The Philippine Medical Association (PMA) has called on the public, especially those who have been vaccinated, not to be complacent now that the more contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 is here.
PMA president Dr. Benny Atienza said they noticed that some people were removing face masks and shields and no longer following protocols.
“Huwag po nating isaisip na kahit na tayo’y may bakuna ay ligtas na tayo kasi puwede pa rin tayong magkaroon. Sundin pa rin natin po kasi ‘yun po ang protocol na sinusunod po,” said Atienza.
The PMA insists that the public’s adherence to minimum health standards is the way to prevent COVID-19 cases from flooding the hospitals that resulted in their timeout.
He said the DOH is just now asking for help for additional staff due to the threat of the Delta variant.
Apart from COVID-19, he also said that the public should be on the lookout for many diseases this rainy season.
“Ngayong tag-ulan, dapat po hindi lang sa COVID ang inaalala, kasi dumadami na rin ang cases natin ng dengue.”
Atienza also urged the public when they have a fever and have other feelings, to consult a doctor instead of self-medicate.
Public warned of the severity of Delta variant
He also said not to forget the vaccines for children against many diseases.
IATF technical advisory group member and pediatric infectious diseases expert Dr. Anna Ong-Lim said that she is nervous that the current situation in Indonesia will also happen in the Philippines.
Ong-Lim stressed the intensification of vaccination.
He said based on experiences in other countries, those who are fully vaccinated have a higher chance of surviving the Delta variant and other mutations of COVID-19.
According to Dr. Gene Nisperos, board member of the Community Medicine Development Foundation, although it has not yet been said that there is already community transmission of the Delta variant, the government should only now be preparing for the possible dire situation.
“Hindi lang usapin ng lockdown, siguro mas mahalagang usapin ang dagdag testing, mas maayos na contact tracing. ‘Yan ang fundamentals kasi. Hindi natin magagawa ‘yung biosurveillance kung wala tayong basic surveillance which is ‘yung pagte-test. Hindi natin malalaman kung nasaan talaga kung hindi tayo gagawa ng sapat na testing,” said Nisperos.