Lawmaker calls for gov't leadership, public cooperation amid viral pandemic   | Inquirer News

Lawmaker calls for gov’t leadership, public cooperation amid viral pandemic  

/ 08:14 AM March 12, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The outbreak of the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which recently resulted in the death of a 67-year-old Filipino, is testing the country’s public health system and “our faith in each other,” Senator Risa Hontiveros said.

“At this crucial moment, I ask that the government demonstrate the leadership that the public needs in order to shepherd ourselves out of this crisis,” she said in a statement on Thursday after the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed the first local death of a Filipino due to the disease.


Hontiveros urged the public to follow the protocols and guidelines set by health authorities, practice social distancing if possible, and conduct self-quarantine if necessary.


“It cannot be emphasized enough that proper hygiene, especially frequent and proper handwashing, is still the best weapon against the virus,” she said.

She also cautioned against hoarding face masks, toilet paper and alcohol which she said would “limit the supply for those who need them the most.”

“Our frontline health workers, as well as the immunocompromised, such as the sick, elderly, and the pregnant, should have ample access to these essential supplies,” she said.

“COVID-19 has become a real danger to our institutions. It is testing our public health system. But worse yet, it is testing our faith in each other. However, let us remember that we will get through the threat of this outbreak, not as individuals trying to save ourselves, but as a community saving each other,” the senator added.

“We will recover by how we take care of each other. We are safe when those around us are safe,” she further said.

To date, the Philippines has 49 confirmed cases of COVID-19, a respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus that first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan in Hubei province late last year.


The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses named the novel coronavirus as SARS-CoV-2.

The virus causes mild symptoms such as fever and cough for most people but can cause serious illness such as pneumonia for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems.

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