CDO mayor rules out border restriction as plan to fight Omicron sub-variant

Published May 19, 2022, 4:34 PM

by Franck Dick Rosete

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Implementing strict border restriction will not directly solve the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019.

No less than City mayor Oscar Moreno made the comment during an online briefer on Thursday (May 19) in reaction to the possible border restriction after the Department of Health (DOH) on May 17 confirmed the local transmission of Omicron subvariant BA.2.12.1.

“You don’t respond by providing stricter control on the border or on the arrivals. We have learned our lessons already. Those approaches do not work. Unless, the problem is more severe which we can control,” Moreno said.

Implementing strict border controls, he stressed, could aggravate the economy due to the controlled mobility of the people.

DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire reported on May 17 that a total of 17 cases of the said Omicron sub-variant were already detected in the country. Cases have been detected in Metro Manila, Western Visayas, and Puerto Princesa City.

The DOH said that the Omicron sub-variant BA.2.12.1 is believed to be highly transmissible due to additional mutations, compared to the original Omicron strain.

Moreno cited that Covid-19 vaccination would be the most effective way to fight the Omicron sub-variant, aside from strictly adhering to the minimum public health standards.

“The solution is the [Covid-19] vaccination. It has been very clear now, without a doubt, vaccination is the key. The protection that vaccination provides is very crucial,” Moreno said.

As of May 18, the city has already recorded 552,182 fully vaccinated individuals. This is equivalent to 92.04 percent vaccination coverage from the city’s total target population of 599,929.

Under the pediatric vaccination, children aged five to 11 years old, the city has vaccinated 22,188 children and 14,686 of these children were fully vaccinated.

However, Moreno earlier said the city’s Covid-19 vaccination team has been focusing on the booster vaccination due to its low turnout.

In the same data presented, the local government has only recorded 135,396 individuals who received booster shots from 552,182 fully vaccinated city residents.

Since the city government has been continuing in the vaccination rollout, Mayor Moreno urged the public to do their part by submitting themselves to inoculation and by following the health protocols.

“We already have the vaccination. The minimum public health standards are within us individuals. What are those? Social distancing, face mask, proper hand washing and avoid exposure,” Moreno said.

Vergeire, meanwhile, clarified that there is no community transmission yet of the said Omicron sub-variant.