Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. on Friday, June 4, said the impact of the strict measures being implemented by the provincial government will manifest after two weeks, only if the public will give their support.
During his regular press conference, the governor said he issued orders not to make life difficult but Executive Order 175, which prohibits non-essential travel, is the highest measure that can be observed as the province operates under the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) classification.
“We have to counter the increasing trend of transmission by reducing the circulation of people in the province, especially inter-municipality travels,” he said.
The implementation of EO 175 starting Friday until June 18 is done alongside EO 155 that provides guidelines on the implementation of the minimum public health standards under MGCQ. EO155 was issued on May 15, 2021.
He added that based on experience, positive cases will go down after two weeks with the strict implementation of health protocols.
“Remember Metro Manila had to go under ECQ to get a result. And it's (COVID-19 cases) going down now,” he said.
Currently, he said the towns and barangays are doing well in attending to their positive asymptomatic cases through their quarantine facilities and home quarantine.
“We are secured at the barangay level and we will be able to continue attending to our positive cases at that level,” he said, adding there are no reported transmission even if they allow home quarantine.
Meantime, another level of defense, which is the district hospitals can still stretch their bed capacities. Currently, the health care utilization rate is at 61 percent, looking after mild and moderate cases.
The Iloilo Sports Complex, which has been converted into Ligtas COVID-19 Center, is being developed into a temporary treatment and monitoring facility (TTMF) and serves as the province’s third line of defense.
The last line of defense, he said, are tertiary hospitals that handle severe cases.
The province, Defensor said, has hired nurses, nursing attendants, and technicians as well as sent beds to the Western Visayas Medical Center, one of the COVID-19 referral hospitals, to increase its capacity to accept patients.
“Right now we are practically creating additional space in our tertiary hospitals in the city so that we can achieve that level of comfort and confidence to absorb cases, which right now is at 92 cases a day,” he said.
Defensor said that although what is being implemented is not convenient, it could already be the new normal. “I am asking the understanding of everyone because we cannot implement this correctly if we will not do this together,” he said.
The Iloilo Provincial Health Office (IPHO) report showed that as of June 3, the province’s active cases already reached 1,530 out of the 8,231 cumulative cases. It has also recorded 200 deaths and the rest are recoveries. Perla Lena/PNA