QC releases guidelines on COVID-19 preparedness measures during rainy season

The Quezon City government has released guidelines on dealing with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) during floods and other disasters that may happen during the rainy season.

“Napakalaking hamon ang dala ng COVID-19 sa ating paghahanda sa anumang sakuna na madalas nangyayari tuwing tag-ulan,” said Mayor Joy Belmonte, who signed the memorandum issued to concerned city offices.

“Marami tayong dapat ikonsidera ngayon, lalo na pagdating sa physical distancing at paghihiwalay ng mga pasyenteng may COVID-19 kapag kinailangang lumikas at magtungo sa evacuation center ng mga tao,” she added.

She said the guidelines are intended to ensure continuing mitigation of the pandemic even in the course of dealing with floods, typhoons and other perennial rainy season disaster risks.

Belmonte’s order mandates the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DRRMO) to maintain a list of flood-prone areas and identify evacuation locations for each place, particularly schools and covered courts.

In addition, an up-to-date list of suspected and confirmed COVID-19 cases in each flood-prone area will be maintained so they can be transported and sheltered separately from the general evacuee population.

The DRRMO will also ensure that responders have the appropriate personal protective equipment in the course of rescue or evacuation operations and keep proper physical distancing during the course of transportation to the evucation facilities.

The City Health Department (CHD), in coordination with the SSDD and the concerned barangay, will designate a health officer for each evacuation facility to ensure that health measures are strictly implemented.

It is also tasked to conduct regular health checks for both evacuees and responders for COVID-19 symptoms.

Barangays are mandated to survey flood-prone and other high-risk areas in their jurisdiction and identify nearest suitable evacuation sites, and properly inform the DRRMO.

They will also provide sufficient manpower to any evacuation or rescue operations in their locality.

The Schools Division Office (SDO) of Quezon City, for its part, will coordinate on the use of schools that will be identified as evacuation centers.