June 21, 2024

Local government units were told to be mindful of their management of Covid-19 cases and continue reaching out to the vulnerable groups for vaccination.
Health Sec. Francisco Duque said as the country transitions from pandemic to the endemic phase, LGUs must continue to be aggressive in implementing the strategies against the infection – prevent, detect, isolate, treat, and reintegrate, coupled with vaccination.
Duque added LGUs must not also allow their health care utilization rates (HCUR) to go beyond the 70 percent mark.
To do this, he said asymptomatic cases and those experiencing mild symptoms should be managed at home or at the temporary treatment and monitoring facilities.
“We should not allow our HCURs to breach the 70 percent mark by letting mild cases to overwhelm the hospitals. They must be managed at step down facilities, TTMFs, or be allowed to be on home quarantine and isolation,” he said during the launch of the pharmacy-based and drive-through vaccination rollout in Baguio last week.
Duque said to decongest hospitals, home isolation has become institutionalized as the government is now providing Covid-19 care kits and enhanced telemedicine that allows patients to consult experts without having to go out of their homes.
He added LGUs should also continue reaching out to the most vulnerable groups, such as the senior citizens and people with comorbidities and have them vaccinated against the Covid-19.
“Continue providing protection to the vulnerable. We will solve the problem of overwhelming our hospitals if we have the vulnerable groups vaccinated,” he said.
Duque lauded the Cordillera for being the second region to the National Capital Region with the highest vaccination rate.
As of Jan. 26, the number of fully vaccinated individuals in the Cordillera reached 1,031,799 or 56.17 percent of the region’s 1,836,857 population.
There are 1,108,693 individuals who are partially vaccinated or those who received their first doses, which represents 60.36 percent vaccination coverage.
As of Jan. 27, only Kalinga posted more than 70 percent HCUR at 74.42 percent followed by Mountain Province with 68.86 percent, Baguio City with 69.45 percent, Benguet with 56.54 percent, Abra with 37.88 percent, and Apayao with 32.29 percent.
While telling LGUs to continue aggressively implementing the anti-Covid-19 strategies, Duque asked the public to do their part and help the government put an end to the pandemic.
He said aside from availing the vaccine, Duque said continuous compliance with the minimum public health protocols remains the best and cheapest protection against the Covid-19.
While vaccines do not guarantee 100 percent protection against the virus that causes the Covid-19, it is effective in preventing hospitalizations and death.
He said compliance with the health protocols, such as wearing of masks, frequent hand washing, observance of physical distancing, and ensuring proper ventilation helps prevent transmission and can help address the surge in cases.
“Follow the minimum health protocols and be vaccinated. We still cannot end the saga of Covid-19 because of its notoriety in producing variants. We still don’t know how this virus is going to turn,” he said. – Jane B. Cadalig