DOH to Bicol residents: Strictly follow health protocols despite ‘pandemic fatigue’

Published June 17, 2021, 2:12 PM

by Analou de Vera

Amid the persistent government reminder to observe minimum health protocols, these passengers remove their face shields while on board a public utility vehicle in downtown Davao City. Health authorities have attributed the surge of COVID-19 cases in the region to complacency. (Keith Bacongco/MANILA BULLETIN)

The Department of Health (DOH)-Bicol urged the public to strictly adhere to the health protocols to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the area.

The rise in cases in the Bicol region can be attributed to the pandemic “fatigue,” said DOH-Bicol Assistant Director Ferchito Avelino during a radio interview on Thursday, June 17.

“Sa atin pong obserbasyon at pag engage sa mga community, nakikitaan po natin na mukhang nagkakaroon na po ng fatigue in practicing the minimum public health standards—lalong-lalo na po itong wearing of mask, wearing of face shield, social gathering (From our observation and engagement with the communities, we can see that there seems to be fatigue in practicing the minimum public health standards — especially in wearing a face mask, face shield, and social gathering),” said Avelino.

“Talagang pagod na yung tao, but then again kahit pagod na ang tao–they have to understand [the situation] (The people are really tired, but then again, they have to understand the situation),” he added.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defined pandemic fatigue as “feeling demotivated about following recommended behaviours to protect themselves and others from the virus.”

“Such demotivation is natural and expected at this stage of a crisis,” the WHO said.

Avelino, meanwhile, urged the hospitals to increase their bed capacities for COVID-19 patients. He likewise urged the local government units (LGUs) in Bicol to also increase the capacity of the temporary treatment and monitoring facilities.

As of June 15, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Bicol region stood at 15,276 wherein 5,099 were active cases, 9,687 have already recovered, while 490 patients died.