Press Release
August 5, 2020


Senator Richard J. Gordon, chairman and CEO of the Philippine Red Cross, has proposed putting up a command and control center to manage the rising number of positive Coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 cases and prevent further overwhelming the country's healthcare system.

In an interview, Gordon said the command and control center should be centralized and with a hotline so that people who fear they might have been infected could call it first instead of going directly to hospitals.

"Dapat may command and control center na maga-address ng referral systems for both public and private na 'yung capacity nila ay hindi mao-overwhelm. Eh, parang kang nagsasalansa diyan, parang meron kang booking, meron kang front desk sa hotel. Dapat may telemed doctor doon para kapag tumawag 'yung mga tao masasabi sa kanila kung ano ang dapat nilang gawin at saan sila pwedeng magpunta," he said.

The senator further added that the center should have the necessary information so they could direct people, who may need to be admitted to hospitals or quarantine facilities, to institutions that could accommodate them.

He added that doctors or people with medical know-how or training should also be on hand to answer queries by callers who may suspect that they are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.

"Definitely, di ba dapat meron center of clearing area tayo na pwedeng magsabi na sa QI, puno na dun ka na lang sa ano magpunta...'Yun ang kelangan ngayon, dapaat may hotline na mapapagtanungan kung anong gaggawin. At para di masaydong marami nag pupunta sa ospital, mag-isolate ka muna, kung kaya naman ng home quarantine based sa symptoms na dinisclose," Gordon said.

The PRC head pointed out that in the Red Cross, they put up the COVID call center last April and people who have symptoms or who were exposed to carriers, call up 1158, the PRC's COVID hotline for queries. Ambulances for callers who need to be transported to hospitals are also arranged there, as well as schedule them for testing if needed.

He added that the Department of Health also has a similar hotline and called on the people to use them.

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