Step up COVID-19 info drive, communicate ‘pain’ of disease, PCOO told
MANILA, Philippines — The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) should step up its COVID-19 information drive and one possible way of doing it is to communicate the “pain” of contracting the disease, a lawmaker said Tuesday.
Ang Probinsyano Partylist Rep. Ronnie Ong said the PCOO should maximize the potential of its various information dissemination assets such as the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), Philippine News Agency (PNA), and Philippine Broadcasting Network (PBN) to increase people’s awareness of COVID-19.
One possible way to dissuade people from violating the basic health and safety protocols, Ong said, is to come up with visual materials that make people realize that COVID-19 “is not just a killer but is also a very painful disease.”
“Some people I know who lived to tell their ordeal told me the indescribable pain that they had to suffer. They can feel their lungs collapsing as they try to struggle to breathe. Parang meron daw truck na nakadagan sa dibdib mo sa sobrang sakit,” Ong said in a statement.
“We have to share these stories in a manner that people will have a self-realization that taking the risk for non-essential activities like going to pool parties or biking on big pelotons could put you or your loved ones in extreme pain and even death,” he added.
The government, Ong said, “needs to let our people visualize and experience the pain of being sick with COVID” through various information materials such as boosted social media optics, leaflets, flyers, and television and radio infomercials that will not just provide the public faceless and nameless statistics but a graphic warning of the “horrific ordeal one has to go through because of COVID.”
“It’s really hard to understand how people could still act like there’s no virus when we have already reached the one million mark in terms of death,” Ong said.
“The government has already spent billions taken from loans just to be able to provide aid for our people and finance our anti-covid response. It has been more than a year and many Filipinos are still in denial that COVID is real,” he added.
On Tuesday, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire confirmed that the “double mutant” variant of SARS-CoV-2, which was first detected in India, has been found on two people in the Philippines following genome sequencing.
SARS-CoV-2 is the new coronavirus that causes severe respiratory illness COVID-19.
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