Solon to DOH: Apply ASEAN ‘best practices’ to fight COVID-19

Published April 22, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Ellson Quismorio

The Department of Health (DOH) should analyze the “best practices” from the other ASEAN member-countries in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, Cagayan de Oro 2nd district Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said on Wednesday.

Cagayan de Oro City 2nd District Representative Rufus Rodriguez (Rufus Rodriguez official Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)
Cagayan de Oro City 2nd District Representative Rufus Rodriguez (Rufus Rodriguez official Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)

“We have to learn from the experiences of Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand and the smaller countries which are clearly winning the war against the coronavirus disease,” he said.

ASEAN refers to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, of which the Philippines is a founding member.

Rodriguez said the DOH could inquire from its counterparts through diplomatic and professional communication channels, what measures our ASEAN neighbors have adopted in successfully containing the pandemic.

He cited a De La Salle University (DLSU) report comparing the number of COVID-19 infections, deaths, and recoveries among the 11 member-countries of ASEAN.

He said that although Singapore had the highest number of cases at 9,215 as of Tuesday, it had far fewer deaths at 11, compared to the Philippines’ 437 fatalities out of 6,599 total cases.

The veteran lawmaker noted that Singapore’s cases began to surge last week due to new infections reported among foreign workers housed in state-built dormitories.

The DLSU report shows that Laos, East Timor, Cambodia, Brunei, and Vietnam had the fewest cases at 19, 23, 122, 138, and 268, respectively, with not even a single death, except for Brunei, which had one fatality.

Following Singapore in most infections was Indonesia with 7,135, with the Philippines in third place, followed by Malaysia with 5,482, and Thailand with 2,811.

In terms of deaths, Indonesia had the highest number with 616, followed by the Philippines, and Malaysia and Thailand, with 92 and 48, respectively.

Vietnam has conducted the most number of tests at 206,253, followed by Thailand at 142,589, and Malaysia at 106,216. The Philippines has performed 59,928 tests, compared to 94,796 tests in Singapore.

Rodriguez said the DOH has noted in recent days that the COVID-19 curve has started to go down.

“This is a welcome development, and we hope cases continue to decrease so we can all return to our normal lives soon,” he said.