With nearly all his essential staff infected with COVID-19, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso is practically doing many of his daily functions as a “one-man-team.”
At least 25 of Domagoso’s staff members have been infected, including his own driver.
He drove himself to the Sta. Ana Hospital to visit the vaccine storage facility where he discussed with hospital director Dr. Grace Padilla and Manila Health Department chief Dr. Poks Pangan the volume of available vaccines for the city’s continuing inoculation program.
He said the staggering number of city officials and employees who turned out to be infected was discovered during last Monday’s routine antigen testing.
Some hospital directors were also currently infected, along with the head of the Manila Emergency Operations Center itself, Dr. Ed Santos.
“It’s been a difficult week for us because many of our colleagues in this building have been infected. Yet our fellow staff continue to serve our countrymen,” Domagoso said in a speech during the regular flag raising ceremony at Manila City Hall Monday.
“Life must go on. We must serve. The people expect us. Although you are having a hard time with your respective agencies because many of us do not attend, we do not allow others to enter, all I ask is that we work together,” he said.
Despite the prevailing situation, the 47-year-old local chief executive rallied city hall employees to continue serving and do their best in providing quality service to the public.
“I want you to be safe, I want you to have a job, I want us to be able to serve our countrymen. We will continue. There will be no stopping, no sleep. This is the price we have to pay in public service because there is nothing else to expect from our countrymen,” the Action Democratic presidential candidate said.
Meanwhile, Domagoso said non-Manila residents can avail of anti-COVID drugs from the city government, which has sufficient supplies of Remdesivir, Tocilizumab, Baricitinib and Molnupiravir.
These life-saving medicines are currently in demand due to the ongoing surge in COVID-19 cases.
“To all our citizens looking for medicines, you are welcome here in the City of Manila. What is important if for people to live, for us to save lives, regardless of whether the patient is from Manila or not,” Domagoso said.
“In the city of Manila, we do not discriminate – there are no rich, no middle class and no poor people here. All will have equitable access to medicines. Our priority is to save lives,” he added.
Molnupiravir is the first oral antiviral drug that is said to reduce the risk of hospitalization and death among COVID-19 patients by as much as 50 percent. It also prevents mild to moderate cases of COVID-19 from progressing into severe disease provided that the drug is taken during the first five days of infection.
An initial 40,000 capsules of Molnupiravir were procured by the Manila city government and delivered to the Sta. Ana Hospital in November.
Domagoso said another delivery of Molnupiravir is expected by the end of January due to the high demand for the medicine amid the new surge in COVID cases.
“All they have to do is coordinate with our Manila Health Department or in the numbers we have posted in our social media pages. We will
deliver the medicines. All they need is a prescription because we cannot not dispense without the prescription,” he said.