By Priam Nepomuceno
MANILA – The Department of National Defense (DND) and all of its attached bureaus are ready to help in ongoing efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the country.
“The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on (Emerging) Infectious Diseases in which I am a member and chaired by (Health) Secretary (Francisco) Duque (III) is the one orchestrating everything related to (Covid-19). The IATF has already met nine times. The NDRRMC (National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council) is ready to support the TF. The AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) stands ready to help if needed,” Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said in a message to the Philippine News Agency Tuesday morning.
Covid-19 which was first detected in Wuhan City in Hubei province, China has so far infected 110,000 people with the global death toll placed at more than 3,800.
Meanwhile, Philippine Army (PA) spokesperson Col. Ramon Zagala said the Army is ready to respond with its medical facilities and personnel if called to assist health authorities in containing Covid-19.
“We will be on call to assist within our capability when tapped. We can provide manpower, mobility, security and possible, facilities. We can assist with medical facilities and personnel if tapped to do so by pertinent authorities,” he said in a message.
Zagala said the PA is closely monitoring its personnel and civilian human resources, dependents and their guests as part of their pre-emptive efforts against the disease.
“For now, we are closely monitoring personnel, civilian Human resources and dependents, and other guests. Those found to have high temperatures will be referred to the PA hospital while civilian guests will be informed of their temperature and will not be allowed to enter the camp,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has directed all Metro Manila Mayors and their respective barangay chairpersons as well as the Philippine National Police (PNP) to keep all students away from malls, movie houses, public markets and other crowded places to stop and contain the spread of Covid-19 in the communities.
“The President has directed all local officials in NCR from Mayor down to Punong Barangays as well as all units of the Philippine National Police to ensure that no children are seen loitering around and, if they are seen, they are to be immediately sent home to do their homework,” DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año said in a statement.
He requested the cooperation of all parents to discipline and closely supervise their children and ensure that they stay home and do their homework.
“In the Task Force meeting last night in Malacañang, the DepEd (Department of Education) said that they will give home assignments or performance tasks to all students so that they will have something productive to do during this period,” Año said. (with reports from Christopher Lloyd Caliwan/PNA)