News Release

Palace highlights CODE Team and One Hospital Command in COVID-19 response

The Palace on Monday highlighted the implementation of the Coordinated Operations to Defeat Pandemic or CODE protocol, and the operation of the One Hospital Command as parts of the strategy of the government to defeat COVID-19.

“Mga kababayan, ito pong tinatawag nating CODE ay kabahagi po ng ating refreshed response to COVID-19 na sinimulan po nating ipatupad noong tayo po’y nag two-week MECQ. Kabahagi rin po dito sa ating refreshed responses to COVID-19 ay ang One Hospital Command Center,” said Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque Jr. in his August 24 press briefing.

Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire discussed one of the objectives of the CODE protocol, which is to eliminate clusters of COVID-19 cases in identified areas.

To achieve this, CODE teams did house-to-house aggressive case finding, symptom checking, interviewing of families to find out who were exposed to COVID-19 positive individuals, and swab testing for all individuals who showed symptoms of the disease and for those who are vulnerable like the elderly, those with co-morbidities, and pregnant women.

Usec Vergeire said that CODE Teams have completed the initial house-to-house visits in identified priority local government units (LGUs) in the National Capital Region (NCR), Laguna, Rizal, Cavite, and Bulacan.

Vergeire reported that a total of 1,334 households were visited in 17 priority LGUs in the NCR, 6 barangays in Laguna, and 4 LGUs each in Rizal, Cavite, and Bulacan.

Of the number of households visited, Vergeire said that all of the 1,500 confirmed cases found and some 10,000 close contacts traced were immediately placed under quarantine or isolation in designated facilities and temporary treatment and management facilities. For those who were isolated in their own homes, Vergeire said that they are strictly under monitoring of barangay health emergency response teams.

Vergeire also underscored that the golden rule to follow these days is to isolate when in doubt to prevent the further spread of infection. She advised the public to seek isolation and do self-quarantine when experiencing symptoms and when one has come in close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual, and to not wait before a test result comes out.

Meanwhile, DOH Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega in the same press briefing discussed the operation of the One Hospital Command that acts as an effective health facility referral system that connects patients to available quarantine facilities and hospitals.

After three weeks of operations of the One Hospital Command Center, Usec Vega reported that some 1,813 calls have been received by their call centers and some 1,131 cases have been resolved.

Vega said that calls are being handled by two call centers that also answer frequently asked questions on COVID-19. The call will then be transferred to MMDA responders who coordinate on patient’s transfer or referral to hospitals, or to a temporary quarantine facility.

On reports of difficulties in getting in touch with the One Hospital Command Center, Vega said that it is because they still lack more dedicated telephone lines to use in their operations.

In response, Roque called Smart and PLDT’s Manuel V. Pangilinan and Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala of Globe to ask for additional telephone lines, both of whom responded positively to the request. ### OPS-PCOO