Go urges gov’t to ensure unhampered supply of basic medicines amid surge in COVID-19 cases

Go urges gov’t to ensure unhampered supply of basic medicines amid surge in COVID-19 cases

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — Senator and Senate Committee on Health Chair Christopher “Bong” Go urged the government to ensure continuous replenishment of stocks and unhampered supply of necessary basic medicines in the market following reports of unavailability of paracetamol and other flu and cold medicines in pharmacies last week.

Citing the sharp increase in COVID-19 cases as a result of increased movement during the holiday season, as well as the presence of the Omicron variant, Go also reminded concerned agencies to regularly monitor the supply of vital COVID-19-related medicines, particularly supportive medicines for symptomatic therapy.

“Gawin po natin ang ating magagawa para masiguro na tuluy-tuloy ang supply ng gamot sa bansa. Dapat rin pong maging accessible ang mga ito sa lahat lalo na sa mga mahihirap,” said Go.

“Mahalaga pong magawa natin ito lalo na ngayon na tumataas ang bilang ng kaso ng COVID-19 cases at mas maraming mga Pilipino ang mangangailangan ng gamot,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health stated that it is collaborating with the Food and Drug Administration as well as the Department of Trade and Industry to ensure continuous supply of health related goods.

“Patuloy naman ang pagmo-monitor ng mga awtoridad ng status ng supply ng mga gamot, lalu na iyong kailangan ng mga COVID-19 patients. Huwag dapat paabutin sa punto na kulang na ulit ang supply sa drugstores,” said Go.

The DOH had previously assured the public that, despite rising demand for such products, there is no ongoing scarcity in the Philippines. There are several generic alternatives to paracetamol in the market, it said, and they can be found at many drug stores around the country.

Moreover, Go echoed the advice of health authorities to the public to avoid hoarding, stockpiling, panic buying, or unnecessary purchases of such basic medicines unless they are necessary or are required by their physicians.

“Marami ang nagkakasakit ngayon pagkatapos ng holiday season. Magmalasakit tayo sa isa’t isa at magtulungan. Pinapayuhan ang lahat na bumili lang po ng sapat sa pangangailangan upang masigurong yung iba ay hindi mauubusan,” Go stressed.

The senator continued to remind the public that continued vigilance and discipline from all are critical in effectively stopping transmissions of viruses in the communities.

“Kung gusto natin bumalik sa normal na pamumuhay at talunin ang kalaban na hindi natin nakikita, kailangan ang disiplina at kooperasyon ng lahat,” Go stressed.

Go specifically encouraged everyone to strictly observe the mandated health and safety protocols, such as proper mask use, social distancing, frequent hand washing, and staying at home whenever possible.

“Huwag natin sayangin ang mga pinaghirapan natin nung nakaraang taon. We continue to ask for your cooperation and understanding. As we course through this difficult time, we must all stand together,” appealed Go.

Most importantly, he appealed to the public to get vaccinated as soon as possible, noting that data shows milder symptoms among those infected who have been vaccinated.

“Mas delikado talaga kapag hindi bakunado. Kung mahal ninyo ang inyong pamilya, magpabakuna na po kayo. Libre naman ito galing sa gobyerno. Proteksyon ninyo ito laban sa virus at susi upang malampasan ang pandemya,” Go appealed to those who remain unvaccinated.

As of January 10, the Philippines has acquired 213.65 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines. More than 114.26 million doses were administered, of which 52.85 million Filipinos are fully vaccinated and 57.88 million of our people got their first dose. Around 3.58 million boosters shots were also administered.

(ai/mtvn)

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