Senator Christopher “Bong” Go on Wednesday appealed to the public to cooperate with authorities and concerned government agencies by fully complying with the appropriate health and safety protocols to curb the rising number of new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases.
“Ang inyong kooperasyon at pagmamalasakit sa kapwa ay makapagliligtas ng buhay ng inyong sarili at ng mahal n’yo sa buhay. Tulungan natin ang ating gobyerno para mapaigting ang pagpapatupad ng health and safety protocols upang tuluyan nating mapigilan ang pagtaas ng kaso ng COVID-19 sa bansa (Your cooperation and concern for your fellowmen will save you and the lives of your loved ones. Let us help our government in order to intensify the implementation of health and health protocols so we could fully stop the rise of COVID-19 cases in the country),” Go said.
“Ipagpatuloy po natin ang bayanihan at kooperasyon sa gobyerno. Isang taon na tayong nagsakripisyo dahil sa pandemyang ito. Huwag nating balewalain ang mga protocols, para hindi masayang ang mga sakripisyo nating lahat (Let us continue the helping hands and cooperation in the government. It’s been a year since we started sacrificing due to this pandemic. Do not set aside the protocols, so our sacrifices will not be wasted),” he added.
As government accelerates vaccine rollout, Go reminded the public to remain vigilant and cooperate with authorities while the threats of COVID-19 still exist.
Despite the arrival of the vaccines, he emphasized the need to still strictly follow health protocols, such as wearing masks and face shields, observing social distancing, and avoiding unessential travels.
The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has recommended to place some jurisdictions with rising number of COVID-19 cases under General Community Quarantine, while the rest of the country may be put under Modified General Community Quarantine from March 1 to 31.
The IATF also identified areas requiring special attention by the local government units, Regional IATF and the National Task Force, and the measures to be implemented in all areas of the country to prevent, detect, isolate and treat COVID-19.
The IATF likewise reminded authorities that reclassification, localized ECQs and lockdowns without the approval or concurrence required by Executive Order No. 112 (s. 2020) would not be supported or enforced by national government authorities.
Meanwhile, while it acknowledged the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country, the Department of Health advised against describing the situation as a “surge.”
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a regular news briefing that “cases of people going to the hospital [emergency rooms] are increasing, but we need scientific evidence to say there is really a surge.”
She also assured that hospital bed capacity is still at a “manageable level”.
The DOH also emphasized the importance of continuing compliance with necessary health measures.
The DOH maintained that the transmission can be stopped through localized response in barangays or cities and by more stringent enforcement of health measures and does not necessitate Metro Manila being placed on another lockdown.
With this, Go urged concerned agencies and local government units to strictly implement necessary measures based on IATF guidelines such as health promotion and enforcement of minimum health standards, ramping up of availability of identified quarantine facilities, immediate facility-based isolation of probable cases, and scaling up of local health systems capacity, among others.