CODE team, Bulacan officials thresh out COVID-19 issues

COVID-19 Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE) team met with Bulacan officials during the 442nd Foundation Day celebration threshing out matters on the fight againt COVID-19.

The meeting was held at the Pavilion, Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center in the City of Malolos on Saturday.

Gov. Daniel Fernando met with the Cabinet members including National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 chief implementerSec. Carlito Galvez Jr., Co-Chair and Department of Health Sec. Francisco Duque lll, Department of Trade and Industry Sec. Ramon Lopez, DOH Usec. Leopoldo Vega, Department of the Interior and Local Government Usec. Bernardo Florece Jr., DSWD Sec. Rolando Bautista, Asec. Dominic Tolentino.

Department of Health Sec. Francisco Duque lll, (center) with National Task Force (NTF) against Covid-19 chief implementer Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. (Right) and Bulacan Governor Daniel Fernando (left) discusses  some important matters regarding covid response issues during their visit to Bulacan province with the composite team of COVID-19 Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE) of the National Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases held at the Hiyas Convention Center in Malolos City on Saturday. Photo by ERICK SILVERIO

Other participants during the meeting are Bulacan Mayors League president Mayor Ambrosio Cruz Jr, Mayor Arthur Robes of City of San Jose del Monte, Mayor Gilbert Gatchalian of City of Malolos, Mayor Linabelle Ruth Villarica of City of Meycauayan (via Zoom) and  Mayor Carlos Silvestre of Marilao.

Fernando presented the best practices of Bulacan in response to the pandemic including strict monitoring of the entry-exit borders, organization of provincial IATF and incident command center, established provincial quarantine facility, returning OFWs and assymptomatic cases quarantine facility, mandated municipal quarantine facilities and mass testing among others.

He added the province also opened the Bulacan Infection Control Center last May offering free health care, meals and rooms for moderate to severe patients; Bulacan GeneXpert Laboratory last June for testing; and the Bulacan Molecular Laboratory which was launched last month.

“I am proud to say the Bulacan is always one step ahead, ito marahil ang dahilan na sa kabila ng aming proximity sa Metro Manila ay naging under control ang rate of infection sa lalawigan, ang ating ultimate goal is yo eliminate the disease pero sa ngayon habang wala pang bakuna we have to keep squashing the curve, strive to bring down the number of positive cases” Fernando said.

On the other hand, he said educational and livelihood assistance were also given, and promotion of culture, products and history of the province are also crucial even in the midst of pandemic.

He also thanked everyone who helped the province including the P162 million assistance of the National Government, social amelioration program of the DSWD, RDT kits from the DOH, animals and seedlings distribution through the Department of Agriculture.

“We have implemented zoning containment strategy, surveyed Bulakenyos who are working in NCR that will help big in contact tracing, innovated using Rovidoc, a robot roving doctor developed by the BSU for mild cases to provide medication and monitoring without physical contact, Fernando added.

The governor also shared future plans including the implementation of the Bulacan ID system, Bulacan Community Mega Quarantine Facility at the Bulacan Sports Complex, Covid Surge Plan or the emergency plan for sudden rise of covid wherein more hospitals will be converted to Covid hospital, rehabilitation and recovery plan, launching of Radyo Kapitolyo to encourage citizens to find smart ways yo beat the virus.

Sec. Duque said the pandemic response that the country is doing is nationally enabled but people centered.

“Hindi po pwedeng national lang, hindi pwedeng ilang sektor lang, kundi lahat, naniniwala tayo na kahit sa buong mundo we are doing the all nation response. We are mandating that public hospitals should have 30-50 percent bed allocation while private hospital should have 30% bed allocation for covid patients,” Duque said.

Meanwhile Sec. Galvez reiterated the importance of contact tracing.
Moreover, Sec. Bautista reported that 12.4 million Social Amelioration Program beneficiaries amounting to 73.6 billion have been given, 770,789 of which are from Bulacan.

Dr. Jocelyn Gomez, head of the Provincial Health Office-Public Health presented the status of COVID-19 in the province with 2,018 confirmed cases, 788 recoveries and 58 deaths as of August 14, 2020 at 4pm.

During the program an open forum was held for clarifications and more information.

Earlier, a wreath laying ceremony at the Marcelo H. Del Pilar Monument was done in memory of the Bulacan Foundation Day and in honor of all Bulakenyo heroes.

Before the program ends, a ceremonial Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio was held followed by donations of 3, 385, 000 face masks and face shields for the 677,000 families in the province by the NTF  where the DOH also donated 5,000 Personal Protective Equipment for public health offices and laboratories, specimen collection kit and hygiene kits for mothers in Bulacan.