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VP bet Dr. Willie Ong catches COVID-19

Ghio Ong - The Philippine Star
VP bet Dr. Willie Ong catches COVID-19
Dr. Willie Ong.
KJ Rosales

MANILA, Philippines — Vice presidential aspirant Dr. Willie Ong has caught COVID-19, the doctor bared on his Facebook Live video yesterday, as he was filmed sniffing and clearing his throat repeatedly and his voice hoarse.

On his second day of isolation, the partner of Aksyon Demokratiko’s standard bearer and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno said he might have been infected with the more infectious Omicron variant and was suffering recurring headaches and body pains, coughs with phlegm, and colds.

He even said his infection with COVID-19 was his “worst” yet (ito ang pinakamatindi kong sakit), describing the impact on him as “a wave that keeps on attacking and kicking in any time (parang may wave, naglalabas ang virus ng, sipa nang sipa, salbahe ito).”

“Itong COVID Omicron hindi mild, kalokohan ang mga binabasa sa internet,” he said, belying claims of the new variant’s relatively milder infection.

Ong asserted COVID-19’s Omicron variant was entirely different from a flu as generally perceived lately. He explained a person down with flu should recover within three days.

He said this after he claimed the public should not panic on the Omicron-driven surge of COVID-19 cases, according to his statement prepared by the Moreno-Ong campaign team.

People aged 18 to 60 “should not worry in case they get the virus as the effects of the Omicron variant are just mild,” Ong said in his statement.

“So, Omicron to mukhang mas mild siya, okay. Kaya kahit 33,000 sya o ilang thousand man ‘yan kakayanin natin ‘yan, marami mabubuhay,” he said.

The campaign team also revealed that Ong and his physician-wife Liza Ramoso-Ong visited the Philippine General Hospital, a COVID-19 referral hospital, last Wednesday to learn more about the hospital’s current situation.

During the couple’s visit, PGH spokesman Dr. Jonas del Rosario proposed that a hospital be built exclusively for infectious diseases with a 1,000-patient capacity.

In his Facebook Live yesterday, Ong called on the public – especially those currently down with COVID-19 – to stock up on medications like paracetamol, drink up to 14 glasses of water and tea a day, preserve mental well-being, continue eating even without appetite, and maintain a positive outlook.

Patients should also isolate immediately to prevent infecting others, he added.

He also warned his viewers to always wear face masks and just stay indoors.

He also called on local governments in the provinces to purchase anti-COVID drug Molnupiravir, which he claimed currently costs P1,900.30, without saying if this was for a bottle of 40 capsules comprising the treatment cycle.

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