Former Vice President and senatorial aspirant Jejomar Binay urged the national government to further improve the health care system of the country against COVID-19, especially amid the looming threat of the Omicron variant.
“Sinabi mismo ng DOH (Department of Health) na hindi maiiwasan ang pagpasok ng Omicron variant dito sa ating bansa (The DOH said the entry of the Omicron variant in the country is inevitable). A health official said we can only slow it down, but not stop it. Kaya ngayon pa lang, dapat naghahanda na tayo (That’s why we must start preparing for it now),” Binay said.
Binay said the travel ban on select countries is a good sign that the government is being pro-active, but it also needs to focus on strengthening the country’s health defenses while cases are still down.
“Sana ay gamitin ng gobyerno ang panahon na mababa ang mga kaso para magbakuna ng mas marami pang mga mamamayan, lalo na yung mga nasa labas ng Metro Manila (I hope the government will use this time while cases are low to vaccinate more people, especially those outside Metro Manila),” Binay said.
He suggested that during the months of December and January, the national government must act immediately to address the concerns of the health care system, especially in strengthening its response against the Omicron variant which is said to be more contagious than the Delta variant due to its mutations.
“Kapag sapat ang gamot at supplies at ang bilang ng nurses at health workers, at masinop ang testing at contact tracing, mas magiging handa tayo sakaling magkaroon uli ng surge dahil sa Omicron variant (If we have a sufficient supply of medicines and enough number of health workers, and contact tracing is done properly, then we will be more prepared in case a surge due to the Omicron variant occurs),” the former vice president said.
“We need to protect our people from any further harm, and our economy from any further damage. The key is to make health a priority and to make sure that the health front is managed competently,” he added.