Senator Christopher ‘Bong’ Go.
By Tracy Cabrera
MANILA — Stricter enforcement of health safety protocols on top of community quarantine measures are needed to effectively control the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, health experts stressed amidst the rapidly rising number of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) cases in select areas as seen in the past days.
In support, Senator Christopher Lawrence ‘Bong’ Go is urging the public to obey all health protocols because the enhanced health measures and restrictions being imposed by the government are aimed at striking a viable balance between protecting people’s lives while ensuring that operations of essential public services and industries remain unhampered.
“My fellow Filipinos, we are currently faced with a spike in the number of Covid-19 cases. To address this, I am one with the government in implementing additional restriction measures in Metro Manila and the surrounding areas of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal,” Go noted in his widely-read GOing Forward column.
He explained that “strict adherence to safety protocols and implementation of minimum public health standards are crucial” in the fight against Covid-19.
In another view, the neophyte senator acknowledged how Filipinos are looking forward to a vacation this forthcoming Holy Week but he appealed for “some sacrifices on our part again to curtail the spread of the virus by foregoing our non-essential trips in the next two weeks.”
“We should tighten our regulations. There are many who have become complacent. We need to stop the rise in Covid-19 cases, particularly in the National Capital Region, to prevent the collapse of the health care system,” Go, who chairs the Senate committee on health and sports, pointed out.
He, however, recommended authorities and health experts find a good balance between protecting people’s lives from Covid-19 threats while ensuring that operations of essential public services and industries remain unhampered.
He likewise guaranteed that the government will continue to step up its efforts in the vaccine rollout with the help of the private sector and international partners, despite the challenges that many countries face over limited supply.
Meanwhile, vaccine czar retired General Carlito Galvez Jr. announced that in addition to the first 600,000 doses of Sinovac’s vaccines that were donated by China, the Duterte administration is expecting an additional donation of around 400,000 doses also from Sinovac, plus one million doses purchased by the national government.
Galvez reminded everyone that lessons from last year should now have given us the real picture of what is truly happening and from this we should realize what should be really done in order for our response to the pandemic to become truly successful.
“We went through the enhanced community quarantine, closure of many enterprises and suspension of work. If we are returning to stricter rules, let’s do it without imposing further sufferings to our citizens,” he noted.
Go supported maintaining open essential and even non-essential services and industries to support the economy but must be subjected to strict adherence to safety protocols and minimum public health standards.
“What is important is to save Filipino lives as cases of those contracting the disease are rising. Containment should accompany the vaccination drive,” the senator emphasized.
Go also suggested that mass gatherings be temporarily prohibited while work-from-home arrangements must be encouraged in businesses and offices. Families, particularly elders and vulnerable members, must also take extra precautions by staying at home and avoiding unnecessary travel.
“Let us avoid for now visits to relatives and other homes. Stick to the distance rule and be aware of people we associate with to protect our family and prevent contaminations,” Go further recommended.
The former special assistant of President Rodrigo Duterte also reiterated the need for the public to continue cooperating with authorities and strictly follow health protocols.
He urged Filipinos not to be complacent and remain vigilant as the threat of Covid-19—especially with the presence of new (mutated) variants, continues to exist.
“For us to heal as one and recover as one, we must act as one!” he quoted from appeals by government authorities in dealing with the health crisis. (AI/MTVN)