YESTERDAY, the Mintal vaccination hub was scheduled to open its first day of service to the senior citizens and those with comorbidities who want to get vaccinated with the anti-CoViD vaccine. We are hoping that the activities will be as smooth and orderly as it happened in Calinan last May 17.
What with the devotion of the people tasked to undertake the mass vaccination program of the government in Davao City. Yes, we have Dr. Josephine Villafuerte and OIC City Health Officer Dr. Ashley Lopez on top.
May their fidelity to their responsibilities rub in on all those who are assigned to give them support from other agencies of government as well as from the barangays where the vaccine seekers come from?
The only problem that we are apprehensive about to derail everyone’s expectation on the Mintal vaccination activities is the capability of those from distant barangays and villages in Tugbok district to come to the vaccination center.
We don’t know if the vaccine task force, or our health and civil authorities know that the district has several inland barangays and villages that are still hardly accessible by public transportation. Many are for now, being served only by single motorcycles or “habal-habals” some drivers of which charge exorbitant fares if they find opportunity for their own advantage. Good if the barangay officials of these places were resourceful enough in providing their people the means of going to the vaccination hub. Or that there were well-meaning and well-off residents in the barangays who willingly lent their trucks to transport their fellow village residents.
While there are still a limited number of vaccination centers in the whole of Davao City the bigger challenge of meeting the desired number of people inoculated to reach the so-called “herd immunity” still lies on the population themselves — their willingness to get the service despite the odds.
The local government and health authorities? Well, their part of the challenge is on how fast they can put up additional vaccination hubs that are compliant with the requirement of the vaccine that will arrive in the city from the national government, specifically the issue of meeting the temperature requirement of such inoculants.
Still on the CoViD 19 situation in Davao City, late last week we saw and heard it on television that finally the civil and health authorities here have admitted that there is an apparent surge in new cases. Prior to the admission there were speculations from several sectors that the non-reporting of the day-to-day hike in new CoViD infection was somehow deliberately done to prevent panic among the residents of the city.
Such suspicion was triggered by the adoption by the city leadership of several stricter protocols supposedly to prevent a possible surge. One of these measures was the decision of the City Mayor to convince the national Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) against CoViD 19 to allow the semi-closed border mandate for travelers from other regions.
And it was when the authority was granted that the local civil and health officials admitted on television that a surge was already in progress in the city. It was also reported, and admitted, over television that the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) was already in critical status as far as its beds and ICU facilities utilization.
Clearly, this development as far as the CoViD situation in the city is concerned, is indicative of only one thing: the surge is now prevalent and that the population should now help the authorities arrest such rise by being compliant with all the health protocols issued by the government. On the other hand, the authorities, especially the local government and the police, should see to it that the protocols are not being flagrantly violated.
That any violation should be dealt with accordingly. That is, whatever is the corresponding sanction must be imposed. That this time of a deadly pandemic, discipline is the key to salvation hand-in-hand with prevention and curative measures.
Unfortunately, it is not the case. Many of our people, while appearing to be afraid of the pandemic, are also doing the opposite in terms of the actions they are doing. The local authorities, too, in the city and in the whole of the region, are not also that serious in their duties. Imagine, in many barangay boundaries what remains of quarantine checkpoints are just structures.
The people manning it are nowhere to be found. If there are, they simply have cold looks on passers-by. Borders with other LGUs checkpoints? Well, some scheming travelers are able to trick them into believing that the purpose of their travel is essential.
Yes, we know of several people who have the luxury of owning private vehicles or hiring one or two, who keep on going into picnics or sightseeing in places like Surigao del Sur, Baganga, Sarangani, and South Cotabato. Well, these people may have the kind of physical immunity that denies infection of the virus on themselves. But they surely can carry them over when they come back. And definitely this would imperil the health of those they would have contact with who have lesser immunity than they have.
So, it is our take that whatever measures the city authorities have adopted or may adopt later to stomp out the surge of CoViD infections, must consider the actuations of the people as well as the seriousness of the protocol implementers in enforcing the restrictions. If not, then all that the restrictions made are just laughing stocks to those who have the penchant to disregard the mandates of government in relation to the pandemic.
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