As the number of COVID-19 cases in the country rises, netizens from various parts of the Philippines are taking to social media to rally their communities to help medical frontliners. This morning, March 29, the hashtag #PPEfor EasternVisayas trended on Twitter at the number 5 spot, showing the unified effort of the youth of Tacloban to get the attention of the Office of the Vice President (OVP). The OVP has been actively supplying various hospitals with much needed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Netizens shared photos of frontliners in Tacloban City who have resorted to wearing raincoats and garbage bags to protect themselves in the line of duty.
“These people are picking up possible PUIs and transporting them to designated hospitals wearing only raincoats and sometimes garbage bags,” says Twitter user Esther Vanhomrigh.
Their efforts proved fruitful as Vice President Leni Robredo herself tweeted a response at 8:58 a.m.
“Our office is committed to respond to the many requests, including #PPEForEasternVisayas. Please bear with us as we work through challenges re: availability of supplies. Now coordinating with orgs to deliver to E. Samar. Rest assured we’re doing our best to respond as soon as we can.”
TACLOBAN ON LOCKDOWN
Mayor Alfred Romualdez placed the city under a 23-day lockdown that began at midnight on March 21. Inquirer.net reported: “While the ‘intensified restrictions’ are in full force, some non-residents could still be allowed entry to the city. These include doctors; nurses; national government officials and employees; members of the Philippine National Police; Armed Forces of the Philippines; Bureau of Fire and Protection; Coast Guard; workers in courier, cargo and delivery services; those availing medical services and surgical operations in the city; and media practitioners.”
In a video uploaded in the Tacloban City Information Office Facebook Page yesterday, City Health Office Officer-in-Charge Dr. Gloria Fabrigas said that strict measures have been put in place to regulate donations in order to strictly contain the spread of COVID-19 in Tacloban City.
Following the resolution of the Interagency Task Force (IATF) last March 24, Dr. Fabrigas said that all donations must be coursed through and registered with the City Health Office. Donors can still choose their beneficiaries, and to maintain transparency, updates regarding the distribution of donations will be posted via the Tacloban City Information Office.
Dr. Fabrigas said that as of this time, what is really needed are PPEs. Many still do not have masks, both stocks of masks and face shields are running low, as well as hazard suits. She said that right now they have 26 persons under investigation (PUIs) in the referral hospital in Tacloban. If they need to be transported to the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRM), hazard suits will be needed.
THE FIRST COVID-19 CASE IN EASTERN VISAYAS
In a news conference, Regional Director of the Department of Health Dr. Minerva Molon said that the first person to be found COVID positive in Eastern Visayas is a 51-year-old woman with travel history from Japan. She was transferred to the EVRM in Tacloban from her home in Northern Samar on March 12.
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