Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Editorial: Whose burden is Covid-19?

ON JULY 28, 2021, independent research group Octa Research pushed for an "early and hard lockdown" in Metro Manila for two weeks as a "circuit breaker" for the "off and on" surge of Covid-19 cases in the area.

Octa founder Professor Ranjit Rye said that Octa believes that the abrupt increase of new cases in Metro Manila is driven by the more contagious Delta variant, thus their insistence for an early and hard lockdown.

Metro Manila has an average of 1,000 new cases a day for this week alone, Rye noted.

“Studies have shown that hard lockdowns that are implemented early when cases are still low and on the rise tend to be shorter and are less costly for the economy. In short, a ‘go early, go hard’ strategy, if implemented, will save lives and save livelihood,” Rye said.

He also said that the earlier and harder the lockdown would be, the more it would be effective just like what the New Zealand and Australia did.

Here in Davao Region, as of 5 p.m. of July 28, 2021, 501 new cases were recorded, a little less than the highest number of new cases the region has ever logged on June 16, 2021 with 725.

While it is still yet "nonsensical" to call for the same here in Davao Region in relation to the number of new cases, it is an urgent call for all of us, the local government units, the businesses, and the qualified vaccinees to work hard to achieve the target number of population for herd immunity.

With the Delta variant already reached Davao Region, it will not be impossible that what happened in Manila will happen here, God forbid.

The race now is achieving the herd immunity by vaccinating all the qualified vaccinees before Delta or other variants of concern catches us unguarded.

In this pandemic, the responsibility to be safe from Covid-19 does not rest on the LGUs alone.

Vaccines have already arrived and are pouring in Davao Region and the LGUs have already started their vaccination drive. Businesses were asked to give leeway for their workers who are set to be vaccinated, as according to Davao City's Covid-19 Task Force spokesperson, Dr. Michelle Schlosser, in a virtual presser on July 22 it is the responsibility of the employers to allow their employees to be vaccinated even during office hours. However, it still depends on the employees’ and their employers’ internal agreement.

“What we can do with this po is to really arrange that with their employer, kay ano man na responsibility po yan ng employer natin to have, to let them be vaccinated (it is the responsibility of the employer to let them be vaccinated),” Schlosser said.

Meanwhile, there are several qualified vaccines or eligible individuals out there who are still not yet vaccinated for various reasons, some are personal to them.

May we always remember the surge or the halt of the Covid-19 cases and our protection against this disease lies in all of us. That in this pandemic “no one is safe until everyone is safe.”


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