By Mario B. Casayuran
‘’The battle is not yet over.’’
Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, chairman of the Senate health and demography committee, on Tuesday echoed President Duterte’s latest pronouncements regarding the ongoing government drive to contain the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in the country.
Go was with the President during the latter’s meeting with some members of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) in Malacañan Palace complex last Monday night, June 15.
“Hindi pa tapos ang laban. Andyan pa rin ang banta ng pandemyang ito. Kaya hinihikayat ko ang ating mga kababayan na huwag maging kampante. Sumunod tayo sa mga health protocols, lalo na ang social distancing at pagsuot ng face masks,’’ he said. (The battle is not yet over. the threat of the pandemic is still there. I am urging our countrymen not to be complacent. Follow the health protocols, especially the social distancing and the wearing of the face masks.)
“Magtulungan at magbayanihan tayong lahat (Let us all cooperate and help one another). While government maximizes its limited resources, a lot of our fellow Filipinos have also lost jobs, livelihood and savings. We are fighting for survival — as survival is the name of the game here,” he added.
Duterte approved the recommendation of the IATF regarding the respective quarantine levels imposed on various areas in the country, noting continued significant numbers of COVID-19 infection cases in major areas, particularly Metro Manila and Cebu City.
“Hindi ko kayo mapigilan na lumabas, hindi ko kayo mahuli lahat, ang problema diyan if you allow your children to go out and the place is not ready for them to go outside. ‘Wag mo kaming sisihin, do not forget that we warned you about the grave consequences,’’ Duterte warned. (I cannot stop you from going out. I cannot arrest all of you, the problem there…Do not blame us…)
The President reverted Cebu City to enhanced community quarantine status starting June 16 until the end of the month because of the new cases and widespread infection in majority of its barangays.
There is also a marked increase in the utilization of critical care facilities in the city.
Go urged the public to cooperate with authorities in order to ensure that the disease would not spread further.
“Kung ano po ang gagawin natin sa susunod na mga araw, kung paano po tayo magtutulungan na maiwasan ang pagkalat ng sakit, kung paano po natin mas maisasaayos ang ating health facilities — ito po ang tanging makakapagsabi kung kailan tayo makakabalik muli sa normal na pamumuhay at tuluyang matapos ang krisis na dulot ng COVID-19,’’ he explained. (What we are going to do in the coming days, how we could help to avoid spreading the disease, how we could upgrade our health facilities – the answers to these are the only thing that could tell us on when can we return to our normal lives and finally end the crisis caused by COVID-19.)
“Let us work together to stop the spread of this disease, and at the same time, help our countrymen recover from this crisis. As the President said, we want to give Filipinos hope of a better life after the COVID-19 crisis,” he reiterated.