Press Release
July 23, 2021

With community infections on the rise

Senator Nancy Binay on Friday urged the government to "level up" its pandemic response as the more potent Delta variant of Covid-19 threatens public health and an already teetering economy anew.

"The virus got deadlier kaya dapat mag-level up ang response ng IATF and DOH. Whatever safety nets that we have set since last year is practically not enough. Huwag nating hintayin pa ang pagsipa ng Delta at iba pang variants. Let's not wait for a twin crisis to happen--start moving. Offer practicable alternatives and science-based solutions. Level up the response mechanisms versus Covid. At sana mas mabilis, mas agresibo, mas organisado, at mas maagap na pagtugon," Binay said.

The senator emphasized the need to pre-empt another hard lockdown through proactive measures.

"Nagle-level up na ang Covid--mas matapang, mas fatal, at mas nakakatakot. The IATF and the DOH also need to step up its ante on improving virus response across all levels rather than direct most of its efforts on vaccine-centric solutions. Iyong mga bagay na dapat last year pa dapat ginawa't simulan, seryosohin na natin. Ano na ang status ng contact tracing system natin? Linawan ang guidelines sa border controls. If necessary, enhance and step up health protocols. More than a year after, nandito pa rin tayo, still filling in the gaps at the fundamental level," Binay pointed out.

The senator said the country's genome sequencing capacity should also be improved as soon as possible.

The Department of Health said that while the Philippine Genome Center has procured additional machines, genome sequencing has been hampered by the lack of skilled personnel, reagents and resources. The agency added that it plans to tap the Visayas and Mindanao campuses of the University of the Philippines to widen the process throughout the country.

Binay also said that the roll-out of vaccines should be ramped up.

"Malapit na tayo sa tipping point. Hindi lang naman Covid ang concern ng lahat ngayon--we are already full with other things beyond our control. The rising Covid cases continue to strain hospitals, and the new variants will definitely put more stress on our already overburdened public health system," she noted.

The lawmaker also appealed to the public to avoid unnecessary travel and gatherings.

"With so few having been fully vaccinated, hindi pa po tayo protektado sa banta lalo na ng Delta variant. Buhay ng bawat Pilipino ang nakasalalay dito--seryosohin po natin ito," Binay said. ###

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