MANILA, Philippines — Two members of the House of Representatives have called on the national government to fast track measures to combat the COVID-19 Omicron variant and prevent the rapid spread of the virulent viral disease.
House Committee on Ways and Means chairperson and Albay 2nd District Representative Joey Salceda said that the government must see to it that isolation areas are ready and prepared for the surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in hospitals and other health care facilities.
Salceda said treatment facilities and unused isolation centers must be reactivated in preparation for the Omicron variant so that isolating COVID-19 patients will be swift.
“So, if we can isolate the infected and treat them quickly, we should do alright. Of course, that will require some flexibility in treatment capacity again. So, we need to reactivate disused or unused isolation centers in preparation for Omicron,” he said.
The lawmaker said he plans to meet with testing czar Vince Dizon and discuss with the official the capacity of the country’s isolation facilities.
Salceda also called on the Department of Health to expedite the procurement of COVID-19 therapeutics.
He further said that the Lower House is prepared for any amendment in the budget so that the government can purchase needed ventilators and other equipment and medicines in case surges in hospital admission take place.
Meanwhile, BHW Partylist Representative Angelica Natasha Co has called on the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to immediately release to local government units their share of the approved Php5.024 trillion 2022 national budget.
Co said the budget will be used by the LGUs in distributing free COVID-19 kits to every family in Metro Manila.
“Ang pondong ido-download sa mga LGUs ang gagamitin upang mabilis silang makapagpamahagi ng libreng COVID-19 kits sa bawat household sa buong Metro Manila. Ilan sa dapat maging laman ng COVID-19 kits ang alcohol, sabong panlaba, sabong panligo, mouthwash, at medical grade face mask,” Co said. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Nel Maribojoc)