Nat’l gov’t helps Zamboanga City manage COVID-19 surge

zamboanga covid-19
Photo from NTF Against COVID-19 Facebook page

QUEZON CITY, May 23 (PIA) --The National Task Force (NTF) against COVID 19 helped the local government and health officials of Zamboanga City to scale up its response and mitigation efforts to address the COVID-19 surge in the area.

Over 10,000 antigen test kits, 1,000 personal protective equipment (PPEs), 13 high flow cannulas and five ventilators to local executives were turned over by NTF officials during their visit to the city on Friday, May 21.

Two of the ventilators have been allocated for Zamboanga City Medical Center, while three units were allocated for health facilities in Basilan.

“What Zamboanga is experiencing is exactly the same situation experienced by Metro Manila, its nearby provinces, including Baguio. While it is overwhelming at napakahirap, it can be done. Kaya syang gawin,” said NTF Deputy Chief Implementer and testing czar Secretary Vivencio Dizon

As of May 19, the city has recorded 2,304 active cases, with a 7-day positivity rate of 29.27%.

Dizon recommended strict compliance of minimum public health standards and community quarantine protocols, imposing granular lockdowns, intensifying the city government’s PDITR (prevent-detect-isolate-treat- reintegrate-strategy), and scaling up local vaccination efforts.

The NTF committed to increase the vaccine allocation in Zamboanga City.

Dizon confirmed that the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) will turn over to the city government a 280-bed isolation facility for mild and asymptomatic patients on June 15.

He bared that the construction of a 22-bed modular hospital that will cater to moderate and severe cases will commence by the first week of June.

He added that an additional 14,000 PPEs will also be sent to the city next week.

Department of Health Assistant Secretary Romeo Ong likewise committed to provide an additional 11 ventilators to the city next week.

Ong also turned over 100 vials of Remdesivir for the use of COVID-19 patients confined at the Zamboanga City Medical Center.

According to the hospital’s Medical Chief Dr. Afdal Kunting, one of the contributing factors in the death of COVID-19 patients is the lack of medicines to treat them.

Meanwhile, Baguio City Mayor and contact tracing czar Benjamin Magalong urged the city health office to utilize the link analysis software and systems to intensify contact tracing in the city.

“We acknowledge that we need to strengthen our strategies on Prevention-Detection- Isolation-Treatment- Reintegration Strategy,” said Zamboanga Mayor Beng Climaco. (MTQ/PIA-IDPD with information from NTF-COVID-19)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (

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