With the government’s inability to control the rise of COVID-19 cases in the country, community health advocates are up in arms over the government’s response that, for the last 500 or so days, mainly resorted to stricter lockdowns.
Tags: mass testing
Restricting mobility is meant to give government the time to build its capacities to stop the spread of the virus. But what happens when a government only resorts to a lockdown and nothing else?
They called for financial aid, mass testing, vaccination and to stop attacks on urban poor.
Health advocate and community doctor Josh San Pedro said that mass testing remains important amid the increasing number of cases, and the new coronavirus variant, which is proving to be more transmissible. After all, vaccines have no 100 efficacy rate and that chances of getting infected remain.
“We cannot accept the Court’s reasoning that it is barred from compelling the executive to protect the people’s right to health ‘in a certain way or to a certain degree’ and ‘no matter how dire the emergency’ when it is obvious that the current response is a huge failure and places our people’s health and safety in peril.”
While the Duterte administration has implemented a two-week stricter lockdown, other legitimate demands raised by medical experts have been largely ignored. It must be pointed out that many of the recommendations have been articulated by several health NGOs since day 1 but, unfortunately, these have fallen on deaf ears.
With the cases increasing, concerned government agencies are swamped with backlogs, particularly on validating COVID-19 cases and an overwhelmed public health system.
Mass testing, according to the petitioners, should be made free and accessible to all suspect cases, contacts of probable and confirmed cases, frontline healthworkers, and high-risk and vulnerable communities.
By DEE AYROSO
To save lives, the lawmakers said the government must recognize the extreme importance and urgency of mass testing along with medical solutions such as contact tracing, isolation, and treatment.
The decrease in the RITM budget is also coupled with the decline in the allotment of other related health concerns, such as the Epidemiology and Surveillance Department, with a 40-percent drop from P247 million in 2019 to P101 million this year. Since 2015, no additional isolation rooms have been built. Related story: What is RITM?…