Photo from the UP Philippine General Hospital Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/philippinegeneralhospitalofficial/photos/a.1650598348304731/1650597904971442/?type=3&theater

Since the COVID-19 outbreak swept over the country, the health care workers of the UP Philippine General Hospital, one of the country’s COVID-19 referral centers, have been dealing with an unprecedented crisis and working round-the-clock to treat patients with COVID-19. The UP-PGH’s COVID Crisis Team now shares the five lessons they have learned over the past six months of battling against the viral pandemic.

Confused about the many issuances from your local government about the COVID-19 pandemic? The UP Resilience Institute’s Research and Creative Work team is ready to help with the launch of the second volume of the Managing the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Philippines: A Policy Sourcebook. This policy sourcebook, which is updated monthly, is a way for ordinary Filipinos to stay up-to-date with the national government’s and their local government’s latest policies and measures to defeat the viral pandemic in the country. While Volume I focused on national issuances, Volume II covers local government policies.

The good news: quarantine measures have managed to decrease local transmission and flatten the curve in Western Visayas. The bad news: a surge in imported cases in the region has led to testing backlogs and strained quarantine facilities. Given this, UP Visayas researchers and ThinkWell Philippines recommend more preparations for local transmission outbreaks in the LGUs, maintenance of minimum public health standards, and a review of the repatriation protocols in terms of testing, tracing and treatment.

As community quarantine measures are relaxed, more economic activities are being allowed at varying levels of capacity. In their Policy Note No. 7, the UP COVID-19 Response Team presents findings from their risk assessment of various job types, including proper phasing in of different jobs and manageable interventions to lessen the health risks at work.