Quarantine fatigue, possible cause of complacency in following minimum health standards — expert

Maris Federez   •   September 1, 2021   •   297

MANILA, Philippines — A health expert believes that the drop in the number of Filipinos observing minimum health protocols, compared to previous months, is due to quarantine fatigue.

In a virtual briefing on Wednesday (Sept.1), Dr. Karl Henson of the Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (PSMID) said that aside from the highly transmissible Delta variant, quarantine fatigue is a very likely cause that led to the current surge of coronavirus disease.

“That is very possible po we have been dealing with the pandemic since the beginning of 2020. Pinapa-stay natin ang mga tao sa bahay as much as we can. Yung mga bata nasa bahay lang, yung matatanda rin,” Henson said.

“Hindi po mahirap isipin na pagod na pagod na ang tao sa mga public health measures na ito,” he added.

Henson pointed out, however, that this is not the time to be complacent.

“Kaya, ngayon po na merong surge, I think, now is not the time po na mapapagod tayo. I think kailangan po natin ma-remind ulit ang mga tao na importanteng importante po ang pagsunod sa pagsuot ng proper na PPE (personal protective equipment),” he said.

“Delta variant is very transmissible, mas madali po siyang maipasa kaya kailangan natin mag ingat,” he further noted.

Henson said that the amount of the Delta variant of the virus in the nose of an unvaccinated person is 1,000 times higher than its older versions.

“So kapag hindi properly suot ang face mask at face shield, mas madali talaga pong ipasa ang virus. Now, kung samahan pa po yun ng hindi proper yung physical distancing, hindi madalas maghugas ng kamay, so pwede po talagang kumalat nang mabilis ang virus,” he warned.

He said community transmission starts in the family where members become complacent as they mingle with each other sans facemasks and face shields.

Henson also underscored the importance of wearing face shields aside from having proper ventilation, wearing a mask, handwashing, and maintaining physical distancing in protecting one’s self against COVID-19, especially the Delta variant.

“Yung face shields po is actually an extra layer of protection. Habang wala pa po tayong masiyadong maraming datos, ang thought po ng government and experts is by wearing a face shield, meron kayong extra protection,” he said.

Henson said that studies in other countries show that face shields in addition to face masks is effective in preventing transmission of COVID.

“But it should not be face shield on its own. Kailangan po may facemask. Kasi mas importante po na matakapan ang ilong at ang bibig para po hindi malanghap yung COVID. Yung face shield is extra layer of protection lang po,” he said.

While Henson warned the public against complacency amid the pandemic, he also called on the Department of Health and other experts to review other evidence that comes out in responding to the dreaded respiratory virus.

“Sa DOH at sa mga eksperto, kailangan po sigurong ma-review ulit yung evidence baka po kasi may mga bago nang  datos that might help improve our recommendations para po mas madaling sumunod ang mga tao dito sa mga minimum public health standards na sinasabi natin,” he said.

Duterte wants LGU officials to convince constituents to get vaccinated

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday urged local government officials to ramp up their respective COVID-19 vaccination programs.

“I urge LGUs to come up with the most systematic and efficient way of finding out who among your constituents have not yet vaccinated. Please do everything to convince them to get vaccinated,” he said during his weekly public address.

Duterte reported that as of October 24, the country has administered 55.7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, where around 30 million were given as first doses and 25 million as second doses.

He added that the national government aims to fully vaccinate 50 million citizens by the end of the year.

“We also need to ramp up vaccination rate in various LGUs in order to reach our target of inoculating 50 million fully-vaccinated individuals by the end of the year,” Duterte said.

The president added that vaccine supply allocated for far-flung provinces must not expire and should preserve its integrity.

” Yung mga bakuna na sana umabot na doon sa pinakamalayong lugar and the provincial, city, and
municipal health officials will take over. Ang concern ko lang naman is that they would be able to preserve the integrity of the vaccines. That is very important. Ibig sabihin na hindi expired, walang sira, hindi ma-contaminate and all,” he said. AAC

Mga bata, bawal mamasyal sa dolomite Beach sa Maynila – Malakanyang

Robie de Guzman   •   October 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Muling nagpa-alala ang Malakanyang sa publiko na hindi pa maaaring magtungo sa mga pasyalan ang mga menor de edad sa kabila ng pagluluwag ng COVID-19 alert level sa Metro Manila.

Ginawa ng Palasyo ang paalala kasunod ng muling pagdagsa ng maraming tao sa dolomite beach sa Maynila nitong weekend.

Batay sa video na kuha ng UNTV drone, makikita ang kumpulan ng maraming tao sa Manila Bay pati na ang ilang pamilyang may kasama pang mga bata.

Sa dami ng taong dumagsa sa lugar, hindi na nasunod ang social distancing rule at may iba pang hindi maayos ang pagkakasuot ng face mask.

Ayon kay Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, bawal pang pumasok ang mga bata sa dolomite beach sa Manila Bay at iba pang pasyalan.

Una nang sinabi ni Roque na maaari lamang lumabas ang mga bata kung ito ay para sa pangunahing pangangailangan at outdoor exercise.

“Hindi pa po pwede talagang magpasyal-pasyal ang mga bata. So, unang-una nananawagan po kami sa ating mga kababayan, pandemya pa po,” ani Roque.

“Bagama’t bumababa po ang mga kaso natin eh nandiyan pa po si COVID-19. So, huwag po tayong magpabaya… Kinakailangan po mask, hugas, iwas at kung kakayanin na bakuna na,” dagdag pa niya.

Kasalukuyang nasa COVID-19 Alert Level 3 ang Metro Manila, na ang ibig sabihin ay mas maluwag na restriction at pagpapahintulot sa pagbubukas ng mas maraming establisimyento sa limitadong kapasidad.

Ngunit paalala ng Palasyo sa publiko, dapat pa ring mag-ingat at iwasan ang pagkukumpulan dahil sa patuloy na banta ng COVID-19 sa kabila ng mataas na vaccination rate sa rehiyon.

Dapat ring panatilihin ang pagsunod sa health protocols upang maiwasan ang super spreader events.

“Nananawagan din po kami sa kapulisan, siguro diyan po sa Maynila, kinakailangan po ipatupad natin yung social distancing,” ani Roque.

Samantala, muli ring umapela ang Department of Health (DOH) sa publiko na huwag balewalain ang ipinaiiral na health protocols upang huwag nang tumaas pa ang kaso ng COVID-19 sa bansa.

“Katulad po ng lagi nating sinasabi hindi pa po tapos ang laban, andito pa po ang virus. Kailangan po tulong-tulong tayo huwag po tayong maging kampante maaaring lumabas pa ring pero kailangan mag- iingat pa rin tayo lahat,” ang paalala ni DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

Samantala, sinabi naman ni Environment and Natural Undersecretary Benny Antiporda na posibleng limitahan na nila ang dami ang mga papapasuking bisita sa dolomite beach sa Manila Bay upang maiwasan ang pagdagsa ng mga tao.

“They can spend about 15 minutes and since hindi po—hindi na po 15 minutes, pinababayaan na po kahit magtagal sa loob, eh titingnan po natin at kahit tuloy-tuloy pa ho, tuloy-tuloy pa yung dating ng tao, maaari hong ibalik namin yung time limit ng pagbisita,” ang wika ni Antiporda. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

PNP to deploy more cops at Manila dolomite beach

Robie de Guzman   •   October 25, 2021

 

The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday said it will deploy more personnel at the dolomite beach in Manila after thousands of people flocked to the area over the weekend.

PNP chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar said he has tasked the Manila Police District (MPD) to closely coordinate with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), dolomite beach administrators, and the local government unit on the possibility of establishing restrictions on the number of visitors and their length of stay.

He also directed the MPD to make sure that no super spreader event will occur in the area.

“Inatasan ko na ang Director, MPD na magdagdag ng pulis sa dolomite area ng Manila Bay upang tiyakin na nasusunod ang minimum public health safety protocols. Kasama sa aking utos ang pakikipag-ugnayan sa lokal na pamahalaan upang magkaroon ng maayos na sistema, lalo na sa pagdadala ng mga bata na nakita natin sa video at sa mga litrato na kumalat sa social media,” Eleazar said in a statement.

“Nauunawaan natin ang kasabikan ng ilan nating mga kababayan na lumabas dahil sa mahabang lockdown subalit hindi dahilan ito upang ipagsawalang-bahala ang kaligtasan ng bawat isa, lalo na ang mga batang isinama nila gayong malinaw sa patakaran na hindi pa puwede silang lumabas under the COVID Alert Level 3 status,” he added.

Last Sunday, the PNP said authorities temporarily stopped the entry of visitors when the crowd reached 4,000.

Video taken via UNTV drone also showed clusters of people visiting the dolomite beach, with some even violating the protocol on social distancing and wearing of face masks.

Eleazar reminded the public to strictly adhere to the health protocols against COVID-19 when visiting public areas to prevent the further spread of the disease.

The DENR earlier said it is eyeing the possibility of limiting to only 15 minutes the length of stay and the number of visitors to the area.

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