DILG to LGUs: Tighten health protocols, ramp up vaccination

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) urged local government units (LGUs) to strengthen the implementation of minimum public health standards and to ramp up vaccination, including boosters, to avert community transmission of the Omicron variant.

In a news release Monday, DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said vaccination, including boosters, is essential for added protection against Omicron and new coronavirus variants. The Philippines has detected at least 14 confirmed Omicron cases.

“Hinihimok po ang mga pamahalaang lokal na tiyakin ang 100% vaccination rate ng lahat ng kanilang senior citizens o A2 priority group at ang lahat ng kanilang persons with comorbidities o A3 category ayon sa payo ng DOH (We encourage local government to ensure 100 percent vaccination rate of senior citizens or the A2 priority group and persons with comorbidities),” said Año, as he urged LGUs to strengthen their prevent-detect-isolate-treat-reintegrate (PDITR) strategies.

“Maaari pong mag-house-to-house vaccination para sa A2 at A3 priority groups at makipagtulungan sa mga civil society organizations o pribadong sektor para sa ganitong community-level interventions (House-to-house vaccination for the A2 and A3 priority groups may be conducted in coordination with civil society organizations and the private sector for these community-level interventions),” he added.

The LGUs are also urged to practice active case finding through the use of their contact tracers, immediately impose granular lockdowns, and enforce allowable capacities of business establishments under the current Alert Level.

They are also advised to closely monitor the adherence to home quarantine and isolation protocols such as the conduct of daily checks in-person via mobile or telephone.

Booster shots

Citing the Department of Health, DILG spokesperson and Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said while Covid-19 vaccines remain effective in protecting from severe and critical Covid-19, it does not completely stop the transmission of the virus.

“We unknowingly pass on the virus to people around us if we do not wear our masks, sanitize our hands, practice physical distancing, and stay or meet in a well-ventilated location. Disiplina muna para sa ligtas na Bagong Taon,” he said.

Since December 22 last year, a single dose of booster shot for all fully vaccinated adults above 18 years old may be given as early as three months after the second dose of a two-dose series (AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer and Sinovac) and two months after the single-dose Janssen.

“We hope that more Filipinos can avail of the booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in 2022. You can get a booster using the same vaccine or another vaccine brand based on DOH advisory and the availability of brands in vaccination centers,” Malaya said.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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