A LESSON we can learn from the 2019 Novel coronavirus health crisis is for our citizens to be mindful of their civic responsibility to either home quarantine or submit themselves for medical intervention if they were in the same flight with the Chinese nationals who were reportedly inflicted with the acute respiratory disease.
Airline and shipping companies should require the submission of contact numbers during booking to facilitate contact tracing. Airline companies admitted they had difficulty in contacting some of the passengers because no contact numbers were available.
During the Senate hearing in connection with the issue, the investigating body pointed out the urgency of contact tracing. The passenger manifest was not readily available to health officers due to airline protocol and up to this time, authorities are in a quandary as to how to contact some of the passengers. In fact, they are now asking the National Bureau Investigation to assist them.
Two Chinese nationals traveled from Wuhan, China to Hongkong, then to Cebu, then to Dumaguete before flying to Manila. They flew via two major airline companies. Apparently, they have exposed fellow travelers to the virus. Among the three tested positive in our country, one already died.
Hoarding and overpricing are twin acts of opportunism that should be penalized to its fullest. Violators are a disgrace to the millions of volunteers all over the world who extend emergency assistance without expecting any reward or compensation in return.
The World Health Organization declared the outbreak of the Novel coronavirus as a global emergency and yet some unscrupulous suppliers continue to overprice face masks that are essential in the preventive measure to avoid spread of the dreaded virus.
My take on the panic buying of face masks is that there may be enterprising small businesses who also want to make a “fast buck.” While there are irritants vis-à-vis the Novel coronavirus issue, let us be reminded that health is wealth.
Furthermore, while the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board requires drivers of public transport to wear face masks, the Department of Education should make it mandatory for all students to wear face masks when inside private and public schools.
Every citizen must observe personal hygiene and civic consciousness to contain and battle the African Swine Fever, Bird Flu and Novel coronavirus, challenging our nation’s capabilities and resources.