Answering criticisms against the government‘s response to the worldwide 2019 Novel Coronavirus Acute Respiratory Disease (2019-nCoV ARD) outbreak, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said on Monday, February 3, that President Rodrigo Duterte makes decisions considering all factors and possible repercussions to the country but puts the welfare of Filipinos above everything else.
“Hindi naman pwedeng biglain na lang… Binabalanse po ng gobyerno, and rest assured po… inuuna parati ni Pangulong Duterte ang kapakanan, interes at kalusugan ng bawat Pilipino,” Go told broadcaster Ted Failon on the radio program “Failon Ngayon” on DZMM.
Go stressed that the President’s concern for the Filipino people is similar to how a father is concerned with the welfare of his whole family.
“Tinitingnan niya ang pagkalahataan. Nasa taas po siya bilang ama, tinitingnan niya po ang kapakanan ng bawat anak niya,” the Senator said.
In a statement and various radio interviews on Sunday morning, February 2, Go said that the President ordered the expansion of the temporary travel ban over the 2019-nCoV ARD to include travelers coming from any part of China and its Special Administrative Regions to help combat the spread of the disease.
Go further said that the President reached the decision upon his recommendation and the consensus of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, headed by the Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III.
“Wala munang makakapasok na galing sa bansang Tsina. Hindi naman po ibig sabihin na Chinese nationals lang po. Lahat po ng mga eroplano galing Tsina ay hindi makakapasok sa ating bansa, at kung ikaw naman ay Filipino citizen na papasok sa ating bansa, dadaan ka po sa fourteen-day quarantine,” Go explained.
Go clarified that the order covers all travelers from China to the Philippines, regardless of nationality. “I wish to emphasize that we are not singling out Chinese nationals.”
Go also expressed his empathy to China, adding that the government is committed to helping all countries affected by the outbreak.
“We empathize with China given what they are going through but we are doing this to protect the country and its people. The Philippine government is committed to help China and other affected countries address this worldwide health concern,” he said in a previous statement.
The Senator also emphasized that the response of the President to the situation is not delayed. According to him, the decision was made based on recommendations of key officials and health experts taking into consideration all factors that may affect the country.
“Kaka-declare lang po ng WHO (World Health Organization) na Global Health Emergency itong nCoV, at ‘yan po ay isa din sa binabasehan ng ating Inter-agency Task Force, and even WHO, hindi naman sila nag-advise ng travel restrictions o travel ban, pero si Pangulong Duterte, he decided na po dahil kailangan po.”
He added that the President is set to meet with the Inter-Agency Task Force and medical experts on Monday afternoon, February 3, to discuss the situation. “Magkakaroon po siya ng mga pahayag o presscon pagkatapos. Antayin lang po natin ang ating Pangulo,” Go said.
Meanwhile, the Senate Committee on Health will conduct a public hearing on the 2019-nCoV ARD on Tuesday morning, February 4.
“Base doon sa tatlong resolusyon na inihain ng mga kasamahan ko sa Senado ay magdidinig po tayo bukas, at inimbitahan din natin ang iba’t ibang ahensiya ng gobyerno,” Go said.
“Dun po lahat ng reklamo at hinaing ninyo na gusto niyo iparating sa executive department, iniimbitahan din po natin sila. Magtulungan na lang tayo. ‘Wag nang mag-spread ng fake news,” he added.
Go also urged all government critics to join the public hearing and help provide solutions. He also told them that creating panic will not help the government resolve the issue.
“Iniimbitahan ko na rin ang mga bashers at netizen na wala pong magawa kundi batikusin ang ating gobyerno. Welcome po kayong sumali at dun niyo po batikusin ang iba’t ibang ahensya ng gobyerno,” he said.
“Alam niyo hindi makakatulong ang pambabatikos ninyo. Sa ibang bansa, napakaraming naging biktima din pero hindi po sila nagpapanic. Naghahanap sila ng solusyon. Wala silang hate posts, nagko-cooperate sila sa gobyerno para labanan itong virus na ito. ‘Yan po sa ibang bansa,” he added.
Ending the interview, Go urged the public to comply with the health guidelines provided by health officials to help in combatting the spread of the virus.
“Sundin po natin ang payo ng health officials. ‘Yung hygiene, maghugas tayo ng kamay, iwasan muna natin makipag-usap ng malapit kung may ubo o may sakit ang kausap natin. Sundin na lang natin ang payo ng health officials ngayon,” he ended.
According to a DOH advisory, severe cases of coronavirus may result in pneumonia, acute respiratory syndrome, kidney problems and death. DOH has advised the public to wash their hands frequently, avoid contact with live animals, drink plenty of water and make sure that food being consumed are cooked properly.
DOH also advised the public to avoid those who have cough and colds and to always cover one’s mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing to stop the possible spread of viruses. Those with flu-like symptoms are also advised to consult a doctor. (Source: KuyaBongGo.ph)