MANILA – Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo on Saturday advised the public to take extra precautions amid the reported spike in cases of the more transmissible Delta coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) variant in the country.
During his commentary show Counterpoint, Panelo said the threat of the Delta variant is “no joke.”
“Napakahalaga na tayo po ay tignan nating seryoso po itong Delta variant. Hindi ito biro-biro. Kailangan pong pahintuin natin ito habang hindi pa ito kumakalat,” Panelo said.
He said the public need not be reminded regularly to protect themselves against the Delta variant.
He also told them not to be complacent and disobedient by disregarding the quarantine and health protocols imposed by the government amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“So, kailangan tayo po’y maging very, very serious on this matter,” Panelo said. “We don’t have to be repeatedly reminded of how to survive or how to live. Kailangan po alam na natin ang dapat gawin.”
The Philippines has so far reported a total of 216 cases of Delta COVID-19 variant.
On Friday, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said there is no community transmission yet of the Delta variant in the country.
Panelo, nevertheless, assured the public that President Rodrigo Duterte and his administration are exerting all efforts to stop the spread of the Delta variant.
“Ang ating pamahalaan, walang ginawa ito kundi palagi nilang tinitignan kung ano ang dapat gawin upang mapangalagaan ang kalusugan natin,” he said.
Panelo added that Duterte is “almost sleepless” just to look for ways to defeat the original and other variants of COVID-19.
“Itong si Presidente Rodrigo Roa Duterte, wala na itong ginawa kundi magpaalala, halos hindi na matulog, pinag-aaralan kung anong gagawin natin (to defeat COVID-19),” he said.
In a pre-recorded Talk to the People aired Monday, Duterte emphasized the need to “double-time” the vaccination of more Filipinos amid the threat of the Delta variant.
The Delta variant, which was first detected in India, is found to be 60 percent more infectious than the Alpha variant, which was first detected in the United Kingdom.