As ECQ takes toll on children, Salinlahi hails Marikina City for initiating COVID testing center, slams DOH over failure to do its mandate

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As ECQ takes toll on children, Salinlahi hails Marikina City for initiating COVID testing center, slams DOH over failure to do its mandate

The Salinlahi Alliance for Children’s Concerns reiterated that the prolonged enhanced community quarantine has already taking a heavy toll on children. Thus, concrete health interventions by local government units in order to help in the speedy resolution of the health crisis are very much appreciated.
Since economic activities are heavily affected, incidence of poverty, hunger and malnutrition among children of poor families exacerbated. At the same time, their routines are disrupted with limited productive activities being offered to them at home. Worse, the vulnerabilities of children to various forms of violence, abuses and exploitation also increased due to the prevailing circumstances,” said Salinlahi Secretary General Eule Rico Bonganay who expressed appreciation to the recent move of the Marikina city government in initiating a COVID-19 testing center in response to the increasing number of confirmed cases in the city.
“Such effort has demonstrated the capability and potential of the local government units in coming up with a medical solution to the pandemic. It should be recognized and replicated by other cities, especially those with high number of confirmed cases of COVID-19,” he stressed.
In a statement, the group also lambasted the Department of Health (DOH) over its failure to respond with urgency to the request of Marikina city government for the accreditation and licensing of the laboratory despite the fact that the country needs more testing centers in order to process greater quantity of tests in the coming weeks.
“The national government has already squandered months that could have been used to implement necessary public health interventions for the coronavirus pandemic. And yet, we are again wasting time due to this kind of bureaucratic red tape. The mandate of the health department is to lead the national government as well as the local government units in the fight against COVID-19. Therefore, it should refrain from doing any action and gesture that may cause disappointment and demoralization among local officials who are really working hard to help address the health crisis that we are confronting right now,” added Bonganay.
He emphasized that since there’s already a community transmission of COVID-19 in the country, the health department should work hand in hand with local government units in terms of sustained information campaign about the virus, implementation of community quarantine and general physical distancing as well as testing and contact tracing.
“It is really disappointing that after a month since the enhanced community quarantine was imposed, we haven’t seen any substantial progress. Until now, the Duterte government fails to present a clear plan on how our country deals with the public health crisis while economic relief is slow and insufficient for the people. Such issues should be addressed decisively and with urgency,” Bonganay ended. ###


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