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Not out of the woods yet

May 25, 2020 - Monday 4:05 AM by MDM

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We are not out of the woods yet. But there is reason to believe that this country may have been able to successfully hold at bay the COVID-19 threat with its quarantine measures.

This was revealed on Friday by Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., chief implementer of the National Action Plan Against COVID-19 in virtual presser. In his own words: “Dear countrymen, I am pleased to announce that as we continue to fight this pandemic, we have been successful so far in suppressing the disease.”

He said in the process, the government has been able to prevent the spread of the disease and to limit its negative effects on the communities, the economy, and national security.

Galvez credited the action plan’s success to the “test, trace, and treat program” coupled with “prevention, detection, isolation, treatment, reintegration, and adoption of the new normal.”

He also credited the preparedness of several local units, notably those in the Cordillera region, in putting the COVID-19 threat under control.

Galvez said statistics show that while the number of positive cases rose to 13 percent in March and April, this went down to 8 percent in May. The statistics also showed a constant decline in the number of fatalities and a steady increase in the number of recoveries.

The NAP chief implementer said the government’s testing capacity is backed by 39 accredited COVID-19 laboratories nationwide, five of them in Mindanao.

The figure also translates into 1,500 identified referral and treatment hospitals nationwide with 10,572-bed capacity. This is backed by 3,146 COVID-19 centers that can accommodate more than 57,000 persons under monitoring as well as suspected, probable, and confirmed cases.

These indicate that the government has enough capabilities to treat confirmed COVID-19 cases as well as enough health workers to run them.

Galvez’ revelation is cause for jubilation. But it does not mean the virus has ceased to exist. For as long as no vaccine has been found yet to destroy it, we must protect life by observing social distancing and the wearing of masks. They are our best defense for now.