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‘Bayanihan must continue’: Public urged to help gov’t curtail COVID resurgence

Bong Go

SENATOR Christopher “Bong” Go appealed to the public to cooperate with authorities and concerned government agencies by fully complying with the appropriate health and safety protocols to curb the rising number of new COVID-19 cases.

“Ang inyong kooperasyon at pagmamalasakit sa kapwa ay makapagliligtas ng buhay ng inyong sarili at ng mahal n’yo sa buhay. Tulungan natin ang ating gobyerno para mapaigting ang pagpapatupad ng health and safety protocols upang tuluyan nating mapigilan ang pagtaas ng kaso ng COVID-19 sa bansa,” Go, also chair of the Senate Committee on Health, said.

“Ipagpatuloy po natin ang bayanihan at kooperasyon sa gobyerno. Isang taon na tayong nagsakripisyo dahil sa pandemyang ito. Huwag nating balewalain ang mga protocols, para hindi masayang ang mga sakripisyo nating lahat,” he added.

As government accelerates vaccine rollout, Go reminded the public to remain vigilant and cooperate with authorities while the threats of COVID-19 still exist.

“Magtiwala tayo sa bakuna pero huwag tayo maging kampante dahil hangga’t hindi pa natin nararating ang herd immunity, nandito pa rin ang banta ng COVID-19. Huwag tayong matakot sa bakuna. Matakot tayo sa COVID-19,” he said.

Despite the arrival of vaccines, he emphasized the need to still strictly follow health protocols, such as wearing masks and face shields, observing social distancing, and avoiding unessential travels.

“Sa pagdating ng mga bakuna, hindi ibig sabihin na isasawalang bahala na natin ang mga itinakdang health and safety protocol, tulad ng pagsuot ng mask at face shield, pag-obserba ng social distancing, madalas na paghugas ng kamay, pananatili sa loob ng bahay kung hindi naman kinakailangang lumabas, at ang patuloy na pag-iingat para maproteksyunan ang ating kalusugan,” he reminded.

“Konting tiis nalang po dahil ginagawa ng gobyerno ang lahat para tuloy-tuloy na ang pagbabakuna sa mga Pilipino. Ang ating maayos na vaccine roll-out at ang inyong kooperasyon ang tanging susi at solusyon upang tuluyang malampasan ang pandemyang hinaharap natin,” he added.

The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has recommended to place some jurisdictions with rising number of COVID-19 cases under General Community Quarantine, while the rest of the country may be put under Modified General Community Quarantine from March 1 to 31.

The IATF also identified areas requiring special attention by the local government units, Regional IATF and the National Task Force, and the measures to be implemented in all areas of the country to prevent, detect, isolate and treat COVID-19.

The IATF likewise reminded authorities that reclassification, localized ECQs and lockdowns without the approval or concurrence required by Executive Order No. 112 (s. 2020) will not be supported or enforced by national government authorities.

“Sundin po natin ang mga patakaran ng gobyerno dahil lahat po ng ginagawa natin ay para naman proteksyunan ang buhay at kapakanan ng mga Pilipino,” Go reminded.

Meanwhile, while it acknowledged the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country, the Department of Health advised against describing the situation as a “surge.” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a regular news briefing that “cases of people going to the hospital [emergency rooms] are increasing, but we need scientific evidence to say there is really a surge.” She also assured that hospital bed capacity is still at a “manageable level”.

The DOH also emphasized the importance of continuing compliance with necessary health measures. The DOH maintained that the transmission can be stopped through localized response in barangays or cities and by more stringent enforcement of health measures and does not necessitate Metro Manila being placed on another lockdown.

With this, Go urged concerned agencies and local government units to strictly implement necessary measures based on IATF guidelines such as health promotion and enforcement of minimum health standards, ramping up of availability of identified quarantine facilities, immediate facility-based isolation of probable cases, and scaling up of local health systems capacity, among others.