In his message during the COVID-19 Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE) meeting with Pasay City’s Task Force COVID today, Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III told the city’s local officials that the fight against COVID-19 is not a sprint but a marathon that calls for endurance.

Limang buwan na po nating binubuno ang problema natin sa COVID-19. Ito na talaga ang itsura ng laban natin. Ito’y hindi na sprint, marathon na itoPatatagan po ang laban dito kaya kinakailangan talagang maging matatag po tayong lahat,” Secretary Duque said emphasizing the importance of keeping oneself healthy in this time of pandemic.

Alam kong nakakapagod, but we just have to recharge, re-energize, reconvene, review the plans, narrow them down, then execute,” the Health Chief stressed.

The coordination meeting with the Pasay City’s Task Force COVID is part of the National Task Force’s COVID-19 Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE) initiative that demonstrates active case finding strategies for the prevention and elimination of clusters. “Active case finding” means systematic screening and clinical evaluation of patients in the community.

“Sa CODE, kapit-bisig po ang national and local governments, sa pangunguna ng local chief executives, sa pag-durog ng clusters. Tayo po ay magba-bahay-bahay, sa pangunguna ng isang healthcare worker — do house to house symptom check, immediate isolation ng mga may sakit o sintomas, and massive targeted testing kung saan ang swabbing ay ating isasagawa sa community na rin mismo,” Duque explained.

He also urged everyone to BIDA solusyon! (B-awal walang mask, I-sanitize ang kamayD-uminstansya at Alamin ang tamang impormasyon!) This according to him is the simplest yet proven measures to protect oneself.

During the CODE meeting, Mayor Imelda G. Calixto-Rubiano reported how the local government manages COVID-19 cases in their jurisdiction. She highlighted their executive ordinances, orders and resolutions that reinforced DOH’s protocols and guidelines on COVID-19. She also shared their pro-active and aggressive information drive to educate Pasay residents on how to protect themselves from COVID-19.

As of August 6, 2020, Pasay City has 871 active cases; 788 of which are mild, 64 are asymptomatic, 5 are severe, and 14 are critical. It has one (1) accredited RT-PCR laboratory, the Philippine Airport Diagnostics Laboratory.

Secretary Duque was joined by Contract Tracing Czar Benjamin Magalong, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, other DOH officials and WHO Country Representative Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe.