The Department of Health (DOH) has not yet recorded a single case of COVID-19 among individuals seeking temporary shelter in evacuation sites.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that this was based on the latest data of the Health Emergency Management Bureau of the DOH.
“Wala pa po sa mga evacuees natin ang nagpositibo sa COVID-19. Makakaasa po kayo na patuloy naming imo-monitor ang ating evacuees at sisiguraduhin natin na patuloy ang pag observe ng minimum health standards habang sila ay naka displaced sa kanilang mga tahanan [None of our evacuees have tested positive for COVID-19 so far. We will continue to monitor our evacuees and ensure that they continue to observe minimum health standards while they are displaced],” said Vergeire during an online forum on Wednesday.
Vergeire said that those who are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 will be prioritized for testing using antigen test kits.
“Ang ating ipa-prioritize sa antigen are those with symptoms. So kapag na extract na sila ng safety officers, they will be tested with this antigen,” she said.
“I-isolate sila dahil sila ay symptomatic. Ito ang gagawin nating paraan ng test ayon sa protocol na nilabas natin na ayon sa recommendation ng Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) and World Health Organization (WHO) [We will isolate them because they are symptomatic. This is how we will do the testing in accordance with the recommendation of the Health Technology Assessment Council and the World Health Organization],” she added.
Citing data from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Vergeire said a total of 55,921 families or 223,378 individuals are currently staying in 1,570 evacuation centers in Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Bicol Region, and the National Capital Region.
Vergeire said that the DOH also deployed teams in evacuation sites to conduct disease surveillance, sanitation, hygiene promotion as well as providing mental/psychosocial support.
“Ang Disease Prevention and Control Bureau ng DOH ay nakapagbigay na ng ready to (eat) supplementary food, ferrous sulfate drops, at calcium carbonate [The DOH Disease Prevention and Control Bureau has provided ready-to-(eat) supplementary food, ferrous sulfate drops, and calcium carbonate],” she added.
Recently, the OCTA Research Group urged the government to provide adequate testing in evacuation sites to detect possible transmission of COVID-19. Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque assured that the government will implement testing in such areas.