CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – Cagayan de Oro’s response to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic earned a commendation from the national inter-agency task force during its visit to the region.
Carlito Galvez Jr., presidential adviser on the peace process and chief implementer of the national action plan on Covid-19, along with Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong and Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, was in the city on Wednesday to monitor the Covid-19 response of local governments in Northern Mindanao or Region 10 particularly on CDO and Iligan.
Galvez called CdO’s response “very inspiring” as he noted most of the infection cases are returning residents or OFWs.
Among the measures that impressed the task force is the city’s designating one hospital dedicated to treating Covid-19, the Department of Health-run Northern Mindanao Medical Center.
“I am glad to see that Cagayan de Oro is capable of handling COVID-19 cases,” he said during an online press briefing Wednesday.
Galvez has commended the city’s holding of the daily press briefing and the purchase of testing machines, intensified contact tracing, and subjecting communities with cases to “localized lockdown.”
Galvez has also noted the city’s willingness to extend help to Iligan, which has seen a rise in Covid-19 local transmission cases in the past few days.
As of August 19, Iligan has a cumulative total cases of 167, 57 of them local stranded individuals and returning overseas workers, and 110 local transmission.
For his part, Mayor Oscar Moreno said he could not just turn a blind eye to Iligan, which is close Cagayan de Oro.
Cagayan de Oro and Iligan, Moreno said, “share the same past, the same history. We are the gateway to Mindanao and we need to help one another since the problem of one will be everybody’s problem.”
According to Maricel Rivera, this city’s information officer, Moreno has agreed to accommodate some of Iligan’s Covid-19 patients in Cagayan de Oro so long as they pay for the hotel expenses after a meeting with Iligan local officials on Tuesday. Cagayan de Oro has committed to provide free meals for the patients.
Andanar said the city’s passage of the anti-discrimination ordinance to protect the frontliners and Cagayan de Oro’s ability to balance its health protocols and keeping the local economy going is a commendable act, given that many cities opted for lockdowns that affected their economy and livelihood.
For his part, Magalong led the local contact tracing and analytical tool training to 42 frontliners in the region on the same day. But Magalong noted that CdO’s contact tracing capacity of 1:4 per Covid-19 patient is behind the national standard of 1:37, meaning the tracing is only limited to family members. (davaotoday.com)