MALAYBALAY CITY, Bukidnon, Oct. 21 (PIA)-Bukidnon provincial government presented on Tuesday its initiatives, measures, gaps, and strategies in the fight against COVID-19 during the CODE Team's visit in Bukidnon province.
During the 'Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE) Team' forum headed by Department of National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, provincial health officer Dr. Gary Guido Tabios reported that the local health teams are doing great job keeping track of everyone who has been in contact with a test-positive case, but recent data showed that there is a significant increase in COVID cases with record-high numbers reported consecutively in the last two weeks.
Dr. Tabios said the local COVID-19 cases in Bukidnon over-exceeded the captured cases and the case doubling time is 15 days. He explained that the case doubling time determines the speed of the outbreak.
Records showed that just over 70 persons are currently quarantined in isolation facilities as a result of being in contact with someone who tested positive, and the province's recovery rate sits at nearly 60 percent.
As of October 20, Bukidnon has recorded 601 cases of coronavirus infections but 327 of these COVID-positive cases already recovered.
At present, 266 persons are in the active cases' list, while 8 individuals have died due to the highly infectious disease.
With this, Dr. Tabios said "we need to do better to prevent COVID-19 spread through the government's Prevent-Detect-Isolate-Treat-Reintegrate (PDITR) strategy."
For prevention, he said there is a need to widen the BIDA Solusyon' campaign at the barangay level, including a unified protocol on strengthening law enforcement and modifying local ordinances.
BIDA Solusyon advocacy promotes the active role of individuals in the fight against COVID-19 by practicing the following behaviors simplified into 4 letters: "B-Bawal walang mask; I-I-sanitize ang mga kamay, iwas-hawak sa mga bagay; D-Dumitansya ng isang metro; and A-Alamin ang totoong impormasyon."
Governor Jose Maria Zubiri, meanwhile, announced during the same CODE forum that construction of the province's Molecular Laboratory is making rapid progress in order to hit its target for real-time detection. He added that there is a need for the provincial government to increase its existing contact-tracers and temporary treatment facilities and isolation units.
Acknowledging the issues and concerns of the provincial government, National Task Force COVID-19 chair and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, Chief testing czar Secretary Vivencio Dizon of BCDA, and Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri discussed the national government's situation, action plans, strategies, interventions, and best practices to win the fight against the pandemic.
Lorenzana explained that CODE is a patient-and-community focused response system with key elements incorporated from the Prevent-Detect-Isolate-Treat-Reintegrate strategy.
Together with the National Task Force COVID-19 chair Lorenzana, Undersecretary Abdullah Dumama of the Department of Health (DOH); Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya of DILG; Undersecretary and chief treatment czar Leopoldo Vega of DOH, and Congressman Manuel Zubiri also shared that the key components of CODE include community engagement activities to promote preventive behaviors; active case finding via house-to-house symptom checks; RT-PCR testing for symptomatic patients; and accommodation of applications for those needing quarantine and isolation.
Through this initiative, support from the national government is provided to local government units (LGUs) particularly those with high-risk community transmission and those with limited capabilities and resources.
The Philippine Army's 4th Infantry Division commander MGen. Andres Centino and Vice Governor Rogelio Quino who graced the event also shared their action plans and interventions to win the fight against the dreaded disease.
Hosted by the provincial government of Bukidnon held at the Kaamulan Folk Arts Theater, the CODE event aims to put a curb on the rise in COVID-19 cases at the root through sharing of new technology-enriched strategies and other best practices that can be replicated. (RLRB/PIA Bukidnon)