Malabon intensifies fight against COVID-19
MANILA, Philippines — In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic that has radically affected people’s lives and livelihoods, local government units in the National Capital Region are striving to achieve a balance between public well-being and the safe reopening of their respective economies.
One, Malabon City, is implementing “Detect, Isolate, Trace and Treat,” a system for contact tracing, and presiding over free swab testing at its stadium, Oreta Sports Center.
The swab testing is a collaboration among the Malabon Health Department, Ospital ng Malabon, Philippine Red Cross, Philippine Coast Guard and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
From an initial 600 a day when it began on Aug. 8, target capacity is now 1,000 a day. As of Aug. 25, almost 20,000 of the city residents had been tested.
Testing is done on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and contact tracing by barangay health emergency response teams on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Those tested are given food packs to allow them to stay put at home until their results are released.
“We are doing this testing to make sure that any COVID-infected individual won’t infect his or her family and those in their community. This is being proactive. It will help flatten the curve of infection in the long run,” said Malabon Mayor Lenlen Oreta.
Those who test positive of the coronavirus are required to stay at any of the three quarantine centers until they recover.
The centers are nearly full, but 200-300 more beds will be added, Oreta said. The Department of Public Works and Highways is also helping build a bigger isolation facility, he said.
To avail themselves of the free swab test, city residents are advised to first visit their respective barangay health centers. Those who have had close contact with a COVID-positive patient are first priority.
The city government is in the process of purchasing serology machines that will produce immediate test results.
It is also intensifying its information campaign dubbed “#MaskSafeSaMalabon” to remind residents of the “3Ps”—Paghugas ng Kamay, (hand-washing), Pagsuot ng Face Mask/Shield and Physical Distancing.
No barangay is on lockdown, but residents outside their homes are expected to show IDs as proof they are going to work or on an important errand.
“We should work hand-in-hand and do our part in keeping the virus from spreading. The local government and medical front-liners alone won’t be able to eliminate the problem if the people are not following the health protocols,” Oreta said.
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