The declarations from the Interagency Agency Task Force (IATF) on COVID- 19 with advice from its Technical Working Group (TWG) have been anchored on the best available scientific knowledge on COVID-19 and analyses of relevant local data sets. Our earlier recommendations on COVID-19 research and development (R and D) and immediate actions on vaccine and drug development, infection detection and data analyses are major requisites in the management of this crisis. However, we also wish to emphasize the importance of nutrition to strengthen our immune system. To achieve this on a nationwide scale, we need to support our food systems. We reiterate the need for localized complementary and alternative systems that are targeted towards production of more diverse and nutritious food stuff.
In a highly calibrated lifting of lockdowns, local governments/barangays should be given assistance in the active analysis of infection and recovery rate, etc. with special attention to congested barangays. Education at the community/ barangay level on the importance of health and sanitation practices should be continuous and deliberate. Local food systems that suit the barangay/ community situation and mindful of waste management and food sanitation, should be in place. Strict monitoring of government/military for compliance to COVID-19 regulations should be continuous with barangay/other officials relieved of duties and replaced, if warranted.A highly calibrated/slow opening (and in case, suspension) of business operations, be allowed based on capacity to implement decontamination before operation and strict adherence to all COVID 19 health and sanitation practices.
2. Local/National COVID 19 Research and Development be supported and allowed after 30 April 2020
We need to participate in the development and animal and clinical testing of vaccines and drugs for COVD 19 and not just be the recipients. Local talents (scientists, engineers, technologists, etc.) have to be given the support and the access to facilities and equipment for COVID 19 R and D (and similar future epidemics/pandemics). R and D on novel food technologies adapted for food security during disruptions like typhoons and pandemics should be advanced.
Technology and Innovation including models, APPs and electronic gadgets/ robotics should be engaged and/or developed whenever and wherever possible . These are recommendations that should be undertaken NOW and deserve urgent consideration.
RHODORA V. AZANZA