BY CHRYSEE G. SAMILLANO
Retired Maj. Gen. Melquiades Feliciano, Inter-Agency Task Force chief implementer for Visayas, urged barangay captains to intensify their monitoring of houses of COVID-19 patients in their barangays, during the launching of the One Hospital Command Center and the BacTrac Contact Tracing System at the Bacolod City Government Center lobby, yesterday.
Feliciano said he received information that there are some COVID-19 patients in the barangays who leave their houses before the lapse of their quarantine period. So he directed the barangay captains to monitor these houses that are placed on lockdown.
If these houses are on lockdown, COVID-19 patients are not supposed to go out because they are provided for by city for two weeks, Feliciano said.
The baranagy captains are the focal persons in the fight against COVID-19, he said.
Feliciano also said the Emergency Operations Center has systems and processes which they are developing and their actual implementation is at the barangay level.
Most of COVID-19 cases in Bacolod are considered controlled cases because the majority involve household transmissions, he said.
Feliciano also said they have implemented the One Hospital Command Center in Cebu and found it to be effective in decongesting hospitals and COVID-19 patients can be given immediate attention.
One of the important factors in the fight against COVID-19 is the health capacity that the hospitals can extend to COVID-19 patients. If they have the complementary efforts of the hospitals this will help defuse the mortality of COVID-19 patients in Bacolod, Feliciano said.
Giving proper health care to the patients, will be a big help in reducing the number of COVID-19 related deaths, he said.
Bacolod has about 246 COVID-19 beds allocated by seven hospitals. But due to the lack of health workers, there are only about 168 COVID-19 beds functioning, he said.
Feiciano also explained the referral system to the barangay captains will help provide proper health intervention or programs to those who are infected and will also help individuals who are symptomatic, as many are not given immediate intervention.
Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia said having one central control, which was patterned after Cebu, had been proven to be effective and a success there. This is based on actual experience.
From 300 cases a day, this went down to a single digit in Cebu. This is what they want to happen in Bacolod and to achieve that it must have the continuing support and cooperation of the people and they start with the barangay captains, he said.
Based on statistics, a huge number of cases are in the cities because that is where a large number of the population is. Bacolod City is the most crowded city in the whole of Western Visayas. With all these factors, the more people should be extra careful, Leonardia said.
Meanwhile, Feliciano said the heart of their operation is the contact-tracing and with the BacTrac Contact Tracing System, it will be easier for the contract tracer to know and trace the individual’s activities and his close contacts.
Electronically, the program will help and make it easy for them to determine the activities of an individual in the past days, he said.
Feliciano said the program will be adopted and implemented by business establishments and in the barangays. This will be a consolidation of the data so it will be easy for them to extract and do the tracing activities.
They will not leave Bacolod until everything is stable like what they did in Cebu. When they left Cebu, their Emergency Operations Center (EOC) as well as the system and health protocols were in place, he added.*