Let’s stem the surge!

PERSPECTIVE - Cherry Piquero Ballescas - The Freeman

Better to assume soonest that the rapid hike in covid cases and the difficulty of finding rooms in Cebu hospitals is Delta variant-related.

Like the rest of the country and the world, there is the urgency to stop this surge soonest, with everyone’s active and committed collaboration.

There is still so much we do not know about the Delta and other covid variants. This is making the campaign to stop the variants difficult.

Still, shall we all start with what we know about the Delta variant and review what appropriate responses we can do to stem this variant’s surge?

Fact#1. The Delta variant is highly transmissible and airborne.

One person infects 8 others. These 8, in turn, each infect 8 others more and so on. Can you imagine how rapid this variant will spread in communities, in other public places?

What can we do?

Stay home as much as possible.

Wear face masks/shields, maintain social distance.

Without fail, follow and comply please.

You do not only protect your own self when you mindfully/responsibly follow health protocols. You protect all others.

Thank you for being mindful!

Fact#2. The Delta variant seeks the unvaccinated.

While the fully vaccinated may also be infected by the virus and variants, the unvaccinated are more seriously affected.

Those vaccinated should still strictly follow health protocols as they can still be infected and are still carriers of the virus/variant.

Therefore, even the fully vaccinated should be just as mindful and responsible in following health protocols.

All-out effort should be exerted to have more vaccinated in all barangays.

LGUs should also ensure the supply of vaccines and have vaccination schedules and venues that are accessible and protective of those who decide to be jabbed.

More information campaign should be widely implemented to guide the public to know the benefits of vaccination so they can decide the better health options for themselves.

Offering incentives for the vaccinated may also help.

Fact#3. The Delta variant infects younger persons as well.

While the Covid virus infected more elderly and less of the young, this time around, reports show that the variant afflicts the young, even infants.

As vaccinations are rolled out and prioritized for the elderly and those with co-morbidities, the unvaccinated young will have to be alerted to more vigilantly protect themselves by staying home and complying seriously, strictly with health protocols.

Fact#4. Hospital occupancy has reached critical levels and most likely due to the rapid hike in possibly variant-related infections.

Local and national news have shown the sick unable to get into emergency rooms (ERs) and hospitals.

Given the surge, what can be done to immediately attend especially to the covid-related cases, especially the most serious ones?

If swab test confirming whether one has covid or not is the first step required in all hospitals, then please have more of these swab areas.

Drive through, mobile swab testing, innovative but prompt/responsive testing should be made available.

LGUs, businesses, other sectors may wish to join together to make these swab tests accessible for free to more quickly avert further spread of the virus/variant.

Once identified as covid-related, then they can be accepted into hospitals. However, occupancy remains critical because of the surge.

Alternative isolation areas with adequate medical facilities and competent medical team should be identified and made available for the mild cases so the hospitals can be reserved for the urgently needing serious cases.

Fact#5. Genome confirmation is slow and expensive limiting the availability of variant-related data which are crucial for managing, stopping the surge.

More and immediate research support please so research results can lead to better and more effective/protective responses soonest!

Fact#6. Everyone’s help urgently needed please to stem the surge, protect yourself and all others.

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