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Looking at Covid-19 through a data-driven lens

Care Balleras



THE number of Covid-19 cases in the Philippines has reached about 500,000. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF UNSPLASH/CLAYBANKS

COVID-19 in the Philippines is nowhere near the flattened curve with almost half a million reported cases.

A glimmer of hope may be seen in the various vaccines that will be available soon, but it is important to understand that the pandemic, more than being a health issue, is a social one.

Seeing people swarm in public places, unmindful of the virus risks, seems to indicate that Covid figures don’t scare them.

This is why Dr. Arnold Tabun, an expert in Occupational Medicine, said Filipinos have to shift their perspective of Covid-19 through an accurate data-driven lens.

How, exactly, do we do this? During Thomas Reuters Manila’s discussion on Covid-19, Dr. Tabun said being data-driven is not only looking at the number of cases but also the number of testing done and the adequacy of contact tracing and isolation.

There may be false security from the news about vaccines but, according to him, “Individual immunity is not 100 percent, and some people who receive the vaccine may not develop sufficient antibodies. Likewise, herd immunity is not achieved overnight.”


Self-checking and abiding with health protocols is a communal responsibilty.

This was echoed by head of ABS-CBN Data Analytics Edson C. Guido who said that complacency has no place at all because while the Covid-19 numbers may seem big, it’s just the tip of the iceberg as the laboratories around the country have varied schedules in submitting reports.

Thus, everyone has to abide with stringent health protocols because it is not only an individual responsibility but a communal one.

Dr. Tabun and Guido suggested that everyone stay indoors unless holistic healing happens in the country.

“Protocol intends to limit close physical interactions only but socializations and collaborations can still be done virtually,” Dr. Tabun remarked.