The government has stepped up its fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) surge with the implementation of house-to-house vaccination program targeting individuals in the most vulnerable sectors.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Ano (Courtesy of DILG)

In a news briefing with President Duterte aired Thursday night, Jan. 6, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año exhorted the public to support the government’s national vaccination program by influencing their unvaccinated family members to get the COVID-19 jab.

Pointing specifically to those under the A2 and A3 categories, Año said that the public “may reach out to their respective local government units (LGUs) for their house-to-house vaccination service.”

Senior citizens are classified under the A2 category while immunocompromised individuals are bracketed in the A3 group.

Further, Año also called out business and private companies to strictly enforce health protocols and provide their personnel the necessary support as the country is hard pressed to fight the COVID-19 Omicron variant surge.

He explained that the first to be affected by the rapid virus surge are the workforce, companies, business establishments, hospitals, and government service personnel.

In the midst of the rising COVID-19 numbers, Año said that the Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel are deployed to assist the LGUs in maintaining law and order as the surge has struck public alarm and panic.

As a testament to the readiness to combat the virus surge, Año stressed that the government has set up the “Prevent, Detect, Isolate, Treat and Reintegrate + Vaccine Strategy.”

Under the program, Año noted that 81,305 contact tracers are on stand-by while 38,700 barangay health emergency response teams were established alongside 284,205 medical personnel and 68,332 support staff.

Meanwhile, Año stated that there were 30,136 quarantine facilities and 6,981 isolation facilities with 65,204 isolation bed capacities still ready to accommodate COVID-19 afflicted individuals.

With the huge number of people being infected with the virus, Año told the public to expect granular and house lockdowns, saying that if one family member gets the virus, more or less the entire family will also be afflicted.

The DILG chief added that individuals with mild symptoms should undergo home quarantine only and let the hospitals handle patients with severe COVID-19 cases.

In the same briefing, Año urged the public never to resort to panic buying of medicines for flu-like symptoms such as paracetamol referring to it only as an “artificial shortage’’ as pharmacies run out of stocks with people forming long queues in major and small drugstores.

“May enough medicine po para to treat yung (COVID-19) symptoms pero ‘yung iba kasi ay nag-i-stock na sa bahay kaya po nagkakaroon ng panic at ang pagtingin po ay parang nagkakaroon ng shortage (We have enough medicine to treat the symptoms but others have stocked in their homes causing panic with the perception of having a shortage),’’ Año explained.

Source: Manila Bulletin (