National Task Force (NTF) against Covid-19 chief implementer, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., said there is a need to activate manpower resources amid the threat of the highly transmissible Omicron variant of Covid-19 in the country.
Galvez, speaking at President Rodrigo Duterte’s prerecorded Talk to the People aired on Wednesday, said the government should establish a long-term strategic response against the prevailing pandemic.
The government, he said, should maintain the higher Covid-19 bed capacities in the hospitals and adequate manpower.
“With the increase of cases of Omicron, we need to activate our manpower resources with the DOH emergency hiring and the mobilization of medical students, and armed services, medical auxiliaries from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the PNP (Philippine National Police), the PCG (Philippine Coast Guard), and the Bureau of Fire,” Galvez added.
Galvez said the NTF is in close coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for active mobilization of military doctors and nurses to augment the health services.
“And also, we need to review the prioritization of cluster or the centers of gravity in order to protect our economic, health, and social risk areas,” he said.
The vaccine czar emphasized the great economic risks with the increasing number of Covid-19 cases.
“And it has been proven that prioritizing highly urbanized and densely populated areas, we need to prioritize in order to increase the coverage in certain areas and further protect the gains that we have earlier achieved,” Galvez added.
Galvez enumerated the government’s key points and tasks to prevent a surge of Covid-19 infections after the Christmas holidays.
“We need to find and vaccinate the unvaccinated,” he said.
Galvez also emphasized the need to provide additional protection to about 20 million fully vaccinated individuals through administering Covid-19 booster doses.
“We need also to expand our vaccination to five to 11 years old to further ensure the opening of classes and open restriction to minors,” he added. “And lastly, we need to increase demand in order to efficiently manage our vaccines administration and prevent unnecessary wastage.”
Galvez also reminded the LGUs that they have to reach at least 70 percent to 100 percent of their vaccination coverage.
“We need to revisit the realities that our people’s protection should be further expanded and enhanced through the administration of boosters,” he said.
Galvez said those regions that have reached 70 percent of their total population should ramp up their booster vaccination.
These areas include 17 cities and one municipality in National Capital Region; cities of Angeles, Mabalacat, Meycauayan, San Fernando, San Jose Del Monte, Bataan, and Tarlac in Central Luzon; cities of Antipolo, Batangas, Cabuyao, General Trias, Imus, Lipa, San Pablo, Sto. Tomas, Tagaytay, Tanauan, Trece Martires, and Cavite province in Calabarzon; cities of Baguio, Laoag Vigan, Dagupan, Urdaneta, San Fernando, Tuguegarao, Santiago, Cauayan, and Legazpi in Luzon; cities of Roxas, Bacolod, Iloilo, Cebu, Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue, Minglanilla Tabiliran, Dumaguete, Ormoc, and Tacloban in Visayas; as well as cities of Zamboanga, Dipolog, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Kidapawan, Butuan, Ozamiz and municipality of Ipil in Mindanao.
Source: Philippines News Agency