CEBU CITY (29 June 2020) — The efficient management of isolation and quarantine facilities will help decongest hospitals in the city and enable their medical staff to better handle severe COVID-19 cases, according to Melquiades Feliciano who is assisting Cebu coronavirus management overseer Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu.

In an interview with a local radio station here on Monday, Feliciano noted that if mild and moderate cases, as well as suspected and probable ones are taken to these facilities, doctors will be able to focus on serious COVID-19 patients brought to hospitals.

“Kailangan natin i-enhance ‘yung ating system para maiwasan ang pagdiretso ng tao sa hospitals. Mayroon tayong Barangay Isolation Centers (BICs) and quarantine facilities. Kapag naayos natin ito, tiyak ang pagdecongest ang hospitals,” Feliciano said.

He noted that these isolation and quarantine are well-equipped and manned by experienced health workers who are capable of taking good care of their patients.

“Mayroon tayong health workers and medical frontliners na assigned sa mga isolation centers and quarantine facilities to care and attend to the needs of the patients,” Feliciano said.


COVID-19 pandemic still a medical issue, but military is here to help

Meanwhile, Feliciano, a retired major general, responded to claims made by activists that Cebu City is “militarizing” its approach in addressing the coronavirus pandemic.

He explained that COVID-19 is a medical issue, and the main task of the military and police is to strictly enforce the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) guidelines in the city which has seen a spike in coronavirus cases over the past few weeks.

“Medikal ang issue na ito. Doctors ang authority. Nandito lamang po ang military to support the health workers in the prevention of spread and management of patients,” Feliciano said.

“They’re here to see to it that the ECQ guidelines are implemented. The city needs assistance in the implementation of the ECQ,” he added.

“Kahit ano pong gawin nating medical intervention, if people are violating the rules, the minimum health standards, hindi pa natin mai-stop ‘yung threat. The priority effort here is medical intervention. In fact, medical practitioners ang advisers natin,” he stressed.


Suggestions, criticisms welcome

Feliciano said he welcomes suggestions as well as criticisms as these will help improve their work.

“We welcome suggestions and criticisms so as to improve our approaches. Marami rin namang magagandang suggestions at valid criticisms iyang mga ‘yan. Ito ay makakatulong para tama ang aming gawin,” he said.

Feliciano also expressed optimism that the health situation in the city will soon improve, as long as the systems and protocols are in place and effectively implemented by the local government.

“Nandito kami para tumulong. Gusto namin na at the soonest possible time mag-open na ang Cebu for livelihood. But right now, [the] lives of the Cebuanos are given more priority than livelihood,” he said.###