Local governments on the frontlines of the coronavirus response

gnlm opinion

With the COVID cases on the surge, our country is inching towards 4,500 positive cases yesterday with 70 deaths. The situation is setting off alarm bells that the second wave of the virus is spreading faster than previous infections in other regions and states. The Ministry of Health and Sports is doubling its efforts in response to the fast-spreading virus, making the best use of its resources, while giving priority to three strategic responses: contact tracing, treatment and restriction. Community transmission is inevitable and the daily surge in the number of cases would require more medical facilities.
Keeping this reality in mind, the Ministry of Health and Sports has agreed with the private sector to bring in private hospitals in fighting the disease, in principle, and this measure should be speeded up as soon as possible after details about the programme have been discussed.
When it comes to fighting the pandemic, we need a robust healthcare system to tackle such pandemics. The public and private hospitals need to work in sync to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. Only when we quickly respond to the spreading virus will the outbreak be contained in a short time.
This pandemic must be tackled in a calibrated manner, and only when local and regional governments take a leading role in preparing and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, the infection would be put under control in a short time.
Local and regional governments are on the frontline, dealing with the health emergency, and mitigating the real-time social and economic impact on the poorest. They also play a critical role in fostering the solidarity of communities and making it possible for civil society to come together and contribute to the resilience of our communities.
The experts and health workers from the Ministry of Health and Sports will take responsibility for providing technical support to the local and regional authorities to ensure public health services function properly through the response.
The situation demands the Union Government, local governments and communities to engage and share the healthcare burden, challenges and successes with each other. There needs to be new forms of collaboration between urban health experts, government agencies at all levels, sanitation experts, social scientists, innovators and urban planners.

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