Editorial: A weekly reminder on living with Covid-19

IN THIS time of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, news organizations play a crucial role in informing the public on the developments and updates about the disease and the pandemic.

Part of our role to inform the public is to remind everyone that we are still living in the pandemic despite the easing of the restrictions. The figures reported by the Department of Health on July 5 is a wake-up call for us Filipinos.

On Sunday, the health agency reported 2,434 new Covid-19 cases in the country, bringing the total cases in the country to 44,254. Active cases in the country are now at 31,015, recoveries at 11,942, and deaths at 1,297.

Based on the pooled data of the Asean Post, the Philippines has the third most number of total cases in Southeast Asia, just behind Indonesia (63,749) and Singapore (44,800). On July 5, the Philippines has the most number of new cases in a single day, compared to Indonesia (1,607) and Singapore (136). Malaysia and Thailand reported only five new cases each while Myanmar reported only seven new cases. Vietnam, Cambodia, Brunei, and Laos reported zero Covid-19 cases.

In terms of active cases, the Philippines only comes second after Indonesia (31,473). Singapore only has 4,657 active cases.

Philippines also has the lowest recovery rate in Southeast Asia at only 27 percent. The highest is Laos with a 100 percent recovery rate, followed by Brunei Darussalam (98%), Malaysia (97%), Thailand (96%), Vietnam (95%), Cambodia (93%), Singapore (89%), Myanmar (76%), and Indonesia (45%).

While the Philippine government and the local government units have been doing their part to enable the country to combat Covid-19, it is clear that more has to be done to improve the country's Covid-19 status.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque's pronouncement that the country has beaten University of the Philippine's Covid-19 predictions is laughable. Our country has not beaten anything. In fact, it is stressing to note that the number of cases in the past days has been rapidly increasing. Based on the current trend, it will be only a matter of time we will exceed Singapore in terms of the total number of Covid-19 cases and exceed Indonesia in the number of active cases.

However, efforts to combat Covid-19 not merely lies on the medical sector or the regulations and policies the government puts in place. Fighting Covid-19 also rests upon the public. The situation in Barangay 23-C in Davao City is a clear example of why the public must cooperate with the government in fighting Covid-19.

"Ang Barangay 23-C ang best example kung unsa'y mahitabo kung ang mga tao sige og pabadlong (Barangay 23-C is the best example of what will happen when people are not cooperating)," Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio said in a radiation interview on July 6, 2020 on 87.5 Davao City Disaster Radio.

The barangay was placed under a hard lockdown for 14 days due to the increasing Covid-19 cases in the area. Data from the Department of Health in Davao Region (DOH-Davao) shows that as of July 5, 2020, there are 89 confirmed cases in the barangay with 39 active cases, 48 recoveries, and two deaths.

Moving forward, we urge the public to cooperate with the local government unit and health authorities. If we want to beat Covid-19, we have to work together.

The Department of Health and the World Health Organization urges the public to avoid the three C's -- Crowded places, close-contact settings, and confined and enclosed places -- because of the risk of catching the disease. It said there is a higher risk of catching the disease if all three criteria are met.

The public is likewise urged to avoid crowded places and if you find yourself in one, spend the shortest amount of time there. It also reminds the public to observe physical distancing, washing of hands with soap and water, covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and wearing of face mask. If ever you are not feeling well, stay at home unless it is a medical emergency where you have to go to the hospital.

Stop complaining. Stop whining. Stop spreading misinformation. Instead, start cooperating and be a part of the solution.


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