DAVAO CITY, Nov. 23 (PIA)- The Armed Forces of the Philippines has deployed a 25-member medical contingent to Davao City in an effort to augment frontliners in controlling the surging cases of COVID-19.
The contingent arrived at around 11 a.m. at the old Davao International Airport.
The AFP medical contingent is composed of five teams. Each team is composed of one medical doctor, two nurses and two medical corpsmen. Aside from personnel they will also be bringing essential medical supplies.
These medical reinforcements are coming from the AFP's three major services (Army, Navy, Air Force) and the AFP Health Service Command.
Each medical personnel underwent precautionary swab testing and were given flu vaccination before taking their flight to Davao City.
The contingent is headed by Major Sheryl D. Balmeo of the Philippine Army Medical Corps. In the duration of their Davao deployment they will be under the operational control of the Eastern Mindanao Command (EASTMINCON).
According to AFP Deputy Chief of Staff for Civil-Military Operations Major General Benedict Arevalo, their deployment is to augment the Inter-Agency Task Force for COVID-19 efforts and increase the health system capability of the city.
"We are tirelessly working together since the COVID pandemic started, the continuous and collective efforts of the Armed Forces of the Philippines have all yielded fruitful results as we are able to provide medical service despite the growing challenges in our society," Major General Arevalo quoted the message of AFP Chief of Staff Gilbert Gapay during the ceremonial send-off at the Villamor Air Base this morning.
During the Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE) team meeting at Camp Catitipan on Nov. 18, which was attended by National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr, health authorities in Davao City has requested for added medical personnel like doctors and nurses to augment the overstretched and burdened frontliners.
On Nov. 20, the national government placed Davao City under a state of General Community Quarantine.
To control the COVID surge in Davao, the government has assigned Melquiades Feliciano, Deputy Chief Implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID-19 for the cities and Bacolod and Cebu to head the CODE teams in Davao City.
Also a One Hospital Command Center will likewise be established in Davao City to ensure an efficient referral system as private hospitals are mandated to increase their ward be occupancy by at least 20 to 30 percent.
Authorities are expecting influx of patients being admitted to hospitals and isolation facilities as the CODE team will be transporting COVID19 confirmed patients to various facilities.
"If we pluck out those on home quarantine and we tested them, including the first contact we will isolate immediately, within four weeks cases will drop, that is our experience in Bacolod which has stabilize, in Cebu which has stabilized, Batangas has stabilized including Regions 3 and 4," Sec. Galvez said during the Nov. 18 CODE team meeting in Davao City. (PIA/RG Alama)