The San Carlos City government, through its Emergency Operations Center will conduct surveillance testing or swab testing on coronavirus disease 2019 among bedridden individuals.
Sangguniang Panlungsod Member and EOC commander, Dr. Wilmar Yap, announced the plan on Dec. 7 amid the increasing number of COVID-related deaths, where most of the fatalities were bedridden individuals, who have not been outside of their respective homes for a very long time, a press release from the city said.
“This is also one way of knowing if members of their households are COVID-19 carriers so we can provide them health assistance, capture asymptomatic individuals, and prevent further the spread of the virus,” Yap said.
He ordered punong barangays to provide the EOC with a list of bedridden individuals in their respective areas so testing can be done soon after preparations are completed.
He also urged them to strictly monitor those under home quarantine and apprehend violators of minimum health protocols, like wearing of face masks, face shields, and social distancing.
Several punong barangays, however, said they need police assistance when they conduct operations against violators of health protocols, adding that they lack manpower to rebuke offenders, the press release said.
Punong Barangay Francis Eusebio of Barangay 2 said during the EOC meeting that they also discovered that there are customers of certain establishments who carry firearms.
“We need police assistance, especially when it comes to cases like this, since we cannot directly reprimand these people to avoid tension while keeping the safety of our barangay personnel,” he said.
Barangay Rizal Kagawad Rayan Joshua Olvido, on the other hand, said they need the assistance of the police during monitoring operations since they also lack manpower because their Barangay Public Safety Officers or tanods are deployed to different COVID-19 facilities in their area.
Barangay 3 Captain Laurito Dela Rita said they only have two village health workers who are assigned somewhere else, making the monitoring of quarantined individuals in their area very hard.
Joe Recalex Alingasa, EOC manager, suggested to the punong barangays that, if possible, they should just focus their monitoring operations in densely populated areas in their barangay or exercise multi-tasking among the personnel.
SP Member, Engr. Clint Mansueto, meanwhile, encouraged punong barangays to regularly attend the EOC meeting so they can also air out the concerns in their areas of responsibility and be acted upon by the EOC.