MANILA – Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo on Saturday reminded the public not to be complacent as the number of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections in the country continues to rise.
Panelo lamented that Filipinos seemed lax in observing health protocols imposed by the government to curb the spread of Covid-19.
In his commentary show “Counterpoint,” Panelo stressed that the country’s battle against Covid-19 entails self-discipline.
“Tayo lang ay dapat maging disiplinado at tayo ay maging conscious na ‘yung sakit na iyan, talagang makakahawa kung hindi natin pigilan ang mga sarili natin sa pagbabalewala ng panganib nitong coronavirus (We should be disciplined and conscious that the coronavirus will continue to spread if we do not stop ourselves from ignoring its danger),” he said.
The Philippines has been reporting an uptrend in Covid-19 cases in the past week.
As of Saturday, the country logged around 7,999 new coronavirus infections, the highest single-day case count recorded since Covid-19 grappled the country last year.
The new cases brought the total number of Covid-19 infections in the country to 656,056, with 12,930 deaths and 562,484 recoveries.
The country recorded 80,642 active cases.
Panelo said the government should not be blamed for the continuing spike in Covid-19 cases.
“Tayo mismo ang may hawak ng ating kaligtasan, walang iba. Kaya huwag niyong sisiin ang gobyerno kasi ang gobyerno can only do so much. Eh ayaw naman natin na ang gobyerno eh maging masyadong istrikto (Our safety lies in our hands. So, do not blame the government because the government can only do so much. We do not want our government to be so strict),” he said.
To stop the Covid-19’s further transmission, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) on Thursday issued Resolution 103, imposing travel restrictions on most foreign travelers from March 22 to April 21.
Exempted from the temporary travel ban are diplomats and members of international organizations, foreigners involved in medical repatriation, foreign seafarers under the “green lanes” program, foreign spouses and children of Filipino citizens traveling with them, and other emergency humanitarian cases approved by the National Task Force against Covid-19.
The IATF-EID also suspended the operations of driving schools, traditional cinemas, gaming arcades, libraries, archives, museums, cultural centers, and limited social events in the Department of Tourism-accredited establishments until April 4.
Meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions will also be limited to essential business gatherings at 30 percent venue capacity.
Venue capacity of dine-in restaurants, cafes, and personal care services will also be scaled back to 50 percent, according to the IATF-EID’s latest resolution.
Religious gatherings will also be limited to 30-percent venue capacity, while cockfighting and cockpit operations will also be suspended.
The IATF-EID also encouraged national government agencies to defer “non-critical” activities that would entail mass gatherings. (PNA)