PAMPLONA, Negros Oriental, Feb. 27 (PIA) -- Palace Spokesperson Sec. Harry Roque lauded the Provincial Government of Negros Oriental for effectively managing the COVID-19 situation in the province which resulted to low cases of the corona virus infection.
Roque extended his commendation to the provincial government during his press briefing in Pamplona town held Feb. 25.
The Palace official visited the province to share updates on the government's COVID-19 vaccine program to the provincial, city, and municipal Inter-Agency Task Foce (IATF) officials and officers of the Capitol.
Roque explained that the national government will roll out COVID-19 vaccines on a "geographical priority" basis, which means the first round of inoculation will be held in areas with high cases of COVID-19 infection.
He noted that while Negros Oriental will not be included in the list of areas where the government will conduct the first round of COVID-19 vaccination, health professionals and medical frontliners can still be covered by the sectoral prioritization of the government.
"Mayroon tayong geographical priority. Uunahin natin ang matataas ang kaso. Ang galing ng governor niyo, kaunti ang kaso niyo. Kontrolado ang Covid dito. Pero lilinawin ko lahat ng health professionals will still enjoy the sectoral priority dahil uubusin natin ang lahat ng medical frontliners before we go to geographical priority (We will adhere to the geographical prioritization. We will start in in places with high number of Covid cases. You governor has effectively managed Covid-19 situation here. Cases here are low. However, I would like to clarify that health professionals will still enjoy the sectoral priority. We will cover all medical frontliners before we go to the geographical priority)," Roque told reporters in his press briefing.
He also lauded the province for establishing its own COVID-19 isolation facility and molecular laboratory inside the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital (NOPH).
Asked what other interventions can the national government provide to Negros Oriental to enhance the province's capability in handling COVID-19 situation, Roque said, "Kung kinakailangan niyo po ng mga isolation facilities mayroon pong pwedeng maibigay ang DPWH. Syempre po if you want more molecular testing facilities handa rin po tumulong ang national government (If you are in need of additional isolation facilities, DPWH can provide for it. If you also want to establish more molecular testing facilities the national government is willing to help also)."
Meanwhile, Roque announced that the first batch of Sinovac Biotech vaccines will arrive in the Philippines on Feb. 28.
He maintained that the arrival of vaccines in the country is not late.
"I don't think we are the last. There are only 10 countries that have used the vaccine. That disproves the fact that we are the last. The rest of the world still have to receive the vaccine. Pero I have to admit kung tayo po ay nag-insist on Western brands maghihintay pa rin tayo ng pagdating at hindi natin alam kung kailan darating (If we insist on Western brands, we will have to wait some time before it arrives here and we don't know when will it arrive)," he explained.
Around 600,000 vaccines are expected to arrive in the country on the said date and this will be distributed to health frontliners in the National Capital Region. (ral/PIA7-Negros Oriental)