By Javier J Ismael /Manila Times
Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go has reminded Filipinos to continue following health protocols and remain vigilant because the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) remains a threat.
“We have to be careful. Do not be complacent. The fight is far from over. Still follow protocols. There is no vaccine invented yet, and we do not want a spread or make the situation worse in the country,” the chairman of the Senate Health and Demography committee said.
The senator’s reminder came as the National Capital Region, Baguio City, Pangasinan, Region 2 (Cagayan Valley) Region 3 (Central Luzon) and Region 4A (Calabarzon) shifted to general community quarantine (GCQ) on Monday.
Iloilo City and Region 7 (Central Visayas), as well as Zamboanga City and Davao City were also placed under the same quarantine classification.
Cebu City is the only area that remains under a modified enhanced community quarantine.
“With the declaration of GCQ, many cities will open businesses. There will be limited public transportation. Because of this, more people will be allowed to go out of their homes, however, I am asking my fellow Filipinos to go out only when necessary,” Go said.
“This doesn’t mean that under the GCQ, you are free to go around. Health protocols are still in place to ensure that we will overcome this crisis and put an end to the spread of Covid-19,” he added.
The senator called on the public to co-operate with authorities so that the country can transition to a new normal.
“Being under a modified GCQ is not yet the new normal. We are still far from that. We have to co-operate and help each other for us to reach the new normal,” he said.
On the other hand, Go clarified that the Hatid Probinsya programme for stranded individuals is different from the Balik Probinsya, Balik Pagasa Programme (BP2).The senator explained that each programme addresses certain types of concerns of affected individuals seeking help.
“The Hatid Probinsya is for stranded Filipinos, who are not from Manila and who need to go home to their provinces,” Go explained. “The BP2 is for residents of Metro Manila who want to start a new life in their respective provinces,” the senator added.
Go said each batch being brought home goes through a rigorous health process to prevent them from being carriers of the coronavirus disease. They are also required to go through a mandatory 14-day quarantine.
“The co-ordination between the national government and the local government units is truly important. We have to be sure that the host province has the testing capacity and is ready to accept the returnees,” the senator said.
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