Nancy wants to convene the Senate Committee of the Whole to tackle COVID-19

Nancy wants to convene the Senate Committee of the Whole to tackle COVID-19

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — Senator Nancy Binay on Thursday said that the Senate might need to convene the Committee of the Whole once the 19th Congress opens to discuss pending concerns on Covid-19.

“Siguro, when the 19th Congress opens, we can convene the Committee of the Whole para mabalikan ang mga pending issues and concerns regarding Covid-19 like vaccination programs, access to boosters, the status of our healthcare workers, health and pandemic statistics, level of preparedness, exit plans, etc.,” Binay said.

This, as calls to require Filipinos to get booster shots have surfaced amid another surge in Covid-19 cases, with the country recording an average of 1,467 cases daily from July 4 to 10.

Only 15.34 million Filipinos out of an eligible population of 40 million have so far availed of booster shots, which experts say provide additional protection against the virus.

The Department of Health warned that the surge could hit its peak of up to 11,000 new infections by the end of July, with increased hospital admissions from August to September.

Binay expressed her support for the government’s booster drive, especially in the face of pandemic fatigue and vaccine complacency.

“Sa ngayon, everyone’s experiencing pandemic fatigue and vaccine complacency. Dahil sa pagbaba ng cases noong nakaraan, npeople have become less vigilant. I support the recommendation for the third shot (booster), pero dapat maging aggressive ang DOH doon sa mga nasa priority groups, paigtingin pa lalo ang pagbabakuna sa mga isolated and remote areas. Ang importante, we all agree that the paramount concern is to be fully protected from the virus,” said the lawmaker.

The senator also emphasized the need to continue revisiting and reviewing the country’s public health policies to ensure these are up-to-date and in line with international standards.

“Sa tingin ko, at the end of the day, we need to always revisit the science behind our every decision on matters of public health like having a common index and definition of what ‘fully vaccinated’ is or should be na compliant and aligned sa World Health Organization or similar internationally-recognized and respected organizations,” said Binay. (ai/mtvn)

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