By Renester B. Suralta
Looks like all the signs for the second wave are present but no official declaration from the Department of Health (DOH) or Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).
Why? Is it to prevent mass hysteria and widespread panic? Or simply because authorities are too busy with vaccine purchase and rollout? The daily increase of cases is very alarming, yet it seems the DOH is undermining facts and withholding information about the real score. Last month, the agency said it will formally announce by February if the country is in the second wave. But it’s already the second week of February with cases continuing to rise but no pronouncement from DOH. Obviously, authorities both local and national are preoccupied with the contact tracing of the new Covid 19 variant, procurement of vaccines, preparation of storage facilities, and vaccination simulation drill or rollout.
Maybe DOH downplays the spike to lessen people’s fear and anxiety. The agency is apparently giving more attention to the nationwide government vaccination plan. Moreover, the news about the vaccination program is better than counting more casualties. This massive vaccination program is a good development giving hope to the people and lightens the disastrous impact of the pandemic on our ill economy. According to Octa Research Group’s latest monitoring report, the average number of daily new cases in Cebu City rose to 123 from Feb. 1 to 7 or by around 30 percent from 94 in the preceding week. Also noted was an increase in average daily new cases in Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue cities, from 12 to 24 and 20 to 28, respectively. Last November Japan was on maximum alert as the second and third waves hit the country while the Philippines remains silent about its health crisis level status.
DOH must reveal the truth about the current pandemic status of the country to give the people the right information and further, compel local government units to take the appropriate action necessary to safeguard the people.