AKSYON Demokratiko vice presidential candidate Dr. Willie Ong on Friday admitted that he had tested positive for Omicron and shared some valuable lessons he learned on the highly-transmissible Covid-19 variant that is gripping the country.
“I have Covid, Day 2. Nagla-live ako dahil sa tingin ko, may lesson din naman at maituro ko sa inyo, habang yung hindi pa tinatamaan, maka-ingat pa ng konti. Iba yung inaral ko sa Covid, iba yung na-experience mo mismo. Iba yung libro, iba yung aktwal,” Ong said in live post in his Facebook page.
According to the 58-year-old cardiologist, internist, and philanthropist, the first thing he learned about the Omicron variant was that it is not as benign as some experts have painted it to be.
“Ang Omicron ay hindi po mild. Kalokohan yung binabasa nyo sa Google, sa internet. Mas matindi ito kaysa flu. Ito ang pinakamatindi kong sakit. Masakit sa ulo. May sipon sya pero matindi yung ubo. May plema na ako, wala na rin akong boses,” Ong said.
Ong said he also experiences post-nasal drip and difficulty in sleeping among others. While he still has his sense of smell and taste, he sometimes has no appetite.
And the symptoms come in waves, he said, describing how he seemed to recover one moment, only for the symptoms to return after a few moments, thus gradually sapping the strength of the patient.
“Alas siyete ng umaga, sakit ng katawan, sakit ng ulo, laging pawis. Tapos mamayang konti, lalakas ka, parang okay, tapos mamayang konti, ayan na naman, mabigat na naman. So, may wave na parang sipa siya nang sipa. Kaya naiintindihan ko kung bakit may namamatay, kasi sipa nang sipa yung sakit,” Ong said.
He also warned that wearing face masks, even the more effective N95 that he always wears is not enough to prevent the transmission of Omicron.
“Maingat talaga ako. Lagi akong naka-N95. Pero kasi yung mga kasama ko hindi naka-N95. Naaamoy mo yung mga katabi mo, so, lulusot pa rin siya. Sa pag-aaral, kahit naka-N95 ka, pag yung kasama mo walang mask, may lulusot pa rin,” Ong said.
When stricken with the virus, Ong advised victims to isolate themselves, drink lots of water and take over-the-counter drugs to treat the various symptoms like Paracetamol for fever, expectorants for coughs, among others, as well as vitamins. “Any brand is okay,” he pointed out.
Ong also advised patients to eat as much as possible even if they have no appetite for added energy and to refrain from getting stressed to preserve their mental health and immune system.
And since he got infected, Ong has started taking Molnupiravir, the anti-viral drug that he recommended to Manila Mayor Isko Moreno and Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna to purchase for Covid patients in Manila.
Because of Ong’s advice, Manila City has a steady supply of Molnupiravir that Moreno has made available even for non-Manilans for free, besides other drugs like Remdesivir, Tocilizumab, and Baricitinib.
“Maganda po ito. Ito talaga ang gamot nyo, Molnupiravir. Pang high-risk (patients),” he said.
Having said that, Ong reiterated his call for all local government units (LGUs), especially those in the provinces to purchase Molnupiravir in preparation for the expected Omicron surge in the provinces in the following weeks.
Ong also reiterated his call for the establishment of a 1,000-bed Infectious Disease Hospital as preparation for future pandemics that may hit the country and the rest of the world.
“Bahala na kayo kung sino mananalo. Kailangan natin, magtayo kayo ng Infectious Disease Hospital na 1,000-bed para lahat ng impeksyon, lahat ng pandemic doon. Kasi wala tayong ospital ngayon, hindi mo kasi pwedeng pinaghahalo yung may Covid sa non-Covid, magkakahawaan,” Ong said.
“Basta ang lesson dito, matindi itong Omicron. Ang daming nagkakamatayan, saka matindi sipa nito. Dasal lang po tayo. Lahat naman may God’s will. Basta hanggang kaya ko, tutulong pa rin tayo. Pag malakas ako, we’ll see each other tomorrow,” Ong said.