Operation Listo on COVID 19 calls for standardized LGU response

CLARK FREEPORT ZONE, Pampanga — The National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 enjoins local government units (LGUs) to standardize their coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response efforts.

“The NTF came up with the Operation Listo Protocols for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to serve as a guide to the LGUs to more or less standardize the parameters and implementation of the COVID response at the local levels,” Department of Health (DOH) Health Emergency Management Bureau (HEMB) Director Gloria Balboa said during the Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE) Team Visit in Region 3.

Balboa said it is anchored on the community-based COVID 19 health event management or the hammer and dance approach, which offers an operational framework for LGUs to implement a localized response.

Under this Operation Listo protocol, localized implementation of COVID-19 response will be anchored on the Prevent Detect Isolate Treat Reintegrate (PDITR), and zoning containment strategies. 

“With the PDITR strategy, we strive to achieve that COVID 19 spread will be contained and managed. We also want a well-informed citizenry adherent to the minimum public health standards, because prevention through this is the cheapest, simplest, easiest,  most effective, and most sustainable intervention among all the strategies,” Balboa said.

The DOH official added that the Listo protocols also aims to develop a resilient and adaptive community, as we work our way for economic recovery. 

Under this strategy, major fundamental lines of actions that LGUs will undertake in controlling the spread of the COVID 19 infection in their respective localities are detailed. 

“It starts with the organization of local task forces, and then assessment of the severity of the infection, determining which areas to lock down. This will be the basis of other interventions to be imposed,” Balboa said. 

Under zoning containment strategy, she said that as we gear towards adaptive, calibrated, and responsive control of the situation, the LGU should be able to better manage pandemic while minimizing the impact of a broad scale lockdowns.

“We want to be precise using granular data in determining geographic and targeted lockdowns as we balance our efforts in reducing socio-economic impact, while also restoring a semblance of normalcy in affected communities nationwide,” the director said.

However, she added that there is a need to continuously and consistently increase the capacity of LGUs to continue to implement the two strategies effectively.  

This, she said, will guide LGUs on what they still need to do and what assistance they will be asking from the national government. 

“With the combination of these strategies, we hope that you will be properly guided to ensure the effectiveness of the interventions, thereby improving the chances  of reducing or eliminating the virus from parts or the whole of your locality,” Balboa said.