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LIATF Recommends MECQ For Zambo

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The Local Inter-Agency Task Force (LIATF) approved a resolution Wednesday morning recommending to the Regional IATF to place Zamboanga City under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ), a stricter classification, from Oct. 15-31, in view of the surge in COVID-19 cases.
This, even as the medical groups call for the highest restriction, ECQ, as stretched hospitals and health workers are overburdened by the shortage of bed capacity and oxygen supply, caused by increasing cases. The Office of Civil Defense recommends stricter and intensified granular lockdown.
The LIATF resolution will be submitted to the Regional IATF for endorsement to the National IATF-EID, which will make the final decision. The resolution was approved during a virtual meeting with the medical societies and groups and representatives from the business sector, presided by Mayor Beng Climaco Wednesday morning.
Mayor Climaco said stricter restrictions should be imposed to address the soaring cases, but the same should strike a reasonable balance between health and economy. To help the hospitals, she committed that the City Government will augment isolation facilities with bed capacity ranging from 2,500 to 3,000; provide free RT-PCR testing to residents once the city-owned Molecular Laboratory is operational and subject to availability of funds; intensify contact tracing; help facilitate the delivery of oxygen supply through the one oxygen command of the DOH and heighten enforcement of safety and health protocols with the help of the security sector and the barangay sita task forces.
Officials of the Private Hospital Association of the Philippines (Zambo-Basilan chapter), Philippine College of Physicians Western Mindanao Chapter (PCP), Zamboanga City Medical Society (ZCMS) and Zamboanga City Medical Center (ZCMC) relayed the situation in the hospitals amidst continuous spike in cases. Lack of beds, oxygen supply and even personnel is taking its toll, they attested.
ZCMC Chief of Hospital Dr. Afdal Kunting lamented that the COVID Referral Facility has exceeded bed capacity. He said there is an increase in number of COVID positive patients outside the COVID ward. “We are close to a total lockdown and that would be very detrimental to ZC because we are the only hospital providing tertiary care,” Dr. Kunting emphasized.
As of Oct. 5, active COVID-19 cases soared to 2,199 with 13,706 recoveries and 752 deaths.
Also present during the meeting were OCD Regional Director Manuel Ochotorena, Zamboanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry Foundation President Pocholo Soliven, Industrial Group of Zamboanga president Ariel Onesa, PHAP president Dr. Marites Maxino and representatives from the DOH among others. (Sheila Covarrubias)
(Source: City Government of Zamboanga Facebook page)
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