GOVERNMENT officials, including the Department of Health or DOH seem to be in denial mode. These are what fellow columnist Melanie Lim described as “lies” that government officials are telling us. I understand that they only do not want us to panic. But in doing so, they are taking away the urgency that is needed in these dangerous times.
I know the line the DOH is taking. Present the recent surge in Covid-19 cases in Cebu but lessen its import by claiming that our hospitals have not yet been overwhelmed. That is why you hear talks about the number of beds versus the number of patients and similar data. “Kaya pa,” is what they are saying.
But the admission that the Delta variant of the coronavirus is here should be a concern no matter how the DOH explains it. It is 60 percent more transmissible than the original virus. Which means that the variant can fuel a surge like what happened in Indonesia and India. And it seems to be fuelling the surge of Covid-19 infections in Cebu.
The surge is real. Metro Cebu, the regional center, is starting to feel the brunt, with the hospitals experiencing an increase in the number of Covid-19 patients. And many infection cases come from Cebu Province where efforts to loosen up the restrictions put in place to prevent the spread of infections are visible.
It is easy to call for the loosening of restrictions when you are not responsible for solving the problems that the surge in infections conjures. But this early we have seen the price of that loosening. In Chong Hua Hospital, the front road is filled with vehicles ridden by patients needing emergency medical care. That scene is but a repeat of the ones seen recently in Indonesia and India.
Many of us are complaining of the restrictions. But when we are poor, prevention is always better than cure. We have seen what happens when the virus is able to penetrate a household. How many times have we read Facebook posts detailing the deaths caused by virus infections.
The restrictions are difficult to follow, true, but the times call for them. The World War II comparison may be too much but I could just imagine the life of my parents and their family when they constantly evaded the Japanese troops that invaded the Camotes group of islands where they lived.
They were on survival mode, eating bananas, root crops and corn while hiding in the bushes. They know that one false move could mean capture and possible death. That is the same with this pandemic. Our main goal is to prevent infection because one false move and the situation could deteriorate faster. The drain on our resources would be less if we don’t get infected. Being infected would be tragic.
Aside from the restrictions, there should be an aggressive vaccination effort. It is not enough to rave and rant against the restrictions. Government officials should also work to protect their constituents via an aggressive vaccination effort. It’s one way out of this mess.