DOH tells public to learn how to live with the virus as it is here to stay

Filipinos must now learn how to live with the virus as it is here to stay, the Department of Health said Monday.

(Photo by Miggy Hilario / AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

While there is still no sign that the coronavirus pandemic will end, the Health department has urged the public to start religiously practicing minimum health standards as they carry on with their lives.

“We need to learn how to live with the virus. Alam naman natin na magtatagal talaga siya. Hindi pa natin nakikita na meron na siyang signs na sya ay titigil (We know that it will linger. We haven’t seen any sign of it to end). And even experts around the world are saying that the virus is here to stay,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

Vergeire said people must change their behavior in dealing with the virus. She emphasized that Filipinos should submit themselves to the new normal of living, reiterating the importance of wearing a mask, washing of hands, physical distancing, and staying at home when no important business outside.

“Eventually and hopefully as the months will pass, people will have a change in behavior and practice the new normal…We need to have that behavior change. We need to comply with minimum health standards,” the Health official said.

Vergeire emphasized that “the public don’t have to be scared over the virus not going away soon” as long as the country’s health system is not overwhelmed and the case fatality rate is at “a low level only.”

She cited that the State’s case fatality rate is at 1.58 percent while 98 percent of confirmed coronavirus disease cases are mild and asymptomatic.

“Sana ma-maintain na ganito, hindi overwhelmed ang health system, maintain ang mababa ang case fatality rate sa bansa (Hopefully, we can maintain this -- the health system not being overwhelmed and low case fatality rate). We can only do that by doing the minimum health standards even if it will take us two years for us to do that as long as we are all safe,” the Health undersecretary said.