HEALTH Secretary Francisco Duque 3rd said that he has heard the pleas of frontline healthcare workers and vowed to “revisit” the government’s current “game plan” on how to beat the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
Duque’s assurance came as over 80 medical groups asked President Rodrigo Duterte for a “timeout” and appealed for the return of Metro Manila to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) because of the rising number of Covid cases and their inability to continue coping with the situation.
According to the Department of Health (DoH), 4,963 new cases were reported on Saturday, bringing the total to 98,232, with 2,667 coming from the National Capital Region (NCR).
In a statement, Duque thanked all medical frontliners for their “work and continuing sacrifice”, and added that the government has been doing more to “care for the carers” in the last five months by providing lodging, transport, and personal protective equipment, and instituting more systematic reforms on compensation and benefits.
Echoing the President, Duque said he has heard the calls from the frontliners and that the DoH has coordinated with the National Task Force Covid-19 (NTF-Covid-19) in effectively implementing localized lockdowns with the support of the national government.
“We will revisit and include the inputs we have gathered in our overall game plan. The DoH will develop this strategy in coordination with our government and non-government counterparts in the next seven days,” Duque said.
He added that he would bring the group’s proposal to put Metro Manila under ECQ to the “full attention” of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) and “present to them more comprehensive strategies to protect our ranks”.
He added that the battle was not “hopeless”, and pushed the frontliners to strive more to stem the tide and win the war against the pandemic.