News Release

Long-term programs needed to fight COVID-19, future scourge, says health chief

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte presides over a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members prior to his talk to the people at the Malacañang Golf (Malago) Clubhouse in Malacañang Park, Manila on May 26, 2021. ROBINSON NIÑAL/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte presides over a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members prior to his talk to the people at the Malacañang Golf (Malago) Clubhouse in Malacañang Park, Manila on May 26, 2021. ROBINSON NIÑAL/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Long-term actions are needed to prepare the country for possible future surges of COVID-19 and other pandemics in addition to the current initiatives being implemented by the government, the country’s health chief said.

In his report to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III spelled out several measures aimed at fortifying the country’s defenses against COVID-19 and future pandemics.

These measures include improving the local surveillance capacity by providing sufficient human resource and modern information system, enhancing the referral systems and strengthening financing mechanisms through PhilHealth and the General Appropriations Act (GAA) to provide Filipinos with affordable health services.

Duque also suggested the need for the country to build vaccine self-reliance.

He also reported the current COVID-19 situation in the country. Based on the present data, he said there is a notable drop in COVID-19 transmissions in the National Capital Region (NCR) and in the whole country.

Although there is a decreasing number of cases in Luzon, infections are spiking in the Visayas and Mindanao, the health chief said, as he warned the public against complacency.

Following government-mandated health protocols is so important, he said, noting non-adherence to health guidelines usually results in surge in cases and imposition of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), which is devastating for the economy.

“Kaya naman po aming paulit-ulit na hinihingi ang kooperasyon ng publiko sa pagsunod sa tamang pagsuot ng mask, face shield, distansya ng isang metro o mahigit, palagiang paghuhugas ng kamay, at pag-iiwas sa matataong lugar upang mapigilan ang pagkalat ng COVID-19,” Duque said.

“Kaugnay nito, hinihingi rin namin ang tulong ng mga ibang sektor partikular na ang ating transportation sector, trade, and tourism sector, among others, upang siguraduhin po na ligtas at protektado ang ating mga mamamayan.”

The country has recorded 46,037 active cases as of Wednesday, May 26, with 1,127,770 recoveries and 20,169 deaths. PND