Amid rising virus cases, Binay sees ‘no sense of urgency’ in gov’t response
MANILA, Philippines — Even as the nation faces a continuous stream of COVID-19 infections, Senator Nancy Binay said Thursday that the government seems to not see a “sense of urgency” in its efforts to combat the outbreak.
Binay also expressed alarm that many hospitals are becoming unable to accommodate more COVID-19 patients.
“Parang walang ganoong sense of urgency. From the very beginning, I’m sorry to say, noong nag-hearing kami last February, hanggang ngayon, parang you don’t see that sense of urgency,” the senator said in an interview over CNN Philippines.
(It’s like there’s no sense of urgency. From the very beginning, I’m sorry to say, from when we conducted a hearing last February, it’s the same until now, it’s like you don’t see that sense of urgency.)
“You don’t feel that need to do something on how we can fight this problem,” she added.
It can be recalled that senators, including Binay, had scolded the Department of Health during a Senate hearing in February over its “failure of leadership” and slow conduct of contact tracing when the country saw its first virus cases.
“The numbers keep on increasing, and at the moment maraming mga hospital na ang hindi kayang i-accommodate itong mga pasyente na may COVID,” she continued.
(The numbers keep on increasing, and at the moment hospitals can no longer accommodate COVID patients.)
Binay then called out the Department of Trade and Industry’s decision to allow more businesses, computer shops, and gyms, to resume operations in areas under the general community quarantine.
She compared this move of the government to the policies of neighboring countries, like Hong Kong and Vietnam.
“When they opened up, Hong Kong was able to flatten their curve, they allowed 50 people sa mga gatherings. But since nagkaroon ng spike sa kanila, ngayon dalawa na lang,” Binay said.
(When they opened up, Hong Kong was able to flatten their curve, they allowed 50 people in their gatherings. But since they had a spike, now they only allow two.)
“Eh sa atin, baliktad. Kung kailan pataas nang pataas iyong bilang, pabukas naman tayo nang pabukas sa ating ekonomiya,” she added.
(Here, it’s the opposite. Just when more people get infected, the more we open up the economy.)
Binay, meanwhile, lauded Vietnam’s contact tracing efforts. Vietnam did not report any new infections for nearly 100 days until over the weekend.
“Sa kanila ang bilis ng contact tracing nila, I think may nag-positive sa Hanoi na-trace kaagad nila na it came from Danang,” she said.
(In [Vietnam], their contact tracing is quick, I think there was a case in Hanoi which they immediately traced that it came from Danang.)
As of Wednesday afternoon, Philippine health officials recorded 85,486 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country including 26,996 recoveries and 1,962 deaths.
Earlier, Malacañang rebuked critics of the government’s COVID-19 response, noting that it is doing its best to address the pandemic.
Nevertheless, Malacañang said it is open to proposals in order to improve the COVID-response of the government. With reports from Jim Mendoza, Trainee
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