PH health facilities unprepared for COVID pandemic – Galvez

By: Krissy Aguilar - Reporter / @KAguilarINQ - Inquirer.net | July 30,2020 - 03:13 PM

Inquirer file photo

MANILA, Philippines — National Task Force COVID-19 chief implementer  Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr. on Thursday admitted that the country was unable to prepare and invest in its health facilities prior to the pandemic.

Galvez added that there are other “variables” which that came into play which is why the country’s situation should not be compared to other countries’ COVID-19 response.

“Nakita rin natin na as a nation, we were unable to prepare yung mga health facilities. Kung makikita natin karamihan sa mga health ano natin, we were not able to invest as a nation sa health facilities natin,” Galvez said in a press briefing in Quezon City.

(We see that as a nation, we were unable to prepare the health facilities. We were not able to invest as a nation in our health facilities.)

“Kung makikita natin, lalo na sa mga ibang nasa regional areas, tignan natin sa Region 4A, nakita natin walang halos level 3 na hospital doon. Kaya makikita natin na mao-overwhelmed yung ating sistema dahil yung preparation time natin for building up our capacity supposed to be dapat three to four administration pa,” he went on.

(If we look at regional areas, for instance in Region 4A, there are almost no level 3 hospitals there. That’s why it is being overwhelmed because our preparation in building up our capacity was supposed to be done three to four administrations ago.)

The Department of Health (DOH) has warned that the country’s health system is “close to being overwhelmed” as hospitals start to run out of beds for COVID-19 patients.

“Ang medyo mahirap na nakita natin dito sa atin yung behavioral culture na ng mga tao natin, nakita natin ang daming mga violations. Yun ang nakikita natin na isa sa mga hindrances at challenges natin,” Galvez said, when asked what the country was doing wrong even as neighboring countries have started recording decreased  COVID-19 cases.

(What was a little tough that we observed here was the behavioral culture of our people. We saw that there were many violations that are among our hindrances and challenges.)

When the worldwide economy experienced “contraction,” Galvez said many overseas Filipino workers (OFW) returned to the country.

“So instead na ma-test natin yung ating mga LGUs [local government units], more than 6,000 a day dito sa NCR [National Capital Region], nabubuhos natin sa OFW. At the same time, during the lockdown, naging collateral din yung ating economy,” he said.

(Instead of testing the LGUs, more than 6,000 OFWs here in NCR are being tested. At the same time, during the lockdown, our economy became collateral.)

Amid criticisms in the government’s pandemic response, Malacañang earlier said there will be “major changes” in its efforts which include “massive” testing, “reintegrated” contact tracing, and the establishment of more isolation facilities.

The Philippines has surpassed the China’s COVID-19 cases as of Wednesday afternoon with 85,486 infections.

One thousand nine hundred sixty two patients have so far died while 26,996 others recovered.

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TAGS: COVID-19, Galvez, Hospitals, IATF

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