Virus surge feared as a lot of people snubbing protocols amid threat of Delta variant

Published July 18, 2021, 2:09 PM

by Chito Chavez

A number of people are not following the minimum public health safety protocol amid the confirmation of the Delta variant of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.

The Delta variant, described as more transmissible and more deadly, was tagged as the culprit behind the sudden upsurge of COVID-19 cases in in India and is now also bringing serious problems in Indonesia.

Businessman Nelson Pangan said that more people were out on the streets after trooping to Antipolo Church on Sunday, July 18 where he had his newly acquired second-hand sports utility vehicle (SUV) blessed.

“Nung luwagan and health protocols, hindi naman ako nagulat bagkus ay nangamba sa dami ng tao sa paligid ng compound ng simbahan at ang daming tindera ng kakanin at kasoy sa paligid kung saan ang mga mamimili ay hindi sumusunod sa physical distancing (With the relaxed health protocols I was really not surprised but more worried that many people were roaming the church compound and a lot of vendors were selling cashew nuts and rice cakes around the vicinity where customers were not following the physical distancing regulations),’’ Pangan said.

With these incidents, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary EduardoAño on July 17 required the Philippine National Police (PNP), barangay tanods (village security personnel) and enforcers to increase their presence and visibility in commercial and public areas.

“Likewise, we hold local officials accountable on super-spreader events,’’ Año said.

The DILG chief also encouraged the citizens to convey immediately such violations to the authorities via hotline and action numbers of the concerned local government units (LGUs) assuring prompt action to any reports.

With Año’s directive, PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar ordered all police chiefs to deploy more men in public areas to prevent mass gatherings and other minimum health and safety violations to prevent the COVID-19 surge.

He stressed that the police chiefs would be able to gauge on how many more police officers should be dispatched to secure public locations and other establishments in their areas of responsibility.

Año warned that local chief executives (LCE) will also be made answerable for the violations of health and safety protocols in their areas as quarantine rules should always be strictly enforced with the COVID-19 delta variant already in the country.