 fight as donors, local officials pitch in


Posted at Mar 20 2020 03:54 PM | Updated as of Mar 20 2020 04:37 PM

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The Philippines can cope with increasing cases of the 2019 coronavirus disease, drawing "hope" from a rush of donations and the cooperation of local governments, a health official said Friday.

President Rodrigo Duterte placed the entire Luzon under a month-long lockdown until April 12 due to the respiratory disease, 230 cases of which were confirmed in the country as of Friday. 

While some local governments still have "room for improvement" in implementing the lockdown, others have "very strict measures" to contain COVID-19, said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire. 

A health worker uses a thermal scanner to check a woman's temperature at a checkpoint placed amidst the lockdown of the country's capital to contain the spread of coronavirus, in the outskirts of Quezon City, March 15, 2020. Eloisa Lopez, Reuters

"Matutuwa po kayo pag narinig n'yo po ang mga ginagawa ng ating local government units in their own capacity para talagang makatulong sa national agencies," she told DZMM. 

(You'll be happy if you hear what local government units are doing in their own capacity to help national agencies.) 

Donors also reach out daily to the health department and the private sector is "helping tremendously" by lending their expertise and laboratories, while other countries donated test kits, she added. 

"This gives us hope dahil nakikita po natin, kung magtutulong-tulong lang po at lahat ng resources magiging harmonized, makakayanan naman po natin ito lahat," she told DZMM. 

(We see that if we all help and the resources are harmonized, we can cope with everything.) 

DZMM, March 20, 2020