BFP to help move COVID-19 patients to isolation facilities
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Friday directed the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) to assist local health officials in moving mild COVID-19 patients from their home to isolation facilities.
Año said assigning the BFP in transferring to isolation facilities is nothing new since they have been doing this since the beginning of the pandemic.
“The BFP is part of the Municipal/City COVID-19 Task Forces and in this capacity they have been assisting the local health office in transporting COVID-19 patients since the start of the pandemic,” he said.
“In fact, they have so far transported 1,674 COVID patients nationwide,” he added.
He explained the BFP’s Emergency Medical Service and Special Rescue Units have the necessary health personnel and equipment in the transportation of patients and they will work closely with the Local Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (LESU) of the local government unit who takes the lead in Oplan Kalinga.
Año said since the start of the pandemic, BFP has mobilized 73.80 percent of the total BFP personnel or 20,947 officers out of their 29,383 total manpower in which assigned to different tasks as part of DILG’s efforts to defeat COVID-19.
Some 1,207 BFP vehicles nationwide have been tasked for decontamination, water rationing, flushing at control points, patient transport and other ancillary services.
“We have deployed 98 BFP EMS ambulances, 35 Rescue/HazMat vehicles, 970 firetrucks and 114 BFP service vehicles for the DILG’s over-all COVID 19 response,” he said.
Año also directed the BFP to intensify its contact tracing efforts as part of the local contact tracing and monitoring teams.
“The BFP’s contact tracing efforts have assisted in the tracing of the close contacts of some 18,871 patients,” Año said.
According to DILG, the BFP has 78 active COVID-19 cases among its ranks but most of them have mild symptoms and are recuperating.
“They are all under isolation, under treatment and are under close health monitoring. Unfortunately, we have had two deaths due to the virus from the ranks of the BFP,” Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said.
Malaya said BFP personnel are manning the Filinvest Tent Megaquarantine Facility where BFP doctors, nurses, psychologists, and administrative personnel attend to the needs of some 139 admissions.
“The BFP also man the Philippine Arena swabbing facility where 96 testing booths conduct swabbing and collect specimens for laboratory examination,” he said. Ella Dionisio/DMS