By Chito A. Chavez
Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año on Sunday asserted that the country will be COVID-19 free only when the government decides to impose the “new normal’’ protocols.
He issued the statement to dispel the inaccurate and false beliefs that localities under the less restricted general community quarantine (GCQ) are free from the virus.
Infuriated by the undisciplined public, Año stressed that there will be no COVID-19 surge if each individual will only adhere to quarantine protocols.
Ang bawat mamamayan dapat ang pinaka-unang front liner. Kung aalagaan mo sarili mo, sumunod ka sa patakaran, di yan dadami, di magsaspike yan (Each citizen should be the first frontliner. If you will take good care of yourself, follow the guidelines (quarantine rules), it (COVID-19) will not surge. There will be no spike),’’ Año said.
For those complaining about their lost jobs, Año recognized these woes that are prevalent worldwide.
But at the same time, Año said that people should look at the bright side that they are still alive.
“Buhay ka, panalo ka na. Tingnan mo naman sa Amerika, dalawang million ang positive cases, 120,000 ang namamatay, panalo na tayo dito. (You are all winners since you are alive. Look at the case in America, there are two million cases (COVID-19) with 120,000 fatalities. We are already winners here),’’ Año said.
“Talagang may mawawalan ng trabaho, magsasara ang kompanya, sa buong mundo naman nangyayari yan (Jobs will certainly be lost. Companies will close. That is happening worldwide),’’ he added.
But, Año said that these lost jobs and livelihood opportunities will return if people will strictly follow quarantine protocols.
Citing himself as an example, Año admitted making the mistake of removing his face mask during one of his meetings where one of those present was later found to be COVID-19 positive.
“Isang beses lang yun na pagkakamali, pagtatanggal ng mask. Kaya dapat pag merong tao, dapat di magtanggal ng mask (That was only one mistake. That is why if there are people do not remove your masks),’’ Año stressed.