LGU intensifies fight vs. COVID with an effective strategy
Local government units, especially in the National Capital Region, face more challenges as the pandemic has not only affected the lives of citizens, it also drastically impacted businesses and livelihoods. As the elusive vaccine is still far from approval, LGUs such as Malabon are doing its best amid the current situation, balancing both the safety of people with the safe reopening of businesses.
One of the ways Malabon is doing it is by implementing an effective system for contact tracing, and presiding over a free mega swab testing done at the city’s sports stadium. To “Detect, Isolate, Trace, and Treat” patients is the only way that the city can have a semblance of normalcy, and allow the local economy to function amid the new normal.
Malabon implements its testing every Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, while contact tracing by the barangay health emergency response team (BHERTs) is done during Tuesdays and Thursdays. In addition to the free testing, participants are also given food packs so they will not need to go out of their homes frequently until their results are released.
“We are doing this testing to make sure that any Covid-infected individual wouldn’t infect his or her family, and those in their community. This is being proactive and this would help flatten the curve of infection in the long run,” says Malabon Mayor Lenlen Oreta.
Those who are tested, the Mayor says, are required to isolate themselves at their homes. While those proven to be infected based on the swab testing are required to go to one of Malabon’s three isolation centers, where they would be “treated” – given regular nutritious food and vitamins, and provided a clean and safe environment where they could rest and recover.
As of the moment, the number of positive cases is now taking up most of the rooms in the quarantine facilities, but Mayor Oreta says they are planning to add 200 to 300 more beds. The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is also helping to create an isolation center that is bigger, which can soon accommodate 88 beds.
To avail of the free Covid-19 testing, Malabonians who feel they have symptoms need to schedule a visit with their barangay health centers first. The priority for testing are those who had close contact with a Covid-positive patient. The Malabon LGU is in the process of purchasing serology machines that would allow them to see immediate results from tests.
“We should work hand-in-hand and do our part in keeping the virus from spreading. The local government and medical frontliners alone wouldn’t be able to eliminate the problem if the rest of the population is not following the health protocols. We must live and act ‘like we have the virus’ so we would be responsible and conscious of others. It is only by cooperation that we would see the Covid infections go down,” says Mayor Oreta. “The earlier the infections go down, the earlier it is for us to bring back to normal our lives, livelihood, and the local economy.