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Craft long-term virus game plan

Michelle R. Guillang

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A comprehensive plan is needed to address the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis in the country, according to Senator Richard Gordon.

“We need to have a grand plan on how we are going to quell COVID. And that’s going to be anywhere from this year to another four years. It is possible that it will never go away… even with a vaccine. It’s like flu, pneumonia,” Gordon, who is also chairman of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), projected.

“Even if there is already a vaccine, the virus will still exist. There should be a policy that could be implemented up to four years… the things we should do to combat it,” he continued.

Gordon, also chairman of the PRC, stressed that due to the augmented COVID-19 testing capacity in the Philippines through the opening of several molecular laboratories, the number of reported cases is expected to shoot up.

Maximize testing

The senator thus recommended the creation of a policy that would ensure enough medical institutions and quarantine facilities for positive cases.

“What should we do if we get infected? How many COVID hospitals are there that we can run to? There is a possibility that the cases will surge because of the upscaled testing,” the lawmaker asserted.

“If a huge number of people will be tested simultaneously in three to four days, we’ll be surprised that the positivity rate may reach 100,000, just like in other countries,” Gordon hypothesized.

He also reiterated that to restart the economy, local chief executives, especially those with a high number of COVID-19 cases, should test their constituents extensively.

Recovery factor

“Testing is the key to reviving our economy. We have to test the workers to ensure their safety. The public utility vehicles like the buses should have proper physical distancing,” Gordon stated.

“Everyone should always wear masks correctly. All the establishments must have soap and water so people can wash their hands,” he added.

PRC, a non-government humanitarian organization presently operates six molecular labs located in Mandaluyong, Manila, Pampanga, Zambales and Batangas.

It is capable of testing as many as 32,000 individuals for COVID-19 per day.

Those who need to be tested can call PRC’s Helpline contact number 1158.

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