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Roque urges LGUs to beef up critical care capacity

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Sep. 21 (PIA)–Emphasizing the need to boost critical care capacity of local government units (LGUs), Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said such is essential in preserving lives and uplifting the economy.

“The community quarantine gave us the opportunity to beef up our critical care capacity. Wala pong pagsisisi pero ngayon po kinakailangan na nating buksan unti-unti ang ekonomiya kaya ang panawagan natin, ingat buhay para sa hanapbuhay (There are no regrets on it but now we really need to open up our economy, thus, we call for care for life for livelihood),” Roque said in a Presidential Press Briefing, September 21, here.

He added that about 16.5 percent economic loss has been experienced in the country with the declaration of community quarantine but he cited that the quarantine is significant in preparing hospitals and other treatment facilities to accommodate and treat positive COVID-19 patients.

Aside from Bayanihan 2 to Heal As One Act, there will be a stimulus package that will be provided by the national government to ensure assistance especially to highly affected populace.

“Huwag na po tayong mag-panic, kilala na po natin ang kalaban (Let us not panic since we now know our enemy) and we now have the highest testing rate in the whole of Southeast Asia and probably the whole of Asia because we have surpassed Japan,” Roque said. 

Aside from strong contact tracing systems now used by various LGUs, the spokesperson said locally produced supplements such as the virgin coconut oil have been proven to be useful in managing COVID-19 symptoms.

For his part, Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno said investing in health should be one of the priorities of LGUs and the former shouldn’t solely rely on the national government for assistance especially during a health crisis. 

The city government here provided four reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) machines to the Department of Health (DOH)-10 and Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) that can be used starting October 2020. 

Moreno added that they have also aided in the procurement of RT-PCRs for Polymedic General Hospital and Maria Reyna-Xavier University Hospital. 

“Testing in the region is now leveling up. Hopefully by October we can still serve Caraga and BARMM,” the mayor said. 

As of September 19, there are 1.9K total ICU beds in the country where 50 percent are already occupied, 13.9K isolation beds where 56 percent are available, 5.7K ward beds where 47 percent are occupied and 2.1K total units of ventilators where 74 percent are available for use, Roque said.

For COVID-19 cases, there are 286,743 confirmed cases in the country with 4,984 deaths or 1.7 percent fatality rate, as of September 20. (RTP/PIA10)

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