Three Cabinet officials will be arriving tomorrow to assess the CoViD-19 situation here.
It can be recalled that earlier, Mayor Evelio Leonardia’s sent an urgent appeal for help to President Duterte telling the latter the city’s situation has become quite “dire”.
Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, in response, informed the mayor that three Cabinet officials are arriving to meet with Bacolod officials Thursday (27 August 2020) to assess the COVID-19 situation here, and to determine the kind of immediate assistance the national government can extend to the city to help stem the spread of COVID-19, a press release from Bacolod City PIO said.
The contingent will be led by Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino and Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu along with Gen. Mel Feliciano.
The group will first visit Iloilo City today before proceeding to Bacolod where they will hold separate meetings with officials of the City and those of the province, the press release added.
Dino promised the mayor that the national government “will go all the way” and give “full support” to help Bacolod City.
Gen. Robert Ancan, of the AFP Visayas Command Center in Cebu, in a follow-up call to Leonardia, also promised to field, as soon as possible, a medical team composed of army doctors, nurses, and support health workers to augment the dwindling number of medical health workers here who are stricken with COVID-19 themselves or have resigned.
Ancan further assured the mayor of further medical equipment support after an evaluation.
In another phone call to Leonardia, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), who is also the chief implementer of the National Task Force on COVID-19, promised to catch up with the Thursday meeting of city officials with Secretary Dino. However, if he cannot make it, Galvez assured the mayor that he will come to Bacolod next week.
Galvez also promised Leonardia “to deploy Region 7 nurses and doctors there (Bacolod)” and that he will also arrange with DOH Region 6 to bring in more medical personnel to help fill the gap in the City’s need for more doctors and nurses. He will also put in place, through DOH Region 6, arrangements with certain Bacolod hotels to serve as “bend-down” facilities to take in recovering COVID patients who will be discharged earlier from hospitals, so that hospital beds can be freed to admit new critically-ill COVID patients.
Galvez also assured Leonardia that he will “deploy 5 High-Flow Nasal Cannula” to the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital and facilitate that the said hospital will have stocks of Remdesivir, an antiviral drug now used for seriously-ill COVID patients.
It can be recalled that Leonardia made an emergency and urgent appeal to Duterte earlier today [Aug. 25] to send to Bacolod, through the DOH, an augmentation team of 150 nurses, 20 doctors, and 30 medical technologists as an “emergency stop-gap measure” before the city’s health care system bogs down for lack of medical personnel in hospitals.
This appeal was made by the mayor because he was alarmed by the fact that last August 23, Bacolod hospitals had refused admission to new COVID patients saying they have already reached full capacity or that there are no more doctors and nurses to take care of new COVID patients.
“Our need for medical staff to fill up the gap in our hospitals is great, Mr. President. Patients have already died in their homes for failing to avail of emergency hospital services,” the mayor said.
These patients could have been given help had there been enough medical personnel in these hospitals, he added in his appeal.*/CITY PIO