Eleazar enjoins public to ‘stay at home at get vaccinated’ amid Omicron threat

Eleazar enjoins public to ‘stay at home at get vaccinated’ amid Omicron threat

By Tracy Cabrera

Government authorities have implemented stricter quarantine measures amid the threat of the Covid-19 Omicron variant. Photo shows a mother with new-born infant being tested for infection by a nurse in a hospital in Manila (Photo: Gulf News)

MANILA — Despite a pronouncement from health authorities that local transmission of the high transmissible Covid-19 Omicron variant is still not definite, Partido Reporma senatorial aspirant Guillermo Eleazar has expressed concern over the rapid increase in the number of new Covid cases thus cautioning the public to refrain from attending mass gatherings as they contribute to more coronavirus transmissions.

This came following an earlier statement from the Department of Health (DOH), confirming three local cases of the Covid-19 Omicron variant, which indicated that transmission of the highly transmissible variant although indefinite is still a “high possibility.”

According to Health Promotion Bureau director Dr. Beverly Ho, “regional epidemiology and surveillance units are currently investigating the local (Omicron) cases and tracing all their possible close contacts.”

“(Local transmission is) “when we can categorically establish that there is no linkage to any of the previous cases, in this case, the imported cases. An epidemiological investigation is still continuing,” Ho told reporters in a Viber message, noting that the DoH will soon be reporting more details on the local cases.

In reaction, Eleazar, former head of Task Force Covid Shield during the height of the pandemic in the middle of last year, appealed to the citizenry to follow the minimum health safety protocols so that what has been gained during the extreme lockdowns and restrictions would not go to waste due to complacency and willful disregard of the quarantine measures set by the authorities.

The former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief likewise enjoined the public to avail of the available vaccines under the government’s national vaccination program to ensure that the populace is well protected even as he supported the decision for the imposition of restrictions and limitation on the mobility of unvaccinated individuals.

Prior to this, health secretary Francisco Duque III had stated that due to the alarming increase in new and active cases of Covid-19 in the past days, offices must again adopt alternative arrangements, like having employees work from home again to limit interactions.

“We have witnessed this past holiday season how fast, how rapid the rise has been of Covid-19 because of social gatherings. And because of high social mobility, the interaction between people there was high. And because of the continued rise in cases these past days, we are calling for a suspension of all mass gatherings,” Duque disclosed in the vernacular.

He also urged Black Nazarene devotees to just mark the annual religious feast, which takes place on Jan. 9, at home.

The country is currently recording a sudden uptick in Covid infections, forcing the national government to put Metro Manila under Alert Level 3 from January 3 to 15.

Yesterday, the health department recorded 5,434 new infections, bringing the Covid-19 cases nationwide to 29,809. In contrast, before the holidays there was a relatively low number of daily cases—ranging from 300 to 500 with the active case count at below 10,000. (ai/mtvn)

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