COVID-19 Crisis: Muntinlupa records slowing down of COVID-19 transmission, residents urged to continually observe minimum health protocols

A downward trend is gradually seen in Muntinlupa City as the local health office records significant reduction of active cases and slowing down of “doubling time” or the rate of transmission in the communities. Despite the improvement, the City Government urges the public not to be complacent but to continue observing minimum health protocols.

Muntinlupa City Health Officer Dra. Teresa Tuliao noted that as of September 30, there are only 213 active cases in the city from 768 cases in the beginning of the month. She said the doubling time is currently at 16.50 days and the recovery rate has further improved to 91.67%, an all-time high since the start of the pandemic.

Doubling time refers to the number of days for COVID-19 cases to double in number. The standard rate of transmission should be at 7-30 days to be considered decelerating. Tuliao said the improvement can be accounted to the city’s holistic approach in curbing COVID-19 which include surveillance-isolation-treatment strategies, intensified targeted mass testing, and contact tracing, among others.

Muntinlupa City Health Office has conducted swab tests to at least 16,777 residents as of September 30 which is equivalent to 3.10% of the city’s population. The city surpassed the national target of testing two percent of the population.

Recently, the local City Council also passed City Ordinance 2020-126 ordering the mandatory self-isolation, or admission to city isolation facilities if requirements for home quarantine are not met as certified by the City Health Office (CHO), for anyone who have undergone COVID-19 swab testing.

Hospitals, healthcare facilities, and similar establishments providing laboratory and diagnostic services were also mandated to submit daily COVID-19 related data to the local public health authority for disease surveillance and response.

Further, Muntinlupa City’s molecular diagnostics laboratory and a new mega quarantine facility are set to open next week.

Ospital ng Muntinlupa (OsMun) director Dr. Edwin Dimatatac announced the development during the Better New Normal in Munti” second virtual town hall meeting via Zoom app held on September 30 that was organized by the Muntinlupa Public Information Office headed by Tez Navarro.

Dimatatac said the construction of the OsMun’s Molecular Laboratory and delivery of medical equipment are expected to be finished by next week. The laboratory is located at the Saklolo at Gabay ng Ina at Pamilya (SAGIP) building at the back of the hospital in Alabang.

Muntinlupa City aims to operate two polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machines at the laboratory which can process 500 to 900 samples a day. COVID-19 test results may be released as early as within 24 hours.

Deputy Chief Implementer against COVID-19 Sec. Vince Dizon earlier committed to donate one RT-PCR machine to Muntinlupa’s Molecular Laboratory once the accreditation is approved by the Department of Health.

Meanwhile, the COVID-19 mega quarantine facility called We Heal as One Center being constructed in Pacwood Site, Brgy. Tunasan is also expected to be launched next week. The isolation center is a 144-bed quarantine facility constructed by the Department of Public Works and Highways and the City Government of Muntinlupa.

Each room will have a comfort room, air-conditioning unit, and supplies. Residents who will occupy the isolation rooms will be given COVID-19 essentials bag consisting of a hygiene kit, vitamins, medicine, thermometer, bedsheet, pillow blanket, and towels, among others.

Last month, the Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic (CODE) Team, headed by the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), organized a meeting with the local government officials to discuss the strategies, intervention methods and good practices against COVID-19.

Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade lauded Muntinlupa’s existing processes, policies, facilities, and equipped personnel working towards the fight against COVID-19.

“After working with the local government officials for two weeks, I can say that Muntinlupa is doing well in terms of its response efforts and there is only little work that we need to add,” Tugade said.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi says the improvement of COVID-19 situation in the city is a welcome development but warns residents not to be complacent. Fresnedi noted that while the city receives positive results in the fight against COVID-19, the public must continue to follow minimum health protocols and safety measures such as wearing of face masks, observing physical distancing and washing of hands.

As of October 1, Muntinlupa City has 4,301 confirmed cases with 3,955 recoveries, 144 reported deaths, 215 suspect cases, and 625 probable cases.

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Latest City Government of Muntinlupa details sourced from their official media release. Some parts were edited for this website.

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