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‘Worst yet to come’


a person wearing a costumeMalacañang on Wednesday agreed with the assessment of the World Health Organization (WHO) that the worst of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic “is yet to come.”
Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said Duterte consulted with health experts because he believed that the threats posed by the Covid-19 pandemic were far from over.
“We take seriously the remarks of World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus that the ‘worst of the coronavirus 2019 is yet to come.’ We further agree with the WHO chief’s assertion that ‘it’s a virus that many people still don’t understand,’” Roque said.


“It is for this reason that President Duterte has been in consultation with experts across different sectors on how to best address the Covid-19 situation in the country,” he added.
On Monday, Duterte consulted with different health experts in Malacañang to help him decide if the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) should be lifted, modified or extended.
Former Health secretaries Esperanza Cabral, Janette Garin and Jaime Galvez Tan were among those consulted by the President.
Roque assured the public that Duterte would “carefully” study his options before making a decision.


“The decision will be carefully studied, as the lives of the people and the nation are at stake,” the Palace official added.
Luzon has been under ECQ since March 16.
The quarantine, which is expected to be lifted on April 30, has affected at least 3 million workers.
Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said on Tuesday Duterte would decide on the Luzon-wide lockdown on Thursday to give Filipinos ample time to prepare for possible changes.
As of Wednesday, the Philippines has recorded 6,710 coronavirus infections. The tally includes 446 people who died of Covid-19 and 693 recoveries.


National Task Force against Covid-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. said the country should not lower its guard against the virus.
He cautioned that lifting the Luzon-wide lockdown too soon might lead to serious consequences.
“We can’t rush to normalcy. Kailangan dahan-dahan at calibrated ang ating mga hakbang (We have to take it slow, and our steps should be calibrated),” he said.
Galvez said the government does not want the country to be like Singapore, which is experiencing a surge in coronavirus infections.
“Bakit nangyari ito? Bagama’t ang pamahalaan ng Singapore ay nagpatupad ng mass testing at [physical] distancing, hindi ito nagdeklara ng enhanced community quarantine o lockdown sa buong bansa (Why did this happen? It’s because while Singapore enforced mass testing and physical distancing, it did not declare an enhanced community quarantine or lockdown in the country),” he said.


“Ang nangyayari po sa Singapore ay isang malaking patunay na hindi tayo dapat magkumpyansa. Ganito rin po ang nangyari sa iba pang mga lungsod at iba pang mga countries (What is happening in Singapore is really a proof that we should not be complacent. This also happened in other cities and other countries),” he added.
Singapore on Tuesday said it recorded 1,111 new infections, taking its total Covid-19 cases to 9,125.
Citing science experts, Galvez said the lockdown imposed in Luzon has been effective in curbing the spread of the pandemic in the country.
“Masuwerte po tayo mayroon po tayong lockdown (We’re lucky we have a lockdown),” the Cabinet official said.
“Sumunod po tayo (Let’s all follow). Stay home. Observe social and physical distancing, always wear face masks, protect our elders and sickly. Ugaliin ang kalinisan, maghugas lagi ng kamay (Observe cleanliness, wash your hands and) observe personal hygiene,” he added.


The Department of Health said that over 1,000 healthcare workers nationwide have contracted the disease.
Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that of this number, 422 were doctors, 386 were nurses, 30 were medical technologists, 21 radiologic technologists and 51 were nursing assistants.
Also included in the number were 152 health frontliners, which include administrative workers and barangay (village) health workers.
Vergeire also reported that 26 healthcare workers have died of Covid-19, most of them doctors.
The WHO on Tuesday called attention to the “worrisome” trend in the Philippines where more healthcare workers had been infected.
Dr. Abdi Mahamud, Covid-19 incident manager for Western Pacific, said the Philippines could be considered an “outlier” with healthcare workers accounting for 13 percent of total infections, compared to the regional average of 2 to 3 percent.


Vergeire gave assurances that the government had taken measures to protect healthcare workers.
She said the 111 new Covid-19 cases have been reported, bringing the total to 6,710.
With JAN ARCILLA
Source and Original Article: >>> msn.com and The Manila Times

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