The provincial government of Northern Samar is set to establish an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to stem a surge of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases in the Eastern Visayas province.

Retired major general Melquiades Feliciano, Inter-Agency Task Force Visayas chief implementer, made the recommendation to local authorities.

Feliciano said the EOC was first used in Cebu City when the national government intervened to manage a surge of Covid-19 cases in June.

The EOC structure emphasizes the active participation of barangay officials in efforts against the spread of the virus, he said.

Feliciano encouraged Northern Samar health officials to do daily “huddles” at their Covid-19 command centers to assess and plan, based on data collated through the EOC.

He said the EOC would serve as a central hub for two groups: the Data Collection Management and Analysis Group and the Education, Information and Training Group.

Northern Samar Gov. Edwin Ongchuan thanked Feliciano, the Department of Health (DOH) and Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Secretary Michael Lloyd Dino in assisting in the province’s coronavirus.

Dino said the EOC system helped bring down cases in the cities of Cebu and Bacolod.

As of writing, DOH Eastern Visayas has recorded 702 active cases, 7,970 recoveries, and 81 deaths in Region 8. Though Northern Samar only has a few cases, it is surrounded by provinces with many active cases. Ryan Sorote