Robredo: Start community COVID-19 testing now
MANILA, Philippines — The government should urgently implement mass testing for COVID-19, especially in densely-populated and impoverished areas where sickness may easily transfer from one household to another, Vice President Leni Robredo appealed Tuesday.
Robredo said that if the government starts testing communities now, it would be able to separate who among the communities are affected and who are healthy, therefore, controlling the spread of COVID-19.
She also asked the Duterte administration to explore the possibility of setting up isolation areas, especially since some poor Filipino families cannot afford to set up home quarantine facilities.
“I-prioritize na ang testing sa mga komunidad para mahiwalay na ang may mga sakit […] Karamihan sa ating mga kababayan ay nakatira sa High Density Areas kung saan nagsisiksikan sa isang kwarto ang buong pamilya,” Robredo said in her latest address.
(Let us now prioritize testing for communities so that we can isolate those who are sick. Most Filipinos live in High-Density Areas where families are cramped in one single room.)
“Ngayon pa lang dapat hinahanda na ang mga isolation areas para sa mga nagpapakita ng sintomas,” she added.
(At this point, isolation areas should already be prepared for people showing symptoms.)
Robredo also stressed that it is important for the government to protect those who cannot tend for themselves either out of poverty or age, as it would mean protecting the whole country as well.
“Uulitin ko rin: Protect the vulnerable, and we protect the whole. Kailangang mamulat ang lahat sa katotohanan na maaampat lang ang pagkalat ng sakit na ito kung aarugain ang lahat,” she insisted.
(I will repeat: Protect the vulnerable, and we protect the whole. We need to wake up to the truth that the spread of this disease would only be averted if we would take care of everyone.)
“Kaisa ako sa panawagan ni Pangulong Duterte na sumunod sa social distancing measures. Ngunit hindi puwedeng iwanan na lang ang mga maralita para asikasuhin ang sarili nila,” she added.
(I am one with President Duterte’s call to follow the social distancing measures. But we cannot just leave behind poor people and expect them to take care of themselves on their own.)
Robredo likewise pleaded to authorities to continue giving out vital information to guide the public on what steps they should take to combat the highly-contagious respiratory disease.
“Ang pakiusap nga po natin: Magpatuloy sana ang daloy ng malinaw na impormasyon mula sa mga kinauukulan, upang magkaroon ng tiyak at sapat na gabay ang bawat isa sa atin,” she noted.
(Our call is for authorities to continue giving clear information so that people would be guided accordingly.)
“Umaasa po tayo na sa lalong madaling panahon ay mailalatag na ang mas detalyadong plano para sa mga high density areas, kung saan hindi maiiwasang magsiksikan ng mga tao. Sa Kamaynilaan, marami sa mga ito ay nasa mga lugar ng maralitang tagalungsod,” she added.
(We are hoping that a detailed plan for high-density areas be laid out in the soonest possible time, as people cannot avoid crowding these areas. In Metro Manila, a lot of people can be found in these areas.)
President Rodrigo Duterte placed the entire region of Luzon under enhanced community quarantine from March 17 to April 12, 2020, due to COVID-19, a respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2, which outbreak started in China’s Wuhan City in Hubei province in late 2019.
Coronavirus is a family of viruses, which surfaces have a crown-like appearance. The viruses are named for the spikes on their surfaces.
The World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 a pandemic since it has already infected more than 160,000 people and killed over 6,000 in over 140 countries all over the world.
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