Davao City to conduct anti-terror simulation drill

Robie de Guzman   •   October 6, 2020   •   463

The Davao City government has announced it will conduct a community exercise to test the residents’ cooperation with authorities and reaction to terrorism incidents in line with the city’s campaign on the “culture of security.”

In a statement issued on Monday, the city government said the Task Force Davao will hold next week the anti-terrorism simulation drill, which will evaluate the cooperation of city residents in reporting suspicious persons in line with its campaign dubbed as “may nakita, dapat magsalita.”

“The exercise also aims at eliminating the tendency of the public to panic, instead develop or increase their level of vigilance and aggressiveness in the fight against terrorism. This is also a test on impact of flashing or disseminating the identity of suspected terrorists to the public,” it added.

Task Force Davao Commander Col. Consolito Yecla said that this is the first time that the public will be involved in the city’s anti-terrorism simulation exercise. 

“What we want to happen is to test how the individuals will react without causing panic in the City,” Yecla said. 

In the scenario, the Public Safety and Security Command Center (PSSCC) through the Central 911 will announce using radio stations and other means of communication the presence of 25 persons disguising as terrorists.

Each establishment, from churches, hotels and inns, restaurants, malls, and government establishments, will be targeted by five actors.  

Once the “terrorist” is reported either to TFD, DCPO (Davao City Police Office), or the PSSCC, it will be counted as “neutralized” by the sector.

Yecla urged everyone, especially establishment owners and their clientele, to participate in the community exercise. 

Davao City boosts tracing; probes possible link of first COVID-19 variant case

Robie de Guzman   •   February 18, 2021

The city government of Davao on Thursday said it has stepped up the investigation and contact tracing on the possible source of the city’s first known case of the B.1.1.7 variant of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) first detected in the United Kingdom.

This is after the city reported a case of a 10-year old male who tested positive for the new variant last week.

Dr. Ashley Lopez, the acting chief of the City Health Office, said the case was among the sixth batch of samples sequenced by the Philippine Genome Center on February 8, in which 3 of the 19 new cases of the B.1.1.7 in the country were traced in Davao Region.

Two of the cases are from Davao de Oro and the other one is from Davao City.

Lopez said the health office immediately investigated the case and conducted tracing for the patient’s close contacts.

“The boy was immediately isolated after he tested positive on January 18. He was isolated for 10 days because he was asymptomatic,” he said.

“After 10 days the boy was sent home and continued quarantine for four more days,” he added.

The child has fully recovered on February 1 but remains in quarantine at home, according to Lopez.

The patient’s grandmother, whom he had contact with during the holidays, recently completed a 21-day quarantine. His parents have already taken RT-PCR tests and both have yielded negative results.

The city health official said there is no clear evidence yet on how the boy contracted the B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant.

“The family has no history of travel even in the past year and has no known contact with a suspected UK variant or foreigner. We can’t find a history of exposure to a probable UK variant,” Lopez said based on their assessment.

He said there is no evidence of community transmission of the coronavirus variant in the city.

Davao City identifies 7 vaccination sites for COVID-19 immunization program

Robie de Guzman   •   February 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The city government of Davao has identified seven vaccination sites for the expected rollout of the COVID-19 immunization plan this month.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Davao City Health Office (CHO) head Dr. Ashley Lopez said that aside from the A. Mabini Elementary School in Bangkal, they have already identified additional vaccination sites for the city.

These are the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), University of Southeastern Philippines, Ateneo de Davao University-Matina Campus, and three branches of the University of Mindanao namely Guianga, IIang, and Bolton campuses.

Lopez said each vaccination site will have three teams comprised of 18 members.

A separate composite team will also be an deployed to the site to monitor any adverse effect on recipients following the immunization.

“We have already organized our vaccination teams composed of at least six members per team made up of a supervisor which is a physician, registration, and screening also a physician or a nurse or a midwife, one counselor, one vaccinator and two staff that is responsible for recording and documentation,” he said.

“For monitoring, we have the paramedic nurse and midwife and surveillance officer [that] we will put up in the vaccination site, composed of three teams, that’s about six staff that will be responsible for the composite team,” he added.

Security personnel will be also deployed to maintain peace and order in the vaccination areas, Lopez said.

“For our queuing and crowd control, we have tapped local officials from the barangay captains, security personnel from PNP and barangay tanods, which is more or less 20 designates for a particular vaccination site,” he added.

The city health office also instructed district health offices in Davao City to identify at least one vaccination site within their area of responsibility.

“Aside from these seven approved vaccination sites in Davao City, we will going to add up additional at least 13 to 14 more vaccination sites from the district health offices,” he said.

Davao City earlier conducted simulation exercises in preparation for the arrival, transport, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in the city.

DOH, Davao City hold COVID-19 vaccine deployment simulation

Robie de Guzman   •   February 11, 2021

The Davao City government and the Department of Health (DOH) Region XI have conducted a simulation exercise for the transport and handling of the COVID-19 vaccines expected to arrive in the country soon.

DOH-XI regional director Dr. Anabelle Yumang said the simulation held on Wednesday is one of the critical steps in ensuring that the vaccines will be delivered in a timely and safe manner as it aims to identify the strengths and gaps in the end-to-end supply chain system.

“That means that from the conduct of the loading, transport, unloading, receiving and inspection of the vaccine will be reviewed by the whole team to assess the best practices, as well as what needs to be improved during this activity,” Yumang was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the city government’s public information office.

Dr. Ashley Lopez, acting City Health Officer, also said that the simulation exercise was necessary since time and motion is important in preserving the vaccines.

“Time and motion are very important so that we can preserve the vaccines. As we know, we have limitations in the vaccine and we cannot afford to have even single spoilage. And that’s why we have to assure from the transport down to the facility, para ma-regulate po natin yung mga vaccine,” Lopez said.

The simulation exercise involved the arrival of the aircraft at the Davao International Airport and the transportation of vaccines to the molecular laboratory of the Southern Philippine Medical Center (SPMC) for inspection.

The simulation team completed the total running time and motion process in 34 minutes and 58 seconds.

Yumang said the process will be reviewed to assess the best practices as well as what needs to be improved to shorten the time of transportation.

They are also looking at the aspect of monitoring the vaccine temperature to ensure that no fluctuation will occur while it is in transit to the storage facility.

Yumang said they don’t have a definite date yet on the arrival of the vaccine in the city but based on information from the DOH national office, the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines is expected to arrive in the Philippines on Friday, February 12.

No information was also given as to what brand of vaccine will first arrive in the city but they are particularly preparing for handling of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, since these are the only ones that require an ultra-low refrigerator with a temperature of -70°C to -80°C for storage, she added.

However, the only facility with ultra-low freezer storage in the city is the government-owned Los Amigos Molecular Laboratory.

Dr. Ricardo Audan, OIC Medical Center Chief of SPMC, said the ultra-low refrigerator that the SPMC has purchased is yet to arrive on February 19.

If Pfizer vaccines will arrive before the SPMC’s ultra-low freezer is delivered, Yumang said they will endorse the vaccines to the Los Amigos Molecular Laboratory even though it has not yet been licensed as a testing laboratory since they are only using the freezer.

The Los Amigos laboratory has a capacity of 35,000 vials. It was also already inspected by the DOH and FDA.

Yumang said they will conduct another simulation exercise for the transport of vaccines to Los Amigos, which is farther from the Davao International Airport. 

The National Task Force against COVID-19 and DOH-Manila earlier conducted a simulation exercise for the arrival of the vaccines at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and its transportation to hospitals and storage facilities in Metro Manila.

Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said they will conduct another simulation exercise for the deployment of vaccines to other vaccine central hubs in Visayas and Mindanao before actual the arrival date of the COVID-19 vaccines.

The Philippine government earlier said it is expecting to receive 117,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine next week.

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