This year has been a challenging one not only for the Philippines but also for the whole world. We can remember starting the month of January with a pandemic and until then it created havoc on the human race. Now, on the half part of the year 2020, we are still struggling with the devastation caused by infamous COVID-19.
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a new strain of Coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, as stated on the website of the World Health Organization (WHO). According to WHO, on 30 January 2020, the Philippine Department of Health reported the first case of COVID-19 in the country with a 38-year-old female Chinese national. On 7 March, the first local transmission of COVID-19 was confirmed. This implies that the government failed to prevent the virus from entering our country. As of now, we already have a total of more than 57,000 confirmed cases in the Philippines. It wouldn’t be worse like this if, in the beginning, the current administration had a better plan for the possible transmissions. The government should conduct progressive mass testing to Persons Under Investigation (PUI) and Persons Under Monitoring (PUM), especially those who are showing severe symptoms. They should also prioritize individuals who are more vulnerable like our health workers and other people in the front line against the pandemic. In that way, contract tracing would be easier for we are aware of who is tested positive, and we can avoid onward transmission.
In spite of having several cases of coronavirus disease, the National Capital Region was lifted to General Community Quarantine (GCQ) on June 1 to save our economy in danger zone. But GCQ seems to fuel the rise of community transmission since the Statistics show how the number of cases abruptly spike. Sadly, the death rate is also on its peak and the total number of decease in the area is now on 866. Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said to a press briefing on Monday, July 13, that the new quarantine qualifications are to be announced by President Rodrigo Duterte on July 15, Wednesday. Local Government Units (LGUs) have suggested a ‘Hybrid’ approach to continue the economic activity, but Harry Roque says that the COVID-19 current data do not seem to support the easing of community restrictions in the metropolis (www.onenews.ph). The lives of people lie in the tough decision the government has to make. They should save our economy but the quarantine measures in Metro Manila can’t be relaxed as indicated in the data. In the end, the welfare of the citizens must come first.
We can win this battle against the COVID-19 if each one of us will take his/her part seriously. Salute to our health workers who don’t get tired of saving patients and ensuring our wellness. Indeed, not all heroes wear capes, some are wearing PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). We should be also grateful and appreciate other ‘Frontliners’ for their dedication amidst the Coronavirus. Likewise, the government must fulfill its obligations on handling this pandemic. Always remember that incompetence during these trying times is more fatal than the virus itself. And we, Filipinos, can help to contain the virus by physical distancing, following all the measures and taking care of ourselves. Together, we can win this war.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Philippines. (2020, May 9). Retrieved from https://www.who.int/philippines/emergencies/covid-19-in-the-philippines
Hybrid GCQ Being Considered In NCR As Phl Faces ICU Danger Zone, Economic Crisis. (2020, July 14). Retrieved from https://www.onenews.ph/hybrid-gcq-being-considered-in-ncr-as-phl-faces-icu-danger-zone-economic-crisis