THE Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV) received one million donated surgical masks to Cebu City and other areas, which will further strengthen efforts to contain transmission of Sars-CoV-2, the virus that caused the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino, Presidential Assistant for the Visayas, called his friend Kim Wong earlier to request for the latter's help.
On Wednesday, Wong turned over the donated items, which came from him and business tycoon Enrique Razon Jr.
The donation comprise of one million surgical masks and 2,000 raincoats, Secretary Dino said.
The bulk of surgical masks will be distributed to Cebu City barangays to help contain the spread of COVID-19, he said.
According to Cebu City councilors Raymund Alvin Garcia and Edu Rama, they plan to distribute the surgical masks to the barangay captains on Saturday.
Meanwhile, the raincoats will be given to the Philippine National Police so they could have protection during the upcoming rainy season as they help implement health protocols.
On the other hand, Secretary Dino again emphasized the importance of wearing masks to prevent transmission of the virus.
In reverting Cebu City to the enhanced community quarantine status, the Covid-19 Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) noted that many Cebuanos in the streets did not wear masks and did not observe social distancing.
A group of researchers connected with different universities in the U.S. analyzed the trend and mitigation measures in the three areas – Wuhan, Italy and New York.
One of the researchers published their findings in an article entitled “Identifying airborne transmission as the dominant route for the spread of Covid-19.” They concluded that the wearing of face covering ‘significantly reduces the number of infections.’
Cebu City residents would no longer have a reason to go out without face masks since the barangays will have their own supply, Secretary Dino pointed out.
He also clarified his statement that Cebu is the most prepared.
“When I said Cebu is the most prepared, I said we are most prepared in terms of logistics, Secretary Dino explained.
OPAV has been providing the personal protective equipment and medical supplies to Cebu City government, other local government units (LGUs) and hospitals in Cebu.
He then maintained that the fight against Covid-19 could not be carried out by just one person.
“The (spread of) infections could not be blamed on a single person. This (preventing the spread of the virus) is a responsibility of each and every person,' Secretary Dino said.
He explained that OPAV’s role is to ensure that ‘we have enough supply and logistics for Cebu.”
Secretary Dino also reminded LGUs of President Rodrigo Duterte's directive for LGUs to strictly observe protocols set by the Covid-19 IATF-EID.
"To discipline the people, we are calling on the LGUs , especially the barangay captains to man their posts.”
Secretary Dino then appealed to the barangay captains to set aside politics, regardless of political affiliation, to meet the crisis head-on. “Now is not the time for politics. We cannot do it alone without the help of the barangays, the sitios and the purok.”/PR