• Melo Acuna

Public Health Emergency declared; 20 COVID-19 positive cases reported

President Duterte declares Public Health Emergency as the Department of Health confirms ten more COVID-19 cases

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte signed Proclamation No. 922 yesterday which declared a “State of Public Health Emergency” across the country but released to the media at mid-morning today.

The proclamation is authorized under the existing Constitution that protects and promotes the right to health of everyone and provides that at times of national emergency, the Congress, “by law, authorize the President for a limited period and subject to restrictions which may be prescribed, to exercise powers necessary and proper to carry out a declared national policy.”

A two-year old law (R. A. 11332) provides that the President of the Republic of the Philippines “shalle declare a State of Public Health Emergency in the event of an epidemic of national and/or international concern which threatens national security in order to mobilize governmental and non-governmental agencies to respond to the threat.”

The proclamation said no less than the Secretary of Health confirmed the local transmission of Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in the Philippines which requires a “whole of-government” response aligned with the Four-Door Framework for COVID-19 of the Department of Health and the efforts of all concerned government agencies and local government units (LGUs).

With the proclamation, government agencies and local government units will empower them to. Prevent loss of life, and utilize sufficient resources to contain or prevent the spread of the COVIDE-19 and mitigate its effects and impact to the community.

Aside from the declaration of a “State of Public Health Emergency” across the country, all government agencies and local government units are called to render full assistance and cooperation and mobilize the necessary resources to undertake critical, urgent and appropriate response and measures to curtain and eliminate the COVID-19 threat.

“The Secretary of Health may call upon the Philippine National Police and other law enforcement agencies to provide assistance in addressing the COVID-19 threat,” the proclamation said.

Assistant Secretary of Health Maria Rosario Vergeire said authorities recorded ten more cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) today and brought the total to 20.

In a press briefing, Asst. Secretary Vergeire said the results of the testing made on samples collected from March 6 to 8 were released earlier today. She added contact tracing is being made today.

She assured the general public their agency is doing is best to identify and isolate, those who had contact with the confirmed cases. Earlier, four COVID-19 cases were reported Sunday night are now in stable condition at different hospitals within Metro Manila. (Melo M. Acuña)

President Rodrigo Duterte (PCOO File Photo)

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