• Melo Acuna

Need to observe health standards key to COVID-19 spread

Complacency will lead to COVID-19 spike in MGCQ areas

MANILA – NTF-COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. called on his counterparts at the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) of possible spikes in COVID-19 cases should people become complacent in enforcing safety measures in workplaces and uncontrolled gatherings.

Speaking at a meeting in Cotabato City, Secretary Galvez said this is the common challenge in areas under the Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ). He said the observance of minimum safety standards should continue in the workplace and in family gatherings.

It will be recalled the BARMM has been placed under MGCQ. He reminded his counterparts to take precautions seriously to avert risks from increased COVID-19 cases.

He said they observed the spread of COVID-19 cases among workers in economic zones due to common mess areas where workers eat together in areas where no distinctions are made between people who are already infected, loitering in smoking areas and non-compliance of safety measures in family gatherings.

As of yesterday, the PCOO reported 130 active cases in the BARMM with about n76% recovery rate. Secretary Galvez acknowledged the region’s response despite the limitations.

He recommended increased contact tracing activities, testing initiative and increase in quarantine capacity to accommodate more patients.

The IATF has allotted 10,000 test kits, 900 GeneXpert kits, 400 PPEs and 4,000 face masks for the region.

Al-Haj Murad Ebrahim, BARMM Chief Minister reported all activities undertaken by the region as well as partnerships between local government units and national government agencies.

“We ensure that our response and strategies are not only responsive but also collaborative. We humbly recognize that our efforts can still be improved with our engagement here today with the National Task Force,” he added. He added the BARMM has remained open in welcoming its stranded residents from other provinces and returning overseas Filipinos despite threats from COVID-19.

PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar congratulated the BARMM for the working mechanism where LGUs have remained pro-active to the current situation. In his remarks he said the PCOO has extended timely and accurate information to the general public. (Melo M. Acuña)

NTF-COVID-19 Chief Implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez (left) and PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar address BARMM officials at their meeting earlier today where Chief Minister Al-Haj Murad Ebrahim led the regional executives. (PCOO Photos)

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