Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas is calling on the Department of Health (DOH) to “aggressively test all PUIs (patients under investigation) and PUMs (persons under monitoring) in Western Visayas”.
In a press conference, the mayor said there is no other way of knowing whether or not a person is positive except through testing.
“People who are asymptomatic but are positive will continue to roam the city. We will have difficulties telling them not to come out of their houses,” he said.
Treñas, in pushing for the aggressive testing, said that Korea, Sweden, and Taiwan were able to control the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) because of it.
He was informed the DOH will give the city 500 test kits, though not enough, he said that at least the local government can proceed with the testing.
Iloilo City, based on the situational report released by the city’s emergency operations center, has three Covid-19 positive cases with one death as of March 31. It has 50 PUIs and 2,432 PUMs; 2,013 already completed the 14-day quarantine.
In a statement released Tuesday evening, the mayor likewise urged for the medical doctors to be provided with personal protective equipment (PPE).
“I do not want to see another doctor die because of lack of PPE,” he said.
He added that if the city can be given materials, they are ready to make their own. Ilonggos have been sewing PPE suits being provided to various hospitals in the city.
The city government, he said, only reserved PPE for its medical technologists who conduct the swab and for the personnel of the city ambulance that transport PUIs.
This week, the city received 100 sets of PPE from the Office of Presidential Assistant for Visayas Mike Dino that were immediately delivered to hospitals.
Meanwhile, Dr. Jane Juanico, head of the infectious disease cluster of the Department of Health Center for Health Development Western Visayas (DOH-CHD 6), said they are now providing local government units and local district hospitals with logistics for them to be able to test.
“Previously, the allocation was only for Covid-19 referral hospitals. We are expanding, we are giving the leeway to LGUs and allocating them with swab kits and viral transport media provided they also follow the prioritization guidelines for laboratory testing,” she said in a media interview on Wednesday.
The medical doctor said that they have difficulty accessing PPE supplies although there are already commitments and donations.
“We are expecting logistics coming from our central office,” she said. (PNA)