By Tracy Cabrera
MANILA — Despite the government’s fast-tracking of the national vaccination program, Malacañang reminded those who have been inoculated not to let their guard down even after their vaccine shots.
In a public statement online, presidential spokesperson Atty. Harry Roque disclosed that although individuals who have been vaccinated may have received protection from coronavirus, the vaccine still needs time before it can fully provide that security—thus, it is still better to always wear a face mask and observe physical distancing.
“Tingin ko po lahat ng mga nabakunahan are individuals spared from the disease. Pero ang ating warning lalo na sa mga first shot pa lang ay hindi po agad nagkakaroon ng epekto iyan,” he said during a press briefing.
Maintaining that vaccinated individuals should not be complacent in following health safety protocols because, at the early stage, the Palace official explained the vaccination can only protect people from getting severe coronavirus disease symptoms.
“It takes weeks bago po makaapekto po iyan so tuloy pa rin ang ‘mask, iwas, hugas. Huwag po tayong magpapabaya kahit tayo po ay nabakunahan na,” he said.
At present, the government vaccination drive among priority sectors such as medical workers and local officials is still ongoing. Other local governments have also started vaccination on senior citizens and other members of the vulnerable group.
Meanwhile, the Department of Transportation (DoTr) has ordered all railway personnel to undergo testing for Covid-19 in order to ensure the safety of their passengers and likewise, avert the spread of the deadly viral respiratory disease.
The DoTr announced that its railway sector is continuing with the mass testing of personnel from the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3), the Philippine National Railways (PNR), and the Light Rail Transit lines 1 and 2 (LRT-1 and LRT-2) in line with Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade’s directive.
445 MRT 3, LRT personnel test positive for Covid
It disclosed that at least 860 MRT-3 personnel have already undergone swab tests and out of this number, 131 were tested positive of Covid-19
On the other hand, the LRT-1 reported 171 COVID-19 positives out of 377 tested personnel while 143 out of 571 LRT-2 workers were infected with the virus.
The DoTr explained that the testing of railway personnel was behind the line’s limited operations since the enforcement of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the National Capital Region (NCR), Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal was extended on Monday, 5 April 2021.
The MRT-3 line is operating with 14 train sets while the LRT-1 line is dispatching 17 trains. The LRT-2 line is operating with five trains. Passengers affected by the limited train operations are being accommodated by bus augmentations on several routes, the DoTr said. (AI/MTVN)