Covid-19 policies completely ‘divorced’ from politics: Palace

Covid-19 policies completely ‘divorced’ from politics: Palace

MANILA – The national government’s Covid-19 task force uses data and science as basis for deciding on their policy recommendations, not politics, Malacañang said on Wednesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque praised the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) for looking into the analytics of the country’s healthcare system before easing down quarantine regulations.

“In fairness, I have worked with the IATF for almost two years now. All the experts are simply that, experts and scientists, and they are divorced completely from politics. I’m talking about public health specialists, epidemiologists, the people to whom the IATF listens,” he said in an interview at the Kapihan sa Manila Bay news forum hosted by Marichu Villanueva.

He, however, admitted that medical professionals had the tendency to prioritize hospital care utilization rate over the economic health of the nation.

“They’re insulated from politics, they’re absolutely professionals, although sometimes very narrow-minded because some medical professionals insist on lockdowns as the ultimate solution ignoring the fact that lockdowns of course can give rise to hunger problems and I think hunger and poverty should be important considerations whenever we talk about public health,” he added.

Roque has repeatedly emphasized the need to strike a delicate balance between the health and economy.

He reminded the IATF-EID of the need to use a “whole-of-government” approach in managing the Covid-19 pandemic.

On Monday, Roque defended Metro Manila’s downgrade to Alert Level 3 amid apprehensions raised by a group of doctors.

“Hindi tayo nakikipag-away sa mga doktor, pero ang importante po ikonsidera natin na sa larangan ng public health, kabahagi po ‘yung pagkakaroon ng hanapbuhay para maiwasan ang pagkagutom (We are not trying to argue with doctors, but it is important to consider that in the field of public health, livelihood to prevent hunger is also part of it),” he said.

Roque said Filipinos already know how to “live” with coronavirus, and that is through wearing a mask, washing their hands, physical distancing, and vaccination.

He also floated the possibility of expanding the pilot implementation of the alert level system (ALS) initially piloted in Metro Manila and some provinces and cities to a nationwide rollout.

As of Tuesday, health authorities reported 4,496 new Covid-19 cases — the lowest in almost three months — bringing the nationwide tally to 2,731,735. (PNA)

Leave a Reply