RO9 ZampenHolidayAs we are nearly leaping to another year, the fight against the prominent coronavirus disease in Zamboanga Peninsula (ZamPen) is not yet over, rather 'overwhelming’ increase of cases is being expected if people remains reprimanded and take the public health protocols for granted this holiday.

"There is still continuous growth of COVID-19 cases seen in different areas, signaling the start of a surge,” said by Dr. Mary Rose Rendon of Department of Health (DOH)-9 during the Joint Regional Inter-Agency Task Force – Regional Task Force (RIATF-RTF) COVID-19 meeting held recently.

"If not mitigated, this will lead to a sharp spike of cases during and after the holiday,” she added.

The DOH-9 is aggressively appealing to the public to take extra-cautious at all times for huge number of individuals were already seen outside their residences doing non-essential things especially this holiday, disregarding the welfare of their health and decreasing the adherence to minimum health standards.

"Many have seen overlooking the guidelines. Even they are with their face masks and face shields, they don’t use it properly,” Rendon affirmed.

Through the RIATF and RTF initiative to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the region, it is expected to deploy strict implementation of policies that would be visible in all public places.

"We will create a resolution to ensure that health protocols are always in place. We will deploy marshals to keep an eye to those violators and to mobilize all the resources of the response team to lead the conduct of regular patrols,” RTF Chairperson and Office of the Civil Defense, Regional Director Manuel Ochotorena affirmed.

"The DOH’s Bida Bastunero/Bastunera are the watchdogs and implementers of public health protocols on the ground,” the Director added.

The Director also suggested to the LGUs to monitor and from time to time, visit the beaches, resorts and other potential places in their area, where mass gatherings could ensue.

On the other hand, the DOH is appealing the LGUs to improve their Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facilities (TTMF) and isolation facilities of their respective cities and provinces as well as secure the increase of dedicated beds for COVID-19 patients in both public and private hospitals whenever the surge will eventually happen.

"We will continuously coming up with strategies to contain the spread of the virus this holiday because we want you to celebrate your Christmas safe and this is our duty to protect every individual in the region,” Dr. Dennis Dacayanan of DOH-9 said.

Meanwhile, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)-9 has mandated all the local and national government agencies to be vigilant and to help one another to stop the COVID-19 here.

"We wish that everybody will observe the public health protocols this holiday and better skip big gatherings this year so that we could start the year 2021 healthier and safer,” Dr. Dacayanan stressed. (RVC/JRA/PIA9-Zamboanga City)


Author: Jayson R. Aucensillo

Agency: Philippine Information Agency- Western Mindanao

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