Speaker Lord Allan Velasco on Monday, March 8 appealed to Filipinos not to let their guards down against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), saying that the rollout of vaccines is no reason to be complacent or even celebrate.
Velasco said Filipinos should continue to observe public health precautions as the country currently experiences an increase in cases.
“While we understand that more businesses are reopening and people want to resume normal activities, we have to maintain our health protocols until the COVID-19 threat is effectively addressed by our vaccination program,” Velasco said.
On Monday, the Department of Health reported that 3,356 individuals tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, March 8, bringing the total to 597,763 since the Philippines was hit by the pandemic a year ago.
For three straight days before Monday, the number of new cases reached over 3,000 daily, which is high compared to previous days of about 1,400 to 2,000.
The OCTA Research aired the possibility that the number could reach up to 6,000 new COVID-19 cases by the end of March.
As numbers are rising again one year into the pandemic, Velasco said that utmost vigilance in following all recommended health and safety protocols is “more critical now than ever.”
The House official said the arrival of the life-saving vaccine in the country and its subsequent rollout should not be a reason to be complacent.
“Now is not the time to let our guard down,” Velasco pointed out.
“We have to wait until such time a greater number of Filipinos are vaccinated and herd immunity has been achieved.”
Earlier, Velasco said he was more than willing to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in public to convince Filipinos that the vaccine is safe and necessary.
According to Velasco, elected officials like him should be “at the forefront” of the government’s vaccination campaign to encourage everyone to get inoculated against the illness that has already killed more than 12,500 people nationwide.