By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
MANILA – The Philippines has recorded an all-time high tally – 7,103 new COVID-19 cases – today, March 19.
For the past days, new daily cases in the Philippines have not gone below 4,000. This amid renewed government attempts to restrict mobility through granular lockdowns.
Available data posted on the John Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center website showed that the Philippines remains as the second in the number of new cases among Southeast Asian countries in the past week.
In a webinar last week, Dr. Edelina dela Paz, chairperson of the Health Alliance for Democracy, said that restricting people’s mobility alone will not be enough to curb the spread of the virus if no due social protection is provided to them. Many poor Filipinos, she said, cannot afford to stay at home because they need to earn a living.
Health advocates have long called on the Philippine government to veer away from its militarist approach to curbing the spread of the virus and instead implement a coordinated and scientific approach by increasing the country’s testing capacity, improvement of contact tracing, to name a few.