Aggressive mass testing, mass contact tracing and mass booster shots, vaccination of minors aged 5 to 11 – and a tougher stance against violators.
These are among the steps the government and the public should take in dealing with the Covid menace – including the latest surge of infections, Sen. Panfilo “Ping” M. Lacson said.
Lacson, who is in home quarantine after being exposed to his son who tested positive, stressed that no one should be complacent until there are zero cases recorded.
“We can claim victory only when there are zero cases. As the latest surge of infections has shown, we cannot become complacent even when the number of cases goes down,” the Partido Reporma standard-bearer said.
He said that aside from the gentle reminder to his Twitter friends and followers – “Mask, Iwas, Hugas” – more aggressive measures are needed to match the aggressive spread of Covid.
“On top of that, national and local governments must embark on an aggressive mass testing, mass contact tracing, and mass booster shots. The process to vaccinate five- to 11-year-olds must be accelerated,” he noted.
“After two years’ experience under the pandemic, our authorities should know what to do by now: ensure the efficient rollout of vaccine and booster shots, and the proper distribution of ‘ayuda’ to families affected by this continuing threat to our health and economy,” he added.
On the other hand, Lacson said the Department of Tourism’s suspension and fining of a Makati hotel for its failure to stop returning Filipino Gwyneth Anne Chua from breaking quarantine rules to party – as well as the filing of charges against her and others involved in the incident – are a good start.
He welcomed as well the move of other camps to halt their political gatherings and public activities amid rising Covid infections in the country. “I support the halting of ground activities like motorcades by the campaign teams of those running in the May 9 elections. Wala pa ang Omicron sa Pilipinas, may disiplina na kami ni Senate President Tito Sotto sa mga hybrid online dialogues namin sa iba’t ibang lugar ng bansa (Even before Omicron, Senate President Tito Sotto and I have put a premium on discipline in our hybrid online dialogues in various parts of the country),” Lacson said.
Partido Reporma has always prioritized public safety in its recent “Online Kumustahan” events and other indoor and outdoor mass gatherings. Reporma has maintained a strict implementation of social distancing protocols, mask wearing, self-sanitation and frequent rapid antigen-testing.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Tuesday night said Metro Manila is now at critical risk for Covid-19 transmission, based on virus case trends.
“It bears repeating that we cannot afford to let the pandemic continue devastating not just our health but also our economy,” Lacson said.
“Now more than ever the government and the public need to work together to beat this COVID-19 menace. A proactive leadership with a data-driven approach, plus cooperation from the public, is the key,” he added.