By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go advised Filipinos to strictly comply with health and safety protocols and to remain vigilant, warning them about the Delta variant of COVID-19.
During his visit to fire victims in Davao City on Tuesday, July 20, Go explained that the Delta variant is more dangerous and contagious, citing the current situation in Indonesia which has recently overtaken India as the epicenter of the pandemic in Asia.
“Itong Delta variant, delikado po talaga ito. Since meron na pong local cases, ‘wag na nating hintayin na magkaroon ng local transmission. Posible po ang local transmission kasi local cases meron pong nahawa. Ayaw natin mangyari na magiging out of control na po tulad ng nangyari sa Indonesia,” said Go.
“Tignan n’yo po ang nangyari sa bansang Indonesia, tumaas ang kaso dahil mabilis po ang pagkahawa nitong Delta variant. Four times more contagious, 40 to 60 percent po na nakakahawa than any other variant. Importante po dito, huwag tayong magkumpiyansa. Kailangan po disiplina ng bawat Pilipino,” he added.
The Department of Health, on Tuesday, reported that eight new cases of the highly contagious COVID-19 Delta variant tested positive following retesting. Two of the cases were returning overseas Filipinos, one in Misamis Oriental, and four from Cagayan de Oro. Meanwhile, a case was also reported in the capital city Manila.
Go appealed for continued discipline and cooperation from all Filipinos when it comes to following health and safety regulations, regardless of the community’s quarantine status imposed in their areas.
“Uulitin ko, disiplina ng bawat Pilipino, kooperasyon ng bawat Pilipino, at huwag maging kumpyansa,” urged Go.
“Bagama’t bakunado na kayo, ‘di ibig sabihin pwede na kayong hindi sumunod sa mga health protocol dahil maaaring ang katabi n’yo ay hindi pa nababakunahan at maaaring sila po ang mahawaan ng Delta variant at ‘di na natin ma-kontrol,” said Go.
The Senator said that the country cannot afford to go back to zero and apply tougher restrictions, as this would have a significant negative impact on the economy.
“Mahirap pong mag back to zero uli, ECQ, apektado ang ekonomiya, marami po ang mawawalan ng trabaho, maraming negosyo ang magsasara, tataas na naman po ang unemployment rate natin, at babagsak ang ating ekonomiya,” said Go.
“Sayang po, medyo maganda na po ang ating estado ngayon kumpara noong Marso at Abril dahil ang Metro Manila, regular GCQ na. Nakapagbubukas na po ang ibang negosyo at meron na pong nakakabalik na sa trabaho, ‘yun po ang importante dito balansehin muna natin ang economy and health,” he added.
The President has recently agreed to put Metro Manila and surrounding provinces under regular General Community Quarantine after its previous quarantine status ended on July 15. The national capital will remain in the classification until July 31.
The Senator emphasized, however, that the government will always prioritize the health of Filipinos as it tries to balance the economy and keep the healthcare system afloat.
“Pero importante po ang health dahil pag apektado ang healthcare system natin, kapag puno ang ospital, bagsak na naman ang ating ekonomiya, magsasara na naman po ang ating ekonomiya,” said Go.
Meanwhile, Go said that programs boosting the country’s economic recovery will remain as the main priority of Duterte and the government.
“Sa ngayon talaga itong economic recovery talaga pinakaimportante. Lahat naman ay susunod na po d’yan dahil nasa gitna pa tayo ng pandemya,” said Go.
The Senator added that the country will only go back to normal once population protection and eventually herd immunity have been achieved.
“‘Di ko pa masasabi na lampas na tayo until ma-achieve na natin ang population protection o herd immunity,” he noted.
Go emphasized that the Duterte administration will continue to pursue measures to strengthen the fight against COVID-19, as well as the campaign against illegal drugs, corruption, and criminality until the end of the term.
“So, ‘yun po ang focus ng ating mahal na Pangulo and, of course, ito pong peace and security,” he ended.