Following an increase in the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in Metro Manila, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go on Monday, March 8, warned Filipinos not to be complacent and to double down on prevention measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
“Huwag tayo magkumpyansa habang nandirito pa rin ang COVID-19. Ang inyong kooperasyon at pagsunod sa mga patakaran ay makapagliligtas ng buhay ng mga kapwa nating Pilipino (Do not be complacent while the COVID-19 is still around. Your cooperation and following the guidelines will save the lives of your fellow Filipinos),” Go, chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, said.
“Konting tiis nalang po dahil ginagawa ng gobyerno ang lahat para tuloy-tuloy na ang pagbabakuna sa mga Pilipino. Ang ating maayos na vaccine roll-out ang tanging susi at solusyon upang tuluyang malampasan ang pandemyang hinaharap natin (A little more patience because the government is doing everything to ensure an interrupted vaccination of the Filipinos. Our proper vaccine roll-out is the only key and solution to overcome the pandemic that we are facing),” he added.
Despite the arrival of vaccines, Go emphasized the need to still strictly follow health protocols, such as wearing masks and face shields, observing social distancing, and avoiding unessential travels.
He also asked Filipinos to put their trust in the vaccines but not to get too complacent until the country achieves herd immunity.
Go added that the government must continue building the people’s confidence in the vaccines and allay their fears while remaining vigilant against an unseen enemy.
“Huwag tayong matakot sa bakuna. Matakot tayo sa COVID-19. Ang bakuna ang papatay sa COVID-19. Ang bakuna ang tanging susi natin sa problemang ito. (Do not be afraid of the vaccine, be afraid of COVID-19. It is the vaccine that will kill COVID-19. The vaccine is the only key to solve this problem),” he emphasized.
The senator from Davao further highlighted the need to keep the health care system afloat as the country bats for herd immunity against COVID-19.
He reiterated that vigilance, cooperation and compassion for others are needed to protect the health of Filipinos while balancing the well-being of our economy.
“Let us work together to keep the enemy at bay until we (achieve) herd immunity. Totoong mahirap ang buhay ngayon, pero pangunahing layunin muna natin ang maitigil ang pagkalat ng COVID-19 sa ating bansa para mas mapabilis ang pagbalik natin muli sa normal na pamumuhay (It is true that life now is difficult, but we need to first address the spread of COVID-19 in the country in order to hasten our return to normal lives),” Go appealed.
Go and his team continue to go around the country to assist victims of fire incidents, previous calamities and working sectors whose livelihoods continue to be adversely affected by the pandemic.
During those visits, Go would encourage Filipinos to get vaccinated to propel the country further towards herd immunity.
“It is important to allay the fears and strengthen public confidence in vaccines. When the right time comes, I and other key officials are willing to be inoculated in public, not because officials are prioritized, but because we need to show the rest of the country that vaccines are safe and effective,” Go said.
So far, the country has received vaccines from Sinovac which was a donation from China, and Astra Zeneca through the COVAX facility spearheaded by the World Health Organization.
Go thanked the national government, local government units, the private sector and international partners for their bayanihan efforts in acquiring safe and effective vaccines for Filipinos.
“Our efforts continue as we aim to accelerate our vaccine roll-out in order to lead the country and our people towards full recovery,” he said.
He also continued to reassure that the poor and the vulnerable are in the government’s priority list for inoculation after frontliners.
“As President Duterte and I have constantly said, these sectors must be inoculated as soon as we finish immunizing our frontliners for them to be able to return to normalcy and help our economy recover,” Go said.
“Our continued cooperation with national government agencies in the implementation of the National COVID-19 Vaccine Roadmap and vigilance in the community will help us survive and overcome this pandemic!” he added.