DOH reminder: Easing of quarantine means being more careful not complacent
MANILA, Philippines – The easing of quarantine measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic means that people have to be more mindful of their actions, and not to be complacent about the current health crisis.
This, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Monday, is because less stringent restrictions due to “small victories” would mean that more people are allowed to leave their homes as several workplaces resume operation.
“With these small victories nagsisimula na tayong mag-ease ng quarantine restrictions sa iba’t ibang lugar […] Pero kailangan pa rin po nating isa-isip na hindi ito nangangahulugan na pwede na tayong maging relax sa pagsunod sa health protocols natin,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a briefing.
(With these small victories, we have started to ease quarantine restrictions of various areas. But we still have to maintain the mindset that this does not mean that we cannot relax and be complacent with the health protocols that we should follow.)
“Kung tutuusin, mas mahigpit na pagsunod sa protocols pa nga po ang kailangan nating sundin dahil sa pag-ease ng quarantine. Mas marami po ang mga tao sa labas, ibig sabihin po ay mas mataas ang posibilidad na magkahawa-hawaan at kumalat lalo ang virus,” she added.
“Actually, we should follow restrictions more strictly because of the easing of quarantine restrictions. More people would be outside, which means that there is a higher possibility of local transmissions and mass infections.)
After Metro Manila and other areas transitioned to a general community quarantine last June 1, more and more motorists and pedestrians have been seen outside, either to do chores, business or to go to work.
To avoid local coronavirus transmissions, local governments have ordered the wearing of face masks and physical distancing in various public areas, including transportation pick-up points.
However, there were also reports that some people have been moving around to do unessential activities, like for attending celebrations or parties — contrary to reminders by authorities that people should only leave their homes for important trips.
As of Sunday, the Philippines has recorded 25,930 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 1,088 of the infected patients dead, while 5,954 have recovered.
Vergeire said that people should maintain these health standards, including the regular disinfection or washing of hands, so the quarantine regulations that people endured in the past months would not be for naught.
“Hindi naging madali ang mga nakaraang buwan para sa ating lahat. Marami tayong mga bagay na sinakripisyo at pansamantalang isinantabi,” she noted.
“Upang mapanatili po itong lowering of cases, napaka-halaga na hindi tayo tumigil sa pag-observe ng preventive protocols,” she added.
(The past few months were not easy, as we had to sacrifice a lot of things […] for us to maintain the lowering of cases, it is important for us not to stop observing the preventive protocols.)
Last Thursday, a research team from the University of the Philippines (UP) predicted that the confirmed coronavirus infections in the country may reach 40,000 by the end of June if the transmission potentiality of the disease remains high.
Vergeire said that if people disregard these reminders from authorities and health experts, the scenario may be possible.
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