Trillanes urges gov’t: Conduct door-to-door PCR tests in select areas during MECQ
MANILA, Philippines — Former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on Tuesday urged the government to conduct free mobile or door-to-door reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction tests in barangays with high cases of COVID-19 while the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) is in effect in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.
“Kung mag-lockdown ng two weeks pero wala rin namang gagawing makabuluhan, wala ring saysay. Lalo lang magko-collapse ang ekonomiya,” he said in a statement.
(If we will impose lockdown for two weeks and not do anything significant, it will just be wasted. The economy will just collapse.)
Trillanes also made a few recommendations for the government to improve its COVID-19 response which he said can be done in two weeks – during MECQ – “without the need to choke the economy.”
First among his suggestions was the conversion of some public schools into makeshift treatment centers for patients of moderate COVID-19 cases as well as the mobilization of nursing students or unemployed nursing graduates to work with pay as nursing assistants in public or private hospitals at government expense. He said the government should also provide sleeping quarters for them.
Trillanes likewise proposed tapping family doctors for six-month contracts with “generous compensation.”
Further, the former senator said the government must require alcohol and surgical mask manufacturers to increase their production and procure their products for mass distribution to hospitals, frontliners, and disinfection operations.
Trillanes, now a lecturer on public policy at the University of the Philippines’ graduate school on public administration, then blamed President Rodrigo Duterte for the condition of the country’s health workers at the frontlines of the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The pitiful condition of our healthcare workers is brought by the Duterte administration’s failure to provide a comprehensive and doable action plan to control the spread of the virus despite the long and harsh lockdown it implemented,” he said.
As of Monday, the country has already recorded a total of 106,330 COVID-19 cases including 3,226 new cases. The death toll, meanwhile, has already reached 2,104 as the number of recovered patients is now at 65,821.
On August 2, Duterte again placed Metro Manila, Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, and Bulacan under MECQ from August 4 to 18, in response to the appeal of health workers for a timeout amid the persistently rising number of COVID-19 cases.
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.