The quick and resolute actions of President Rodrigo Duterte largely contributed to arresting the spread of the dreaded 2019 Novel Coronavirus Acute Respiratory Disease (2019-nCoV ARD), Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said yesterday.
In his regular Daily Tribune column, “GOing Forward,” the senator noted that the health crisis was effectively managed and controlled by the government which resulted in the relatively low level of fatality and those affected compared to its neighbors.
At the public hearing on the 2019-nCoV ARD that the Senate committee on health conducted last 4 February highlighted the quick actions taken by the government.
“Arguably, the most important finding during the hearing is that the World Health Organization (WHO) itself finds the response of the government commendable, as expressed by Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe who is the Representative of WHO in the Philippines,” according to Go.
Go, the aide closest to the President, narrated that when WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January, Mr. Duterte immediately ordered a travel ban on visitors, “only from Hubei province at first and then from all of mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau eventually, upon the recommendation of the Department of Health (DoH) officials.”
Go, chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, said he along with DoH officials recommended to the President the imposition of the travel ban. “Needless to say, I also initiated the public hearing,” he noted.
“I’m grateful to all the key officials, especially the Cabinet members, who accepted my invitation to answer the people’s questions. They have greatly helped in easing the fears of Filipinos, especially those who panicked when news after news of the outbreak came out in both the mainstream and social media,” Go stressed.
Critics avoided inquiry
He noted the concern of the populace was understandable. “After all, we only want to what’s best for ourselves and our families. We only want to protect the health and welfare of our loved ones,” he noted.
Go said that critics were also invited in the hearing on the nCoV concerns.
“I asked these online bashers to participate in the hearing so that they can actually share with the public their ideas on how to handle the situation better. But alas, no one came. I surmise they only want to sow fear among the people and hatred against the administration and have really nothing positive to contribute to keep our country safe,” Go explained.