Infections on downtrend, thanks to better local gov’t handling — Galvez | Inquirer News

Infections on downtrend, thanks to better local gov’t handling — Galvez

/ 05:40 AM October 16, 2020

Local officials have become better at managing the spread of the new coronavirus, which explains the downward trend in infections in many parts of the country, according to Carlito Galvez Jr., chief of the National Task Force Against COVID-19.

Galvez said local governments deserved to be commended for their performance, citing Cebu province, Metro Manila and Bataan.

From 88,000 active cases on Aug. 15, the country’s peak, these now number 46,000, Galvez said.



He said the government’s information drive on COVID-19 safety measures and the test, trace, isolate and treat strategy had gained traction in local governments.


The national government’s efforts to bridge political divisions contributed to the improvement in COVID-19 numbers as well, he said.

“What we did is to get them to reconcile, and our experience in areas with a high number of cases is that when they became united and cooperative, the situation in their areas became better,” Galvez told a press briefing in Malacañang.

According to him, the government’s information drive has changed people’s behavior, and they are now taking steps to avoid contracting the disease. This was evident in Cebu, which the President earlier called out for the reckless behavior of its residents.

“We’ve seen now that the performance of Cebu has been good because last week, they went seven days without a casualty, without a death reported,” he said during a meeting with the President on Wednesday evening. In September, Cebu was placed under modified general community quarantine, the least restrictive quarantine level, and it has continued to report few cases of COVID-19, he noted.

Isolating patients

Local governments, Galvez said, had also taken steps to get some 32,000 patients out of home quarantine and bring them to isolation centers. Had the patients not been isolated, the number of active cases would be higher, he said.

In Metro Manila, the number of active cases has gone down to 7,830 from 20,000 in September, he said, citing figures provided by Metro Manila Development Authority General Manager Jojo Garcia.


The majority of the cities in the metropolis also reported more than 90 percent recoveries, which is a good sign, he said.

In Bataan, cases have been brought down to 300 from 800. “This means our local government[s] are able to manage [the situation],” Galvez said.

Local governments’ contact tracing efforts have also improved, he added.


If the COVID-19 action plan is implemented down to the barangay level, the country could expect a further downward trend in cases, Galvez said.As the country adapts to the virus, he said, the government will emphasize prevention and detection of the COVID-19 agent.

This would involve intensifying the information drive and deploying health teams to barangays with active cases. “This is to isolate those with symptoms even without testing,” he said.

It also means the no-home-quarantine policy will be continued, he added. The task force recommended the strengthening of quarantine measures and minimum health standards in business establishments and the workplace, Galvez said.

Part of the strategy, he said, was to strengthen partnerships with local governments, the private sector, and the public.

On Thursday, the Department of Health (DOH) reported 2,261 additional coronavirus infections, pushing the overall number of cases to 348,698.

The DOH said 385 more patients had recovered, raising the total number of COVID-19 survivors to 294,161. But the death toll rose to 6,497 with the deaths of 50 more patients.

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The deaths and recoveries left the country with 48,040 active cases, including 2,402 patients in serious or critical condition. —WITH A REPORT FROM DONA Z. PAZZIBUGAN

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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TAGS: active cases, Coronavirus, COVID-19, decrease, downtrend, Galvez, recoveries

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