The president of a pro-science consumer advocacy group is calling on business owners to only allow vaccinated individuals inside their establishments as a way to stave off the possible spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.
The proposal of Angelo Palmones, president of the Alyansa ng mga Grupong Haligi ng Agham at Teknolohiya Para sa Mamamayan (AGHAM), says that only people with at least one vaccine dose should be permitted to enter commercial establishments.
“To hasten achieving herd immunity, we must disallow non-vaccinated people from enterimg restaurants, museums, and other commercial establishments, particularly in highly-urbanized areas,” he said.
Palmones also said that only vaccinated Filipinos should be permitted to travel via plane. “Minsan mahaba pa rin kasi yung pag-stay sa loob ng plane (Sometimes you stay in the plane for an extended period),” he noted.
“We need to tighten restrictions, like GCQ [general community quarantine] with heightened restrictions; disallow kids from going out even in so-called children safe zones, and impose travel ban for Thailand and Malaysia, ASAP [as soon as possible],” said the former congressman.
He reckoned that these moves should be done in an effort to “nip in the bud” the threat of the highly-contagious Delta variant.
Asked how he would respond to potential criticism that his proposal was discriminatory against non-vaccinated Filipinos, Palmones simply said, “Public safety comes first.”
“The challenge now for government is to ensure fast and timely delivery of vaccines. I think, [vaccine] hesitancy is waning. The problem now is supply,” he said.
Palmones also backed the recent appeal of the Metro Manila Council (MMC) for the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to rescind its resolution permitting children aged five years and up to go outdoors.
The Department of Health (DOH) has already recorded local transmissions of the Delta variant, which originated in India.