Interview

Daily Report Update on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 by Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr., Chief Implementer of the Government’s National Policy Against the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Good evening to all Filipinos around the globe. The Duterte Administration would like to assure the Filipino people that it is on the top of the situation. As we bond together to fight this deadly disease that is testing our resolve as a nation.

To our medical professionals, rest assured that the government is determined to protect you and the people you are helping at all cost. We shall provide you with the equipment and logistical support you need so you can perform your duties in the best way possible.

To our frontliners – the medical staff, soldiers, police officers, farmers, food production workers, utility engineers, government personnel, members of the media, civil society organization and religious sector, thank you for all the hard work and for ensuring that we will function as a society despite the challenges that we are facing in this trying times.

To all our government institutions specially the DOH and other lead agencies, let us focus on our common goal and that is to win this battle. Thank you for going an extra mile in making sure that all Filipinos get the support that they need as they go through this ordeal.

We are facing an unprecedented health crisis which will require the full cooperation and the mobilization of the whole nation to support all sectors of the community.

And most of all, thank you to each and every Filipino who have remained strong and resilient in the face of this crisis. Thank you for supporting the government and contributing your share so that we can emerge victorious in this battle.

Finally, we wish to honor those who gave up their lives so that others may live. To our seventeen doctors who died and to their families, our condolences and deepest sympathy. They are heroes who should not be forgotten, they will always be remembered and cherished for our lifetime.

I am here to provide you the updates with the progress of the National Task Force COVID-19. As for today, we can see this board, we have 2, 600 new cases, confirmed cases and 107 deaths and 51 who recovered.

If you will see the data, the increase of the new cases has been 322; which is lower than the highest cases that we have last few days ago of 538. This is a good sign that we are gaining the battle despite the many test now that we had right now. And the death increased from 11 to 107; and we have one recovered. In these parameters, we need that ano… the…the rate of death will be diminished to the minimal and to zero and we want to increase the recovery of our patients.

Last 31 March, 15,000 of the PPEs arrived at Villamor Air Base coming from China. It was immediately distributed to the following hospitals: We have the Philippine General Hospital, the Jose Rodriguez Memorial Hospital, the Lung Center of the Philippines, the East Avenue Medical Center and the Armed Forces of the Philippines Medical Center. These are our frontline government hospitals that are dealing with COVID.

These are the part of the first batch of the one million PPEs under the government to government procurement agreement between the Philippines and China. The remaining 985 PPEs are scheduled to arrive between April 6 to 24. So, also our donors—we are soliciting the PPEs to our very gracious donors and we are expecting to have 30,000 of those coming from Solaire from Mr. Razon. And we would like also to thank Mr. Ramon Ang for pledging to support more than 100 ventilators that they will procure from different sources and also, they promised to buy additional PPEs worth five hundred million pesos.

For the division of PPEs, the Department of Health is looking at the bed capacities and the number of COVID patients to identify hospitals that critically need PPE. For faster and more efficient communication, we have set a Viber group with the different hospital so that we can address and respond immediately among the things that they need.

I was also able to talk with the Indian Commerce that the group will be procuring six million masks to be distributed to the people though Mercury Drug and other drugstores so that public can purchase them at a very lower retail price.

With the strong partnership between the government and the private sector, we were able to normalize the medical supplies of the Department of Health. As you can see, the bayanihan spirit is alive during the difficult time. We would like to thank the private sectors and the individual citizens who extended assistance to their countrymen.

On the quarantine facilities, within the next ten days we hope to convert the Rizal Complex, World Trade Center, the Philippine International Convention Center, Cultural Center of the Philippines as mass quarantine facilities. We will also deploy three doctors and fifty nurses at the Rizal Memorials Sports Complex coming from the Armed Forces of the Philippines. We will—the Secretary of DOH will inspect it tomorrow and it might be opened soon. This is for either the PUIs or the mild cases of COVID so that we can declogged the hospitals that are now being overcrowded.

In addition to the above, we are looking also the possibility of converting Quezon City Institute, the Philippine Sports Ultra, Duty Free Philippines of Parañaque, Amoranto Sports Complex, the Quezon City Memorial Complex and the Veterans Medical Center Complex into quarantine and isolation facilities. CHED Secretary Popoy de Vera also called me last night, also converting their convention centers in Bicol and other areas for mass quarantine facilities.

We would like also to announce that we have now nine accredited hospitals and we are asking the DOH to expedite other hospitals request for accreditation for the testing so that we will have other capabilities in the testing.

On massive testing for PUIs and PUMs, we are also determined to fast track the accreditation of substantial laboratories so we can start the massive testing of the PUIs and the PUMs. We expect that by April 14, we should be able to start massive testing.

As you can see on this graph, located in here are the most cases in COVID. As you can see, in St. Luke’s we have 71 and another St. Luke’s in Quezon City we have 68. As you can see, the highest cases are in the best hospital that we have. So, I am very confident that we will increase our recovery because we have the best hospital in this area. So, meaning, the top ten hospitals where we had more than 500 COVID patients are located on our best hospitals.

So, we have done this mapping so that we can see the conditions of the different COVID situations, whether these hospitals will be needing the assistance of the medical command center. This medical command center wherein we have a very tedious monitoring of the different hospitals. We have a GIS representation of the map and also we have the updated figures on how many COVID patients being attended to by the different hospitals. So this computer generated data will be needed in order to have a good response to our patient.

Maybe we can show the curve on the daily— ipalabas natin iyong curve, iyong trending… iyong trending natin… we can see the trending. So, dito natin nakikita rin iyong trending ng ano natin… how the rate of death and the rate of new ano is being ano… being computed in here.

Dito naman po ilalagay po natin, ito itong tinatawag namin—dito iyong tinatawag natin na—this is the logistic cell. This is the operation cell and this is the logistic cell. Dito po natin titingnan iyong mga needs. Nakalagay po dito iyong mga bed capacities ng ating mga different hospitals at tinitingnan din po natin kung ano iyong mga PPE allocations nila. So, makikita natin kung how many PPEs are available; how many requirements they are needing in sustaining the long operations and health treatment care in these areas. So, ito po iyong tinitingnan natin.

And then sa kabila naman nito tinitingnan po natin dito iyong geographical locations ng affectations ng ating mga COVID cases. Nakikita natin dito sa… more or less 2,600, ang nakikita natin na concentration pa rin ay nasa Manila area. So, in here, more than 1,500 has been affected in NCR at nakikita natin Quezon City pa rin po ang napakataas with more than 6%, Manila, Makati, San Juan at nakikita po natin ang pinaka-less affected itong Navotas at saka Pateros at saka Malabon. Meaning, iyong nasa northern side hindi gaanong affected. Ang nakikita natin, ang affected is basically doon sa gitna, nandoon sa bandang area ng Quezon City, area ng Manila, Makati at saka sa San Juan. Iyan ang nakikita natin na mga top areas.

Doon naman sa different regions, ang medyo talagang malakas na affectation ay ang CALABARZON with 178 cases and ten deaths at ang Region III ang sumusunod. Meaning, ang nakikitang infection ay contagious doon sa mga areas na malapit sa Manila. Nakikita natin na ang Region III with 65 cases and five deaths, and the next is iyong Region VII. Kung maaalala natin sa Region VII doon nagsimula iyong tracking ng first victim natin ng COVID.

And then nakikita rin natin na tumataas na rin ang mga cases sa Region XI, sa Region VIII, Region II and also sa Region VI, and then sa BARMM mayroon na ring seven cases and then ang pinakanakita natin ang pinakamahina ang kanilang affectations ay sa Region V, sa Region VIII and also in Region XII. So, makikita po natin na ang pinakamababang affectation ay nasa area ng Region IX, Region XII, Region V – sa Bicol area – and also in Region VIII.

So, iyon po ang maire-report po natin ngayon na nakikita po natin na ang affectation ay majority sa Metro Manila area. Next sa Southern Luzon and then iyong Region III – iyong area ng Region III. So, iyon po ang inire-report po natin na ang watch—ang ano pa natin, ang watchlist pa rin natin po ay talagang iyong NCR and also part ng Region III at saka iyong area ng CALABARZON. Ito po ang nakikita po natin na medyo most affected po ng COVID.

Maraming salamat po at magandang hapon po sa inyong lahat.

Ito po iyong mga questions na ibinigay po sa atin. From GMA 7, from Joseph Morong: When are we going to start with the massive forced quarantine?

– Ang inaano po natin kapag natapos na po natin iyong ating mga mass quarantine areas specially iyong areas po ng World Trade Center, PICC, CCP at saka iyong area ng Ultra. Iyong Rizal Memorial Coliseum po ay matatapos na within this week.

So, number two question: The PUIs, the PUMs for how many days will they be quarantined?

– So, as SOP po natin that’s fourteen days.

Then say if we start today, counting fourteen days, lalampas po sa date ng lifting ng ECQ. Paano po iyon, sir?

– Iyon pong tinatawag nating forced quarantine for PIUs and PUMs is separate from our strategy from lockdown. Ito po ay complimentary strategy in order to detect, to isolate and treat iyong tinatawag nating COVID patient para at least magiging carrier-centric po tayo. Meaning, ang gagawin po natin ay talagang tatanggalin po natin sa ating community iyong mga affected COVID possible carriers.

Then number three: Which date of lifting are you working with? April 12 is the announced lifting of the Luzon-wide quarantine while April 14 is the lifting of the Metro Manila quarantine.

– It is depended on the recommendation of the IATF, now the technical working group and Secretary Pernia is now working on the future options and we will be waiting for their recommendation and approval of the IATF and final approval our President.

Are you in favor of partial lifting of the ECQ?

– We will wait for the technical working committee for their recommendation. My duty is only to implement. I will only recommend some options but the IATF will be the one who will decide and recommend it to the President.

From Samuel Medenilla, Business Mirror: May na-identify na po kayo na government na health facilities or agencies na magiging priority na pagdadalhan po ng mga donated medicine, medical supplies and equipment for COVID-19?

– Sa atin po, mayroon po tayong combined logistics, combined by DOH, AFP, at saka po iyong OCD. May ginawa po tayong mga priority sa mga listing ng mga medical services particularly po iyong mga COVID dedicated hospitals, iyon po ang priority po natin. At doon po nakalagay sa mga priority natin doon mag-stockpiling po tayo ng mga medical equipment particularly po iyong PPEs. Ang ginagawa po namin ngayon, nag-stockpile kami ng seven days and then after that fourteen days or even up to one month stockpiling.

Then number two: Mayroon na po ba kayong financial donations na ipinadala sa country for COVID-19 response of the government?

– Iyan po ay inaayos na po ng ating DSWD at in a few days, alam namin ang amelioration will start. I believe the DSWD have already signed the check for the processing with Land Bank.

From Mela Lesmoras of PTV: Kailan po kayo huling nakausap ni Pangulong Duterte? May mga bagong orders pa ba siya sa inyo? Pabor po ba ang Pangulo na palawigin ang Enhanced Community Quarantine in Luzon?

– Nag-meeting po kami noong isang araw at pinulong po kami sa kaniyang directive na at least tingnan po natin ang security ng mga different essential facilities. Hindi ko po ano po—we will look into the technical working group, ang technical working group lang po ang bahala po sa mga tinatawag natin na—kung mali-lift na ang Enhanced Community Quarantine in Luzon. Depende po sa recommendation po ng technical working group.

So in closing, magandang gabi po sa inyong lahat. As I have said, this is an unprecedented health crisis. We have learned invaluable lessons along the way in this battle against an invisible enemy that does not choose its victims and does not recognize boundaries. We call on the Filipino people to continue looking out for each other. We are optimistic that we can win this battle through everyone’s full cooperation.

So, ang ano po natin—nakikita po natin na… tayo po ay nakikita natin maganda po ang indication. Ang hinihiling lang po namin sa inyo ay full cooperation na i-enforce natin po nang mabuti ang quarantine.

Your government is working for and with you from every aspect, from health to socioeconomic interventions. We are looking for every piece of the puzzle and weaving this action together.

Once again, umasa po kayo na ang administrasyong Duterte na kayang-kaya po natin ito. Kapag po tayo ay nagkaisa, we can win this battle together. Kaya po ang sinasabi po natin, bayanihan ‘heal as one, we fight as one.’ Kayang-kaya po natin ito at umasa kayo na makakayanan po natin ito dahil nakikita natin na ang ginagawa po ng gobyerno at ang lahat ng mga sambayanan po natin, tayo po ay nagkakaisa at kapag tayo po ay nagkakaisa kayang-kaya po natin ito. Kayang-kaya ng Pilipino ito, kayang-kaya natin ang COVID.

###

Source: PCOO-NIB (News and Information Bureau-Data Processing Center)