Amid surge in COVID-19 cases, Velasco urges public to 'stay-at-home' | Inquirer News
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Amid surge in COVID-19 cases, Velasco urges public to ‘stay-at-home’

/ 07:14 PM March 21, 2021

(FILE) Commuters at MRT train at the North Avenue Station, Quezon City on Monday, June 1, 2020, during the implementation of general community quarantine in Metro Manila. INQUIRER PHOTO / NINO JESUS ORBETA

MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco on Sunday appealed to the public to remain indoors unless going out for essentials or emergencies amid the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in the country.

“With new COVID-19 cases reaching record highs, we must at all times heed the stay-at-home advice of our health authorities. This way, we are not only helping curb the spread of the virus but more importantly, we are saving lives,” Velasco said in a statement.

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According to the House leader, the Department of Health (DOH) advised the public to stay at home and suspend all non-essential travel after the Philippines on Saturday logged 7,999 new infections—the highest recorded single-day case count.

Since March 13, the country has seen its daily cases surging to similar levels earlier recorded in August 2020, he noted.

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On Sunday, the Philippines logged 7,757 new COVID-19 infections, pushing the number of active cases in the country to 73,072.

“Let us do our part by not leaving our homes unless it is for essentials or emergencies,” Velasco went on.

He also lamented that medical frontliners remain “under enormous pressure” to save lives and curb the spread of the virus one year into the pandemic while many seemed to have “dropped their guard.”

“Our health care workers are exhausted and our healthcare systems will be again overwhelmed if we continue to sidestep health and safety protocols, individually and collectively. We must never let our guard down,” he said.

He also renewed his appeal to the public to remain vigilant and follow health and safety protocols, such as maintaining safe physical distancing, wearing face masks and face shields, and practicing good hygiene that includes frequent hand washing or sanitizing.

“The message should be clear by now: if everyone pitches in to stop the spread of COVID, the better for the economy. If each and everyone plays his or her part, the faster we can move to MGCQ (modified general community quarantine) and resume some semblance of normalcy in our lives,” he said.

By staying at home and continuing all public health precautions, people will also help lessen the burden on health care workers, who have been at the forefront in the fight against the pandemic since it started, according to Velasco.

President Rodrigo Duterte recently approved an Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases resolution placing Metro Manila and nearby provinces Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal under the general community quarantine from Mar. 22 until April 4.

/MUF

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