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Health expert lauds government as COVID-19 reproduction rate goes down to 0.80 percent

Special on Saturday host Cesar Chavez with guest Dr. Tony Leachon, public health expert

MANILA—As the reproduction rate of COVID-19 goes down to 0.80 percent, a public health expert on Saturday, October 17, lauded the efforts of the government in the fight against the pandemic for effectively bringing down the virus transmission from an infected individual to less than one person at present.

Dr. Tony Leachon, in an interview in DZRH Special On Saturday (SOS) program, commended the close coordination of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to the local government units (LGUs), the National Task Force Against COVID-19 and the cooperation of the citizens regarding the positive development of decreasing reproduction rate all over the country.

Leachon noted the significant improvement of the reproduction rate from 1.8 percent to 0.80 percent while the daily reported positive cases had also gone down from a high number of 6,000 cases to 1,000 cases per day.

He gave credit to the LGUs in the National Capital Region (NCR) for stepping up to bring down the transmission rate and the public health education through the civil society groups that transformed social behavior to achieve a less than one person reproduction rate of 0.80 percent.

“Napakaimportante mga kababayan ang public health education that will translate into social behavior, yan po ang success factor ng Pilipino ngayon sa National Capital Region. Number two, yong LGU leadership natin matindi, they keep up the health care capacities. Tapos yong testing in-improve masyado. Ngayon ang mga LGU ngayon ang turnaround time nila 48 hours or less,” Leachon said.

(My fellow citizens, public health education is very important since it will translate into social behavior, which is the success factor of Filipinos now in the National Capital Region. Number two, the leadership of our LGUs is great, they keep up the health care capacities. More so, the testing has been greatly improved. The turnaround time of the LGUs now is 48 hours or less.)

The pandemic handling in the country has improved much from the second week of March when the first lockdown was declared wherein it took two weeks to know the results of the tests, and then in April the turnaround time of test results was five days while there were instances when patients had died but the test results were still not available.

Leachon also took note of the conscious efforts of the LGUs in the NCR to develop their health care and testing capacities.

He said as the economy further opens, the people must continue to strictly observe the health protocols that are, physical distancing, wearing of face mask and face shield, washing of hands and disinfecting in order to control the pandemic.

Leachon warned that the result of the testing must be available within 24 hours or less to effectively control the situation.

He said the Philippine strategy of strictly prohibiting the senior citizens from exposing themselves outside of their homes resulted in the low cases of deaths in contrast to what happened in Europe with very high number of deaths because the senior population were getting the disease.

Leachon cited Philippine Health Corporation’s data that 7 percent of the country’s population belong to 60 years old and above while 25 years old and below are 50 percent of the population and those 25 to 59 years old are 43 percent of all Filipinos.

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