January 28, 2021 - Thursday
Website Name Image
Weather icon
27.85 ℃, Scattered clouds
Davao City, Philippines

NTF vows to aid Davao City in addressing COVID-19 surge

November 23, 2020 - Monday 8:11 PM by PNA

Article Banner Image National Task Force (NTF) against Covid-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. (file photo)

MANILA – The national government assured the city government of Davao that it will help strengthen its testing, contact tracing, treatment, isolation, and recovery following the spike of coronavirus cases in the area, National Task Force (NTF) against Covid-19 chief implementer Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. said on Monday.

In a statement, Galvez said the task force vowed to help Davao address the surge of Covid-19 cases in the city.

"Together, we shall heal and recover as one," he said.

Meanwhile, Galvez has apologized to Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte for singling out home quarantine approach as reason for the sudden spike of Covid-19 cases in the city.

Galvez, also the country's vaccine czar, thanked Mayor Sara for clarifying that part of the local government's policy is to prohibit the practice of home quarantine for residents who tested positive for the disease.

"Hearing Mayor Duterte categorically declare that home quarantine is not only discouraged but prohibited in Davao City is a concrete indication of the local government’s desire to effectively contain the spread of the disease and bring down the number of cases," Galvez said.

He then lauded the local government for carrying out efforts to boost the city's health care system in partnership with the national government, local medical community alongside the private sector.

"I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely apologize to Mayor Duterte for whatever adverse impact our analysis of the Covid-19 situation in the city may have inadvertently caused on the people of Davao City," he said.

Galvez said the task force's impression on the sudden increase of Covid-19 cases in Davao City was primarily based on the utilization rate of the temporary treatment monitoring facilities (TTMFs).

He added that the TTMFs' utilization in Davao City "has been quite low, making it possible that some positive patients could have just been recovering at home."

Galvez reiterated that home quarantine approach is no longer allowed under the national policy and health protocols on Covid-19.

According to Galvez, some recent scientific studies identified "home quarantine" as the leading cause of Covid-19 surge in various parts of the country.

"This is the reason why the National Task Force Against COVID-19, through the Department of Public Works and Highways, has been working closely with local government units in order to establish more TTMFs and mega-quarantine facilities nationwide," Galvez said.

The government has earlier launched the "Oplan Kalinga" program which sets home quarantine requirements as it called on patients to strictly undergo isolation in quarantine facilities.

"Under the government’s Oplan Kalinga, it is our goal to recover Covid-19 patients from their homes and transfer them to TTMFs so they can be immediately isolated from the community and be given much-needed medical treatment," Galvez said.

Malacañang on Friday announced that Davao City will be placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) effective immediately until Nov. 30, following the surge of Covid-19 cases in the city.

Mayor Sara, meanwhile, told Dabawenyos that the GCQ status in Davao City may be extended until the end of the year.  Lade Jean Kabagani