DESPITE government efforts to address the pandemic, the “surge” in COVID-19 infections continues in the metropolis and other parts of the Philippines, alarming the public.
But Malacanang, through Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque, has dismissed claims that the government’s decision to reopen the economy led to the spike in COVID-19 cases.
Citing data from the Department of Health (DOH), Roque said we even recorded a low single-day rise in infections after the government decided to further reopen the economy in October 2020.
“After we reopened the economy…pababa pa ang mga kaso. Hindi po talaga pagbubukas ng ekonomiya ang naging problema,” the presidential spokesperson added.
Some quarters partly blamed the spike to the presence of new COVID-19 variants in the country.
Last Saturday, the DOH said that the new variant P.3 has been traced in the country. It also confirmed the country’s first case of the P.l variant discovered in Brazil.
Aside from the P.3 and P.1 variants, authorities also discovered more cases of the B.l.l.7 variant first reported in the UK and additional cases of the B.l.351 variant from South Africa.
In the view of other quarters, it is also ironic that the spike came after the government launched its vaccination program against the virus, which is aimed at achieving herd immunity.
The country is working to inoculate 1.7 million health workers using 1.1 million doses of vaccines from the World Health Organization (WHO) and 600,000 doses of a vaccine donated by China.
And the authorities have to inoculate 390,000 people a day for the next nine months to achieve the goal of vaccinating 70 million people by the end of 2021 to achieve herd immunity.
It’s a gigantic undertaking, but it is not an impossible mission.