Use lockdown to boost COVID fight -- solon

MAKE use of the 15-day modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) to reboot the plans in containing coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Marikina Rep. Stella Quimbo urged as she expressed full support for the call of the medical frontliners to place Metro Manila under ECQ due to the rising cases of COVID-19.

In a statement, Quimbo said it's time for the Department of Health (DOH) to think of better ways to prevent the spread of the virus, improve data gathering as well as contact tracing.

“This time, let’s use this lockdown period productively. Reboot natin ang COVID plans,” Quimbo said.

Following the call of the medical frontliners, President Rodrigo Duterte placed the National Capital Region (NCR), Laguna, Cavite and Bulacan under MECQ which will restore some lockdown measured including suspension of public transport.

Quimbo stressed that in this situation or when COVID data are questionable, the opinion of the frontliners are more important.

She proposed to the DOH to seriously assess how to better collect, analyze and report data  because this is an effective way to reduce new infections.

As an economist, Quimbo said when one’s family is safe or the community is safe then the country’s economy  can move forward and each worker can begin to earn a living.

“Let’s use this “timeout” to plan how to report data in a way that reminds people how one’s actions impact everyone else. Being careful for one’s self will help take care of our community and country. Isipin ang sarili pati bayan. Kapag sarili Lang ang iisipin, tiyak na kakalat ang virus,” Quimbo added.

Quimbo said, the DOH should report and emphasize the number of available COVID beds in each city and province rather than at the national level. “Aanhin ng isang taga-Marikina ang datos na meron pang 7 libong  isolation beds available sa buong bansa kung sa Marikina o sa karatig na lungsod ay halos ubos na? One might end up engaging in risky behavior when given the false impression that all is well. Why emphasize that 90 percent of cases are mild, when this could make people careless? Data presentation is a major driver of people’s behaviour. Kailangan mangamba ang tao para seryosohin nila ang malagim na sitwasyon na hinaharap natin,” she pointed out.

Quimbo likewise suggested the DOH to learn to get people’s trust.

“Kapag walang tiwala ang tao, di lahat susunod sa plano. Again, pag may maiwan, sira plano. The best way to earn people’s trust is to report data truthfully, however painful that data may be.

Kung di natin nagamit ang unang lockdown na matigil ang pagkalat ng virus, this timeout is our second chance. Let’s use this wisely,” she said.