THE Philippines is unlikely to have a Covid-free Christmas, as Chief Testing Czar Secretary Vivencio “Vince” Dizon admitted Saturday, September 12, that it is impossible for the government to completely eradicate the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in a matter of months.
Dizon, in a Laging Handa public briefing Saturday, instead called on the public to intensify their compliance with the government’s standard health protocols, saying Covid-19 will remain as long as there is no available vaccine to combat the virus.
"Sabi nga natin habang wala pang bakuna, ang Covid-19 ay hindi mawawala, nandiyan pa rin siya, kaya dapat ang ambag ng ating mga kababayan ay ang pagsunod sa ating pagsusuot ng mask, paghuhugas lagi ng kamay at pagdidistansiya sa ating mga kababayan at sa mga instance na medyo matagal ang interaction tulad ng public transport, tulad ng pagpapasok sa mga iba’t ibang mga restaurant o mga area na medyo matagal ang interaction natin sa ating mga kababayan, kailangan dagdagan na rin ng face shield," he said.
(Unless there's a vaccine, Covid-19 will remain, so Filipinos must follow the health protocols like wearing a face mask, washing hands and observing social distancing in public transportation, restaurants or other areas where there are other people. Also use a face shield.)
He said it would take for the government to eradicate the virus.
"Unang-una po, ang Covid po ay hindi mawawala sa loob ng isang buwan. Siguro sa loob ng halos isang taon hangga’t makakuha tayo ng bakuna," he said.
(Covid-19 will not just disappear in a month. Maybe, we can eradicate it in a matter of one year or until we get a vaccine.)
Dizon assured that President Rodrigo Duterte is boosting the Philippines' diplomatic ties with other countries through its participation in solidarity trials.
Solidarity trials refer to the international clinical trial launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) to help find an effective treatment for Covid-19.
It also aims to rapidly discover whether any of the drugs slow disease progression or improve survival.
"Ang solidarity trials po ano, iyan ay pinagtutulungan sa pamumuno ng ating Department of Science and Technology, kay Secretary Boy Dela Peña at siyempre sa atin pong DOH. At iyan po ay tuluy-tuloy at talaga pong dahil sa napakalakas na diplomatic relationships ng ating Pangulo sa lahat ng bansa, ay talaga pong tuluy-tuloy po ang pagsasanib-puwersa ng Pilipinas sa iba’t ibang bansa sa pamamagitan nitong mga solidarity trials," Dizon said.
(The Department of Science and Technology headed by Secretary Boy Dela Peña and, of course, the DOH are working together for the solidarity trials, and because of President Rodrigo Duterte's strong diplomatic relationships with other countries, the Philippines is continuously working with other nations for these solidarity trials.)
"Kaya ang objective po natin talaga diyan ay once na mayroon ng bakuna na ready at na-validate na ng mga eksperto sa buong mundo ay ready na po ang Pilipinas na ipamahagi ito sa ating mga kababayan, lalo na unang-una sa ating mga pinakanangangailangan, pinakamahihirap nating mga kababayan, sa mga lugar na napakataas ng kaso at siyempre po unang-una din po dapat ang ating mga frontliners na makatanggap ng bakuna against," he assured.
(So our objective here is once a vaccine is available and validated by experts from around the world, the Philippines can procure and distribute it to our fellowmen, especially those who are in need, the poorest of the poor, for areas where there is high cases of Covid-19, and of course our frontliners.)
Dizon added that he is already meeting up with local government officials in the National Capital Region (NCR), where Covid-19 cases are high.
"Wala pong tigil ang ating pagbaba at pag-i-interact sa ating mga LGUs sa NCR at sa Greater Metro Manila Area (We continue to interact with LGUs in NCR and the Greater Metro Manila area)," he said, adding that NCR mayors and members of the National Task Force will meet again on Sunday, September 13, to talk about their roles in the quarantine.
"Tuluy-tuloy po ang pagtutulungan natin kaya napakaganda po talaga ng working relationship natin sa ating NCR mayors," he added.
As of September 12, the Department of Health reported 4,935 new cases of Covid-19, bringing the country's total to 257,863.
The DOH said majority of the new cases came from Metro Manila with 2,619.
Also seeing high number of cases are Cavite (343), Laguna (258), Rizal (227), and Negros Occidental (177). (SunStar Philippines)