The Davao Oriental Provincial Task Force on coronavirus disease (Covid-19) said it has mobilized barangay local government units to better manage the contagion in their communities.
In a statement Thursday, the provincial government said the initiative—dubbed as “No Losses in Diseases (NLD): Kabarangay Kontra Covid-19”—is mandated under a local executive order that empowers barangay officals to take the lead in screening and surveillance, monitoring, contact tracing, isolation, and referral of Covid-19 patients.
Dr. Reden Bersaldo, Provincial Task Force on Covid-19 action officer, said swab testing will remain under the jurisdiction of the municipal and city local governments.
Bersaldo said it is critical to empower the barangays, especially that the screening at the provincial borders have been stopped, coupled with the current easing of the quarantine restrictions.
He said health workers are now slowly shifting their attention back to other programs that have been set aside in the last four months following the pandemic.
“Our health workers are also exhausted and they cannot go on guarding the borders forever, particularly because we don’t know when this pandemic will end or when the vaccine will be developed,” he said.
As to the community integration and mobilization, the NLD Kabarangay Kontra Covid-19 will be headed by the village chief.
Working under him are five teams who will take charge of the screening and surveillance, monitoring and reporting, contact tracing, isolation, and the referral, the provincial government said.
“I am expecting that the barangays will not find it difficult to adopt these strategies since they have already been doing it for months since the start of our fight against Covid-19. The only difference now is that they are more organized and their roles are more defined,” Bersaldo said.
Under the program, the barangays are also required to ensure the availability of the Barangay Isolation Units, Covid Info desk especially for barangays without phone signal, and a transport vehicle, among other responsibilities.
As part of strengthening surveillance, the barangays are allowed to set up barangay checkpoints as long as they are not placed along the national highway.
These checkpoints will only be allowed to do temperature checks and have people entering the barangay to fill out log-in forms. (PNA)