Press Release
March 8, 2021

While gov't accelerates vaccine rollout, Bong Go urges public to remain vigilant and not to be complacent to avoid possible surge in COVID-19 cases

Following a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila, Senator Christopher "Bong" Go, Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, warned Filipinos not to be complacent and to double down on prevention measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

"Huwag tayo magkumpyansa habang nandirito pa rin ang COVID-19. Ang inyong kooperasyon at pagsunod sa mga patakaran ay makapagliligtas ng buhay ng mga kapwa nating Pilipino," Go reminded.

"Konting tiis nalang po dahil ginagawa ng gobyerno ang lahat para tuloy-tuloy na ang pagbabakuna sa mga Pilipino. Ang ating maayos na vaccine roll-out ang tanging susi at solusyon upang tuluyang malampasan ang pandemyang hinaharap natin," he added.

Despite the arrival of vaccines, he emphasized the need to still strictly follow health protocols, such as wearing masks and face shields, observing social distancing, and avoiding unessential travels.

"Subalit, hindi ibig sabihin na isasawalang bahala na natin ang mga itinakdang health and safety protocol, tulad ng pagsuot ng mask at face shield, pag-obserba ng social distancing, madalas na paghugas ng kamay, pananatili sa loob ng bahay kung hindi naman kinakailangang lumabas, at ang patuloy na pag-iingat para maproteksyunan ang ating kalusugan," he said.

He also asked Filipinos to put their trust in the vaccines but not to get too complacent until the country achieves herd immunity.

"Magtiwala tayo sa bakuna pero huwag tayo maging kampante dahil hangga't hindi pa natin nararating ang herd immunity, nandito pa rin ang banta ng COVID-19," Go said.

He added that the government must continue building the people's confidence in the vaccines and allay their fears while remaining vigilant against an unseen enemy.

"Huwag tayong matakot sa bakuna. Matakot tayo sa COVID-19. Ang bakuna ang papatay sa COVID-19. Ang bakuna ang tanging susi natin sa problemang ito," he emphasized.

Go further highlighted the need to keep the health care system afloat as the country bats for herd immunity against COVID-19. The Senator reiterated that vigilance, cooperation and compassion for others are needed to protect the health of Filipinos while balancing the well-being of our economy.

"Let us work together to keep the enemy at bay until we (achieve) herd immunity. Totoong mahirap ang buhay ngayon, pero pangunahing layunin muna natin ang maitigil ang pagkalat ng COVID-19 sa ating bansa para mas mapabilis ang pagbalik natin muli sa normal na pamumuhay," Go appealed.

Go also repeated the observation of medical experts that the proper wearing of standard masks reduces the risk of contracting and spreading the virus by 85%. Meanwhile, proper wearing of masks, coupled with face shields and social distancing, further reduces the risk to more than 90%.

"Yes, the vaccines are already here, but we must not be complacent as the virus is still around. Let us continue to observe health protocols as we go about our daily lives," said Go.

Meanwhile, Go also said that his office will continue to extend assistance to Filipinos in crisis situations while complying with existing health protocols.

"While we do our best to overcome the pandemic, my team and I also continue to help our fellow Filipinos in crisis situations. As I have mentioned before, we, as leaders, must do everything we can to unburden our fellow Filipinos during these trying times," Go said.

Go and his team continue to go around the country to assist victims of fire incidents, previous calamities and working sectors whose livelihoods continue to be adversely affected by the pandemic.

During those visits, Go would encourage Filipinos to get vaccinated to propel the country further towards herd immunity.

"It is important to allay the fears and strengthen public confidence in vaccines. When the right time comes, I and other key officials are willing to be inoculated in public, not because officials are prioritized, but because we need to show the rest of the country that vaccines are safe and effective," Go said.

So far, the country has received vaccines from Sinovac which was a donation from China, and Astra Zeneca through the COVAX facility spearheaded by the World Health Organization.

Go thanked the national government, local government units, the private sector and international partners for their bayanihan efforts in acquiring safe and effective vaccines for Filipinos.

"Our efforts continue as we aim to accelerate our vaccine roll-out in order to lead the country and our people towards full recovery," he said.

He also continued to reassure that the poor and the vulnerable are in the government's priority list for inoculation after frontliners.

"As President Duterte and I have constantly said, these sectors must be inoculated as soon as we finish immunizing our frontliners for them to be able to return to normalcy and help our economy recover," Go said.

"Our continued cooperation with national government agencies in the implementation of the National COVID-19 Vaccine Roadmap and vigilance in the community will help us survive and overcome this pandemic!" he concluded.

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