Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III, along with National Action Plan Against COVID-19 Deputy Chief Implementer Secretary Vince Dizon and Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Danilo Lim led the Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE) Team Visit in Quezon City and the launching of Mask Para sa Masa Campaign today.

The CODE initiative demonstrates active case finding strategies to prevent and eliminate clusters of community transmission of the virus. Active case finding means systematic screening and clinical evaluation of patients in the community.

The Mask Para sa Masa campaign, on the other hand, aims to provide the poor and vulnerable families with free facemasks as one way to protect them from COVID-19.

Quezon City Mayor Ma. Josefina “Joy” Belmonte expressed her appreciation to the National Government for choosing her city to host the launch of the Mask Para sa Masa campaign. She also shared the city’s best practices on prevention, which entails pro-active implementation of 48 special concern lockdowns that led to the discovery of 1,056 confirmed cases, to contact tracing and treatment. Belmonte also highlighted the city’s increased recovery rate of 96% as of 27 August 2020.

Secretary Duque underscored that the role of the local government in defeating COVID-19 is as important as that of the national government.

“We recognize the value of our local communities and individual families in winning our fight against COVID-19. We have to remember that the fight does not start in the hospitals. It starts with prevention, in our homes, communities and barangays,” the Health Chief explained.

He reminded the LGUs to vigorously implement the BIDA Solusyon campaign- B-awal walang mask, I-sanitize ang kamay, Iwas hawak sa mga bagayD-uminstansya at Alamin ang tamang impormasyon!

Barangay officials, youth leaders and volunteers from Quezon City also took the BIDA Ang May Disiplina Pledge to act as ambassadors of the minimum health standards in their respective barangays.