DOH debunks business sector claims that lower income classes have better immunity against COVID-19

Published April 30, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Analou De Vera

The Department of Health (DOH) reiterated on Thursday that the coronavirus disease outbreak in the country affects all people regardless of social class.

Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire (PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN)
Health Assistant Secretary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire

“Wala pong ebidensya na meron magiging immunity ang specific sector of society. Sa katunayan, nung isang araw lang, nagpalabas ang WHO (World Health Organization) na wala tayong immunity passports, wala tayong immunity certificates kasi wala naman ebidensya pa na nakakapagsabi ngayon na may mga sectors na may immunity (There is no evidence that there is immunity in any specific sector of society. In fact, the WHO announced that we have no immunity passports, we have no immunity certificates because there is no evidence yet to say that there are sectors with immunity),” Health undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told reporters.

The Health official said that anyone can be a victim of the novel coronavirus.

“Even those who has had the virus, hindi pa din sigurado kung pwede sila magkaroon o hindi. Kaya wala tayo dapat iniisip na meron immunity dito. Walang sini-sino ang virus, kahit sino pwedeng magkaroon (Even those who have had the virus are still unsure if they can have it again. So we should not think of having immunity here. This virus does not select its victim, anyone can be infected),” she said.

Vergeire made the remark in response to a recent pronouncement of Presidential Adviser on Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion that the poor may have “better immunity” against the dreaded disease as compared to those “sheltered in a well-protected environment.”

The DOH spokesperson said that it is the middle and upper class that are initially affected by the virus due to their lifestyle.

“Ang mga tinamaan nung una ung medyo may mga kaya—middle class and upper class— kasi sila yung mga nagta-travel, sila ung may pera to travel abroad, to travel elsewhere here in the Philippines. Also, sila din ang nag attend ng nga convention, conferences (Initially, those who are affected came mostly from the middle and upper class because they have the capability to travel abroad or elsewhere here in the Philippines. They also attend conventions and conferences),” said Vergeire. “Pero hindi natin pwedeng sabihin at hindi tayo dapat makampante na hindi ito nangyayari sa ating mga lower income class (But we can’t say and we should not be complacent that this is not happening to our lower income classes).”

Vergeire also added that there is no scientific basis that the weather may affect the transmission of COVID-19.

“Wala pa ngayon ebidensya na ang COVID-19 virus is affected by weather, be it mainit o malamig. It should not be a basis for the business sector na– kasi exposed sa sun, kaya pwede nang magtrabaho (There is currently no evidence that the COVID-19 virus is affected by weather, be it hot or cold. It should not be a basis for the business sector–that because of exposure to the sun, employees can now work),” she said.