SENATORS urged the government to implement stricter mechanisms to prevent COVID-19 Delta variant cases from rising to dangerous levels.
“Malapit na tayo sa tipping point,” Senator Nancy Binay said.
“Hindi lang naman COVID ang concern ng lahat ngayon—we are already full with other things beyond our control,” she noted.
“The rising COVID cases continue to strain hospitals, and the new variants will definitely put more stress on our already overburdened public health system,” the senator said.
The lady senator added that the government has to put premium on ensuring stricter border controls, and saving the healthcare support system from a possible collapse.
Binay said the Department of Health (DOH) has to prepare for the possibility of its fully vaccinated healthcare workers (HCWs) acquiring the Delta variant.
“I hope government finds practical ways to protect our HCWs because they are the ones exposed and more prone to infection because of the high viral load in hospitals. You can already feel their frustration and desperation.
For his part, Sen. Sonny Angara said the government should again start regulating the number of persons in private establishments especially in places like shops, gyms, buildings and other enclosed spaces.
“Otherwise, the Delta variant will spread quickly indoors,” Angara said.
Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, meanwhile said the people should maintain a guiding principle that they should only leave their homes only for “essential” chores.
Pimentel stressed that the general rule should be to “stay at home” and “go out only for essential activities” while observing the wearing of face masks and to maintain physical distancing.
Sen. Risa Hontiveros, on the other hand, said it is important that the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) accelerates its testing and contact tracing program and more importantly, its genome sequencing.
“We would not know the real figure if we can’t confirm the cases through genetic sequencing. Our situation may seem to improve from day to day but let’s not let our guard down. Let’s maintain the safety health protocols because we can’t afford to be complacent,” Hontiveros said.
Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan urged the government to heed the advise of the country’s health experts.
He also did not discount the possibility the government will reimpose an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the National Capital Region (NCR) to prevent the country from experiencing Indonesia’s present struggle with COVID-19.