Now for some good news
SHOOTING STRAIGHT (The Freeman) - April 8, 2020 - 12:00am

COVID-19 always bring bad news to us. However, allow me to bring good news that was posted in Facebook that Jun Daclan, the father of Dr. Francis Daclan who was in UCMed for 17 days due to COVID-19 has been finally released by the hospital staff as he is considered recovered from this deadly virus. Also, we read another Facebook report yesterday morning that Dr. Estrella Huang, a medical professor and internist in Cebu Doctors Hospital and University, who was affected by COVID-19, was released by the hospital staff in a very emotional farewell. She survived this scourge despite her age.

We prayed for the recovery of these two patients, as they are friends of my family. We also prayed for Dr. Dennis and Helen Tudtud, but unfortunately they didn’t survive the virus. This also included my dear friend, Dennis “Nic” Garcia of Vivant Corp. Let us hope that after Holy Week we shall see more recovered patients so we can resume normal life.

Meanwhile, in another good but international news, we learned that the Australia Supreme Court unanimously overturned Cardinal George Pell’s historical conviction for five counts of child sex abuse. At the time, Pell was the Vatican treasurer and the highest-ranking Catholic official to ever be publicly accused of child sex offenses. Pell strenuously denied the charges, which he dismissed in a 2016 police interview as a "product of fantasy." Clearly this was a case filed to destroy the Catholic Church by the evil ones.

The momentous decision, handed down last Tuesday by Chief Justice Susan Kiefel that puts an end on this five-year legal battle that started when a man in his thirties approached police, alleging that Pell had abused him as a child in the mid-1990s. This case only shows that God has protected his own and released him during Holy Week. This is great news for the Catholic Church in this holiest of weeks.

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It was a rather lengthy speech that Pres. Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte read on TV the other night and basically he really meant that the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon has been extended until April 30. Of course this could only mean that the COVID-19 cases in Luzon or their “curve” has not been flattened. Secondly, it is much better to extend this process rather than see what has happened in China or Singapore where there has been a secondary surge in infections by this virus.

As Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said last Tuesday, the president has accepted the Inter-agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases’ recommendation to extend the ECQ in Luzon. Nograles further noted that experts said they will need until mid-April to really study the effect of the ECQ, which started last March 15. This prompted the IATF to recommend and extension of the lockdown until April 30. The extended lockdown will also help increase the health capacity of the country.

This brings us to the question whether we in Region-7 or Central Visayas will follow this extension, which the president mandated only for Luzon? Mind you, in Central Visayas, Bohol is now COVID-19 Free, Siquijor has not been infected, while there are only one death each in Mandaue City and Talisay City, so yes, you can say we have flattened the curve. But of course, before we demand to return back to our normal life, we should first ensure ourselves against a drastic return of COVID-19, which may be more aggressive than before.

This is something our leaders like Gov. Gwen Garcia and Mayor Edgar Labella must study carefully and not decide right away in one single meeting. We can experiment for instance in Lapu-Lapu City first for one week and if there is no return of the virus, then let Mandaue City start a week later. Meanwhile, Cebu City, which has the highest number of cases and deaths, should come later.

Meanwhile, I suggest that for the cities that would be returned back to normal, they should first make sure that people still wear masks and observe social distancing for at least one week. When the virus does not return then they can resume normal living. The most important thing that our local government leaders should do is make sure everyone follows this rule until things normalize. This way, perhaps even Luzon can follow how we did things in Region 7 and learn from us.

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