IATF focuses on public health interventions to improve COVID-19 situation in Cebu City

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The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) is continuing its efforts to improve its public health interventions in Cebu City, where rising number of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases made it the new hotspot for the virus in the country.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, who came here to assist Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu express that “we have to be mindful of the non-pharmaceutical public health interventions.” This includes basics such as wearing of face masks, physical distancing, proper handwashing, and disinfection as well as proper etiquette on coughing.

“One imperative is the use of masks. There has been a study that a mask will give 85 percent protection. This is part of the new normal,” he said during a virtual press briefing.

“We have to be proactive, which means we need to do active case findings in the communities. Find the suspects and the probable. Those with symptoms (you have to) isolate them right away. Those without symptoms (put them under) quarantine,” he said.

The government is now prioritizing the need for efficient contact tracing through hiring contact-tracers nationwide.

Duque also said that Cebu needs to ramp up its testing capacity.

Cimatu, who was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte to oversee the national government response to the Covid-19 crisis here, observed “progress in terms of enforcing minimum health standards” in the barangays.

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