PH should learn from Indonesia’s COVID-19 situation to prevent similar fate

PH should learn from Indonesia’s COVID-19 situation to prevent similar fate

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — Just when we thought things were beginning to get better, the Delta
and Delta-Plus variants of COVID-19 are now threatening to undermine
the global vaccination campaign, Senator Leila De Lima said on
Thursday.

In a statement, De Lima said that while we commiserate with
Indonesia whose situation is now at the edge of a COVID-19
catastrophe, we must not lose this opportunity to learn if only to
prevent a similar fate.

“Hindi maaaring magpa-kampante lalo’t nasa apat na porsyento (4%) pa
lamang ng ating populasyon ang bakunado na ng dalawang doses,” ayon sa
senador.

She said that we have to keep demanding from the government not only
timely responses and efficient intervention, but diligence and
foresight.

“With the current system of Testing, Tracing and Treatment (3Ts), as
well as the pace of our vaccination, there is an immediate need to
ramp up many components of our health and pandemic response to prepare
for any eventuality with these threats of new variants, both in NCR
and other high-risk areas,” De Lima stressed.

“We must remain not only vigilant but also circumspect in policy
development affecting the health, lives, rights, and livelihoods of the
millions of Filipinos who remain to be at the mercy of this lethal
virus,” she added.

For instance, she said that while we must not encourage vaccine
hesitancy through fearmongering, the government must not be
nonchalant, even already bordering on precariousness, on the new
studies regarding vaccine efficacy.

“The COVID-19 deaths of fully vaccinated doctors in Indonesia, who
were inoculated with Sinovac, should prompt this government to
consider, as early as now, whether it would still be prudent to
continue relying on the brand for our own healthcare workers or
consider giving them as booster shots,” De Lima explained.

The opposition senator said that questions should also be raised as to
whether the government should continue ordering Sinovac doses amidst
this new development and the still ongoing “Sinovaccine-hesitancy” of
many Filipinos.

“Hindi nga sila nagkukulang sa pagpapa-pogi points na para bang utang
na loob natin ang milyong bakuna gayong binili ang marami sa mga iyon
gamit ang buwis ng bayan. Pero dapat ring tanungin: Who are they truly
serving with these millions of orders from China? Taumbayan nga ba
talaga? Is the government saying that they are willing to sacrifice
our safety if only to keep winning the favor of this bully of a
country?,” she said.

“Hindi lang nga healthcare workers ang nakataya dito. Maging mga
senior citizens at mga taong may comorbidities. Pati na rin ang mga
OFWs kung saan mula sa hanay nila marami pa ring naghihintay sa mga
vaccine brands na required ng kanilang mga employers o ng mga bansang
kanilang papasukan,” De Lima added.

“Many European countries where our OFWs seek to return only allow
entry of those vaccinated with Pfizer, Astrazeneca and Moderna. Ito
nga ang dahilan kaya napakaraming OFWs ang naka-tengga sa Pilipinas at
naghihikahos na,”she said.

“These are the matters that any good leader must be talking about. We
don’t need a once-a-week President who constantly rants and rambles
incoherently instead of focusing on the real problems of the nation.
Is this truly the best you can do? And to the millions of Filipinos
out there who had high hopes for this administration, kaya niyo pa
ba?,” the senator ended. (AI/MTVN)

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