The strong leadership of Gov. Abet Garcia has been cited as the key in containing COVID-19 cases in Bataan by the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 Chief Implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. “The province of Bataan and other local governments here, particularly Mariveles, quickly responded to the then increasing COVID 19 cases”, Galvez said during the Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic team visit here on Tuesday.
“From the time that there was a spike in your cases, you were able to bring it down to a 48 percent negative growth in just a matter of two weeks”, he commended local officials.
Galvez also cited the governor for his earnest desire to continuously contain the spread of the disease in the province by taking contact tracing seriously. Baguio City Mayor Benjie Magalong, the country’s contract tracing czar also discussed effective tracing techniques in the event.
The NTF chief also said Bataan has a very good ratio of 1:10 to 1:15 in terms of contact tracing efforts, as compared to just 1:4 in other places. He added the province was also able to train more than 15 percent of its personnel. Galvez said that one of the best practices of the province is its aggressiveness in terms of testing and isolation.
He also praised the innovative practices of the provincial government of Bataan like Kusina sa Barangay, and the zero-billing policy in hospitals. He also commended the establishment of Kindness Centers in Mariveles.
Moreover, despite these efforts, the NTF stressed the need to incorporate and strengthen active case finding and syndromic surveillance to sustain the downward trend in active cases.
Aside from that, he added that there is also a need to concentrate on prevention and detection, especially now that there is a necessity to open up the economy.
Meanwhile, in his message in the event, DILG Usec. Jonathan Malaya announced the provision of wages of the additional 600 contract tracers, which the province will hire.
Mariveles Mayor Jocelyn Castaneda said no one expected the pandemic as she thanked the governor, barangay officials, and other officers for the help in continuously reducing the number of active COVID 19 cases in their town.
DOH Asec. Maria Francia Laxamana talked on the operational framework of COVID 19 response in workplaces. Mariveles Vice Mayor Lito Rubia also joined the event. He has been expressing his profound gratitude to the governor for the all-out efforts to fight the dreaded virus in their town that included providing food relief assistance.