Always assume that Delta variant is around, Año tells public

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año urged the public on Wednesday, July 28, to undertake maximum precautionary measures amid the rising number of Delta variant of the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) in the country.

In an interview over ABS-CBN TeleRadyo, Año warned that the people should not resort to “self-denial’’ with the reality of the COVID-19 Delta variant now in the country.

He pointed out that appropriate action should be done immediately especially in the expeditious conduct of contact tracing and COVID-19 testing.

“Nakita naman sa ibang country like Indonesia, Malaysia, India, bigla yung pagtaas niyan (COVID-19 Delta variant) kaya dapat mag-ready tayo (We are aware that in other countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, India, there were these sudden rise that is why we should be ready),’’ Año said.

However, Año emphasized that the ‘economic factor’’ should also be taken into consideration as lockdowns are not feasible as people will go hungry.

On the supposed signing in August of the Executive Order of Lapu-Lapu City mayor Junard Chan barring unvaccinated persons in establishments, Año branded it as untimely due to the lack of COVID-19 vaccines.

“Naintindihan natin yung sentiment ni Mayor Chan. Parang bibigyan niya ng isang buwan para magpabakuna na at yung hindi pa bakunado ay hindi na puwede pumasok sa establishments. Sa ngayon ay hindi pa yan napapanahon kasi wala pa tayong enough vaccines (We understand the sentiment of Mayor Chan. We think he will give the people one month to be vaccinated and those who are still unvaccinated will not be allowed to enter the establishments. As of now, it is still untimely due to the insufficiency of the vaccines),’’ Año explained.

The DILG chief pointed out that such policy remains discriminatory and restrictive to the unvaccinated individuals at present.

Año noted that the DILG has conferred with Chan to provide him with the guidelines to make it aligned with national policies. (Chito A. Chavez)