Año: Follow basic hygiene rules and despise those who don’t

URGENT CALL Health Program Officer Maria Carissa Ocampo of the Department of Health answers phone queries at the One Hospital Command Center, located at the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority gymnasium in Makati City. The center monitors bed space at hospitals handling COVID-19 patients. At right, Police Master Sergeant Larry Undag uses a bullhorn to remind market goers and vendors to observe health regulations. (Photos by RICHARD A. REYES and GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Sunday urged Filipinos to follow basic hygiene rules, saying it could help contain the spread of the new coronavirus under moderate quarantine restrictions.

Año also called on the public to show that they “despise people who are violating the minimum health standards.”


Speaking in a television interview, the home affairs chief said he expected the number of coronavirus cases to decrease with effective contact tracing, testing of suspected virus carriers, and isolation of possibly infected people.

Enforcement teams

“We created teams who go to the local government[s], down to the barangays, to check if lockdowns are being properly implemented and if [people] who tested positive for [the coronavirus] are extracted from the barangays and homes and taken to [quarantines],” Año said.


“We expect that we can start to reduce the number of cases because of the [modified enhanced community quarantine],” he added.

Año blamed the increasing number of infections on a large number of virus carriers not being tested and on infected people self-quarantining in their homes.

He also blamed the situation on people who ignored authorities’ pleas to follow basic health measures.

‘Speak about it’

“If we see people not wearing masks, we should speak about it. Let’s show that we despise these people who are violating the minimum health standards,” he said.

The new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 causes the severe respiratory illness COVID-19, which has sickened 19.65 million people in the world, killing 725,334 of them as of Sunday, according to a Reuters tally.

On Sunday, the Department of Health (DOH) reported that the Philippines had 59,970 active COVID-19 cases, with the addition of 3,109 new infections.

The new infections, the DOH report showed, brought the national case tally to 129,913. There were 61 new deaths, raising the death toll to 2,270, and 654 more recoveries, bringing the total number of COVID-19 survivors to 67,673.


The DOH said the new cases reported on Sunday were submitted by 82 of 99 accredited laboratories.

Most cases mild

Of those cases, it said 91.2 percent were mild, 7.5 percent asymptomatic, 0.7 percent severe, and 0.6 percent critical.

Metro Manila, which is under moderate lockdown, had most of the new infections, 1,700, followed by Laguna (169), Cebu (114), Rizal (98), and Cavite (93).

Of the newly reported deaths, the DOH said 17 occurred in August, 34 in July, six in June, and four in May.

With a report from Reuters

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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