CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Tuesday advised local government unit (LGU) officials in Central Luzon to strictly implement the “PDITR” (Prevent, Detect, Isolate, Treat and Reintegrate) strategy against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) alongside the rollout of the vaccination program.
Duque, one of the special guests during the ceremonial vaccination of A4 workers in the region at the Clark Freeport Zone, cited the need to sustain the PDITR strategy while the government pushes an aggressive vaccination program.
He likewise reminded the local chief executives to strictly comply with the protocols of the Inter-Agency Task Force and the Department of Health (DOH), particularly on the minimum public health standards.
“Let us not lose track that vaccination is simply one of the multi-pronged strategies of the national government but as well as the local governments. Huwag po nating kalimutan na mentras tayo ay nagbabakuna at pinapataas ang porsiyento ng mga mababakuhan, napakahalaga na tumalima tayo sa mga panuntunan ng IATF at DOH patungkol sa minimum public health standards (Let us not forget that while we are vaccinating and trying to increase the percentage of those vaccinated, it is important to follow the protocols of the IATF and DOH) concerning the minimum health standards),” he said during the livestreamed event.
He also thanked the local officials for their efforts in the fight against Covid-19 that resulted in the region’s low-risk classification.
“Mababa na ang inyong two-week growth rate at negative 41 percent. And the average daily rate for the past two weeks has gone down significantly to 2.31 Covid-19 cases per 100,000 population. That is a big accomplishment and even your health care utilization rate is now low at 33 percent. So, all of these, have led to the adjustment of the classification of the entire region into a low-risk,” he said.
Duque also thanked the healthcare workers as he appealed to the public to understand their work.
“Ako po ay humingi ng pang-unawa in behalf of the health care workers. Huwag po nating maliitin ang kanilang mga trabaho. Minsan ay nagkakamali rin sila (I am asking for understanding, in behalf of the health care workers. Let us not belittle their works. Sometimes, they commit mistakes) and this is human error and that each of us here, you and I are prone to commit especially if we are overstressed, overworked and overtasked to the limits and so, let us honor all our health care workers because without them, I do not think that we will win the war against Covid-19. Let us include them in our best wishes, our prayers and always put them in high regard as we all move together to finally put an end to the scourge caused by Covid-19,” he said.
National Task Force Against Covid-19 Deputy Chief Implementer, Secretary Vince Dizon, who was present in the event, said the vaccination of economic front-liners is one way of thanking them for their sacrifices amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I would like to thank our workers, marami pong kayong tiniis (you have lot of sacrifices). Despite Covid-19, they had never stop. And I think now is our way to thank them by providing them the much-needed vaccines,” he said.
Five personnel of the production unit of the Luen Thai International Group Philippines Inc., a locator of the Clark Freeport and one of the leading manufacturers of fashion and lifestyle apparel and accessories, were first to receive the vaccine during the symbolic vaccination ceremony.
The firm has about 15,000 workers in the Philippines, with 3,900 of them working in Clark and San Fernando. The company also has manufacturing sites in Cebu, Tarlac, and Bataan.
Meanwhile, Manuel R. Gaerlan, president and CEO of Clark Development Corporation, said they will continue to partner with their locators to vaccinate more employees inside the Freeport.
“Thank you sir, for bringing the vaccines to Clark Freeport Zone. The locators and workers of the Freeport are very happy and lucky to be the recipients of the vaccines. I hope our workers would continue supporting our government, supporting the management of their respective companies. A lot of companies are struggling, but the only thing that we can do now is work together. I hope labor, management, and the government would continue working together to survive this pandemic,” Gaerlan said.
As of July 5, the total confirmed Covid-19 cases in the region is 128,956 with 4,314 active cases. The total recoveries is 121,430 while the total deaths is 3,212. (PNA)