Go appeals for greater vigilance, cooperation amid rising COVID-19

Cecille Suerte Felipe - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — As the holiday season draws to a close, Sen. Bong Go urged Filipinos to be more cautious and to continue strictly adhering to the health and safety protocols amid the increase in COVID-19 cases and the emergence of the Omicron variant in the Philippines.

Go, the chairman of the Senate committee on health, warned non-compliance with the protocols and other requirements will be strongly dealt with, in accordance with the law.

“Let’s not be complacent first because the weather is still dangerous especially and there are new variants of COVID-19 like this Omicron. It’s a pity what we started – the good progress of our COVID-19 response and vaccine rollout – if we become complacent again,” said Go.

“Please remember that the government cannot do this alone. We need your cooperation in ending this pandemic, just as we need your help in continuing our collaborative work in the community in light of the multiple crises that we are facing,” Go pointed out.

As of Jan. 1, the Department of Health (DOH) has detected 14 cases of Omicron throughout the country. Three of the cases are local: two from Bicol, one from Metro Manila and the rest are imported.

The health department also noted that there is a “high possibility” of local transmission of the variant.

“It is important to understand that the health protocols will only work if every person remains disciplined and cooperative,” Go emphasized.

He renewed his appeal to Filipinos to get inoculated as soon as possible. He also urged those eligible to get their booster shots.

“Get vaccinated at their nearest vaccination site to get the protection you need against the still spreading COVID-19 disease and its various variants,” stressed Go. “The vaccine is free from the government. It is also a way to protect your families and communities.”

The DOH revealed on Saturday that data from hospitals in the National Capital Region showed that 85 percent of those in the intensive care unit (ICU) who require ventilators are unvaccinated.

Due to the spike in new COVID-19 cases, calls to the hospital referral system have also doubled. On Sunday, the country registered 4,600 new cases, up from less than 500 new cases per day in early December.

Go said the government is using every available tool to prepare for a possible new wave of infections and protect the economy from its damaging effects.

The government moved swiftly and raised the alert level status in Metro Manila from Level 2 to Level 3 from Jan. 3 to 15.


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