Editorial March 14, 2021
Beware of complacency
THE recent decision of the provincial government to adopt the Uniform Travel Protocols issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) is definitely sound to further boost the rebooting of the local economy.
However, there are serious concerns of some local governments, particularly towns that have no COVID cases, that the move could likely threaten their status, and these, too, are understandable. In such cases, the provincial government must respect and allow them not to toe its line.
In this regard, it’d be prudent for the rest of the towns and cities raring to relax their quarantine protocols to be very cautious and be more vigilant in enforcing the minimum health and distance protocols. After all, the adopted uniform travel protocols is only about lifting of checkpoints that require presentation of travel authority and medical certificates. It says nothing about lifting of the mandatory use of face masks and shields.
In fact, the recent urgent call of the Department of Interior and Local Government renewing its call on barangay chieftains to see to the strict enforcement of the wearing of masks outside homes, inside jeepneys and malls, etc. should serve as the red flag to our communities. There is a noted surge in COVID-19 cases.
These concerns and renewed calls for strict enforcement of minimum health protocols should be taken to heart seriously when choosing to go along with the provincial government’s decision to adopt the uniform travel protocols.
It is in this light that we reiterate our proposition to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to pass an ordinance requiring all towns and cities to designate barangay officials as health protocol marshals with authority to arrest violators in accordance to the enforcement of local ordinances.
ONE major factor to contain the coronavirus pandemic is through herd immunity. And what is herd immunity again? It is a form of protection from an infectious disease like COVID-19 when a sufficient percentage of a population has become immune to a virus infection; one way to do it is through mass vaccination. Scientists now say that at least 70-80 percent of a nation’s population—in the Philippine case that would be 80-90 million of our 108-million population—must be inoculated with the anti-COVID-19 serum to reduce, if not prevent, the likelihood of infection for individuals who lack immunity. That is why it is imperative that “vaccination hesitancy” must be weeded out of our mind to achieve our collective desire to put a complete stop to the virus contagion. The correct attitude then? We live with the vaccine, or we court death without the vaccine. That simple.
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