Pampanga sees steady cases of COVID-19

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CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga — The provincial government said there are steady cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), with no surges noted in the entire Pampanga.

Provincial Health Officer Jay Rivera said this can be attributed to the efficiency of the province’s testing program.

“Even during the past Holiday season, our testing continues. Now, we see only around 20 cases per day. Hopefully, we will be able to bring the cases down. But the good news is that we do not see any surge in any of our towns and cities,” Rivera said.   

If we will look back during the first few months of the pandemic, the health officer said Pampanga was the first one to heed the problem of the country concerning the cruise ship from Japan with Filipino crew.  

“The governor took it as a challenge by allowing them to land in Clark. We were the first to repatriate them. We were also the first to make a mobile isolation observation container van that we put in Clark Airbase. We did that in less than a week’s time. And it’s been helping the Bureau of Quarantine,” he said.

Rivera added that at the start of the pandemic in 2020, the provincial government also formed a logistics team. 

“Governor Dennis Pineda saw that there was a shortage in getting the suspect cases so the Delta Transportation Team mobilized logistics to augment and help our regional hospital which is the Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital (JBLMRH), if they need anything,” the PHO chief said. 

In response to the COVID-19 threat, the province also created the focus hospital system by designating Diosdado P. Macapagal Memorial Hospital (DPMMH) as the Focus Center for COVID-19. 

“Our primary reason was at that time, all Kapampangans were nervous because of the volatility of the situation. So to remove their anxiety, we assign only one hospital to focus on COVID suspect cases so that the remaining district hospitals in the province do not admit COVID suspects. Basically, we remove COVID from their barrios, to the hospitals next to them, and brought it to us,” Rivera said. 

The provincial government also organized a Joint Management Task Force for COVID-19 with Tarlac Province and Clark Development Corporation to create a system of cooperation.

“One of our best practices also is the Balik Pinas, Balik Pampanga Program. Prior to the launching of the program, we already have a system in place because we already have the experience when it comes to repatriating Filipinos, whether or not they are Kapampangans,” the PHO chief said. 

Right now, aside from preparing its COVID vaccine plan, Rivera said the province continues to strengthen its joint management with JBLMRH to further increase testing capacity.