Twitter: @edd1819, Instagram: @bluestar0910, Facebook: SDN — Science, Digital & Current Affairs
By EDD K. USMAN
(SDN) — HARDLY have they finished talking than when President Rodrigo R. Duterte put in place a stricter quarantine protocols.
“They” refer to two University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD) experts who predicted on Monday a huge 220,000 coronavirus cases in the country by August 31, 2020. If no stronger measures are put in place, they said on TV during Malacañang’s media briefing.
Incidentally, the President ordered a return to the more stringent Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) from a looser General Community Quarantine (GCQ) starting Tuesday, August 24. He made the switch in response to the recommendations of several groups of doctors and nurses who are bearing the brunt of the fight — as the front-liners — against the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) which continues to sweep the world, including the Philippines.
On the questioning of Presidential Spokesman Secretary Harry Roque, the UPD experts said one way to not reach the 220,000 cases is to implement stricter measures, saying the cases would then be lesser by 50,000 to 70,000. Which are a lot of lives to be saved, they emphasized.
Global tally of novel coronavirus infections
Looking at the global confirmed cases, the American Johns Hopkins University (JHU) in Baltimore, Maryland, showed that as of August 3 the number is more than 18.1 million infections; 689,922 fatalities; and 10,706,540 patients recovered.
Closer to home, also as of today, the Department of Health (DOH) in its latest tally of cases showed the Philippines having 106,330; 65,821 recovered; and fatalities at 2,059 (August 2 figure).
The President, albeit obviously sore at public nature of the doctors and nurses’ pleas, responded positively (no pun intended) to the clamor of more than 80,000 physicians and a million nurses who publicly sought government action.
On the other hand, the Chief Executive Monday evening on TV expressed disappointment on the groups’ making public their pleas.
“You could have written us. You could have sought an audience,” the President said.
He said the government is “not incompetent…not inutile.”
Roque said the ballooning number of coronavirus cases among Filipinos is due to the increasing numbers of people being tested as well as citizens gathering because of the less strict GCQ protocols. (SDN)