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Ex-DOH secretary: Government pandemic response 'a broken record’

By Quian Vencel Galut

PHOTO: CNN Philippines

Former Department of Health (DOH) secretary, Dr. Esperanza Cabral calls the government's coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic response “a broken record”.

“Unfortunately we sound like a broken record at this point, it’s still the same. We still have not improved in testing capacity, certainly not in contact tracing capacities, so we are not able to look for the virus where it is and how many people have it adequately,” Cabral stated in an interview with CNN Philippines on Tuesday, August 24.

Testing Czar Vince Dizon, in a virtual briefing last August 19, declares that the actions about the pandemic response are still not enough upon having an average of 60,000 COVID-19 tests conducted everyday.

According to the Philippine Medical Students’ Association, the current contact tracing ratio of the Philippines is at 1:6, far from the ideal ratio which is 1:30.



Cabral also attacks the government’s failure upon taking care of its healthcare workers.

“Then we also said that we need to look after the health professionals because if we don’t do this, nobody will take care of the people who are sick, not just the COVID, but of non-COVID cases,” the ex-health secretary pointed out.

“Look what’s happening at the moment, the healthcare professionals are so exhausted, so frustrated, so distressed that they are thinking of disengaging from the healthcare system. We really need to do something about this and fast,” Cabral added.

Cabral also urged the government to improve its response upon health related precautions and healthcare capacities such as providing equipment for the COVID-19 patients including beds, oxygen, and medicines.


Report source: Manila Bulletin