Bulacan Governor Daniel Fernando presented to the Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE) team the best practices of the province in dealing with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Fernando met with the CODE team led by National Action Plan Against COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., at the Pavilion, Hiyas ng Bulacan Convention Center in the City of Malolos.

Among the measures to curb the spread of the disease are the strict monitoring of the entry-exit borders, organization of provincial IATF and incident command center, the establishment of provincial quarantine facilities for returning overseas Filipino workers, mandated municipal quarantine facilities for asymptomatic cases, and mass testing, among others.

The governor also presented the Bulacan Infection Control Center that opened last May and offering free health care, meals, and rooms for moderate to severe patients; Bulacan GeneXpert Laboratory last June for COVID-19 testing; and the Bulacan Molecular Laboratory which was launched in July.

“While there is no vaccine yet, we have to keep squashing the curve.”

“I am proud to say 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 to eliminate the disease pero sa ngayon habang wala pang bakuna (This might be the reason that despite our proximity to Metro Manila we were able to control the rate of infection in our province. Our ultimate goal is to eliminate the disease but while there is no vaccine yet) we have to keep squashing the curve, strive to bring down the number of positive cases.” he said.

“We have implemented zoning containment strategy, innovated a robot roving doctor developed by the Bulacan State University for mild cases to provide medication and monitoring without physical contact,“ Fernando added.

He also shared future plans for the province that include the Bulacan ID system, the establishment of Bulacan Community Mega Quarantine Facility at the Bulacan Sports Complex, the COVID Surge Plan or the emergency plan for the sudden rise of COVID-19 wherein more hospitals will be converted to COVID-19 hospital, rehabilitation and recovery plan, and the proposed launch of Radyo Kapitolyo to encourage citizens to find smart ways to beat the virus.

Fernando also thanked everyone who helped the province, including the P162-million assistance of the national government, social amelioration program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, rapid diagnostic test (RDT) kits from the Department of Health (DOH), and animals and seedlings assistance from the Department of Agriculture.

Aside from Galvez, other members of the CODE team who visited the province in time for its 442nd foundation day are Secretaries of Francisco Duque III of Health, Rolando Bautista of Social Welfare, Ramon Lopez of Trade; Undersecretaries Leopoldo Vega of Health and Bernardo Florece Jr of Local Government; Assistant Secretary Dominic Tolentino of Social Welfare, and other government officials.

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

The health chief recommended to ramp up efforts to mitigate localized transmission and expand the testing capacity.

The health head said the five-point strategic plan of the government is to prevent, detect, isolate, treat, reintegrate (PDITR) with prevention and containment as its main components.

“It cannot be national nor a few sectors only, but it should be all.”

“Hindi po pwedeng national lang, hindi pwedeng ilang sektor lang, kundi lahat. Naniniwala tayo na kahit sa buong mundo (It cannot be national nor a few sectors only, but it should be all. We believe that even in the entire world) we are doing the all-nation response. We are mandating that public hospitals should have 30-50 percent bed allocation for COVID-19 patients and private hospitals to allot more beds for COVID-19 too,” he stressed.

Galvez, meanwhile, cited the importance of contact tracing and congratulated Fernando for the job well done to combat COVID-19 in the province.

“Bulacan is in the good hands because of the leadership of Governor Fernando,” he said.

Dr. Jocelyn Gomez, head of the Provincial Health Office-Public Health, meanwhile, presented the status of COVID-19 in Bulacan which recorded 2,018 confirmed cases, 788 recoveries, and 58 deaths.

The celebration also saw the distribution of 3,385,000 face masks and face shields from the National Inter-Agency Task Force (NITF) to the 677,000 families; 5,000 personal protective equipment (PPE) for public health offices and laboratories, specimen collection kit and hygiene kits for mothers from the DOH; and the ceremonial “Sabayang Patak Kontra Polio.”

Earlier, a wreath-laying ceremony at the Marcelo H. Del Pilar Monument was held to mark the province’s Foundation Day and in honor of all Bulakenyo heroes.


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