MANILA – Malacañang on Wednesday claimed that the worst of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis is over since the country has been able to improve its healthcare capacity significantly.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque responded to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showing that more Filipinos believe that “the worst of the Covid-19 crisis is yet to come.”
“Naintindihan po natin yung pessimism ng ating kababayan dahil napakahirap po talaga nitong pandemiya na dinulot nito. Pero ang masasabi ko lang po (I understand the pessimism of our citizens because the situation is really difficult now. But all I can say is) the worst is over,” he said in an interview over PTV-4.
Roque said the country hit rock bottom when it entered into recession for the first time in almost 30 years last month with a 16.5-percent economic plunge in the second quarter due to the lockdowns.
But now that the economy has started to open up, he said Filipinos must learn to live with the virus by maintaining minimum health standards at all times.
“Ang ating panawagan sa lahat, puwede po tayong mabuhay na nandyan pa ang Covid dahil hanggang wala naman bakuna, walang gamot talagang matatagalan ang ating pandemiya (Our appeal to everyone is, we can live with Covid because until there is no vaccine, there is no medicine, the pandemic will stay for a long time),” he said.
He said Covid-19 does not mean that livelihood has to stop.
“Puwede naman pong mabuhay basta pag-ingatan po ang ating mga kalusugan para tayo ay makapaghanapbuhay (We can live as long as we take care of our health so we can pursue our livelihoods),” he said.
The SWS survey which was conducted from July 3 to 6 and released on Tuesday, showed that 57 percent of Filipinos believe that the worst-case scenario of the Covid-19 pandemic is yet to come.
According to the survey, this was a 10-point jump from last May’s survey results, where 47 percent of Filipinos said the worst-case scenario of the ongoing pandemic has not yet arrived.
More Covid-19 tests
Roque also responded to the remark made by Vice President Leni Robredo that there should be more Covid-19 tests since the average 30,000 tests per day is “no longer enough.”
“Of course, nothing will ever be enough for someone na hindi nakikita ng kahit anong mabuti sa pamahalaan (who doesn’t see anything good that the government is doing),” he said.
He touted anew how the Philippines currently has the “best testing policy” in Asia, but also emphasized the need to sustain the gains.
“Ipagpapatuloy pa natin ito dahil kung kinakailangan dapat tayo ang pinakamataas sa testing sa buong mundo. Kung kakayanin natin bakit hindi (We have to continue this because if necessary, we should have the highest testing capacity in the entire word. If we can do it, why not),” he said.
In an interview over GMA, Robredo emphasized the need to increase testing since the goal is to have less than 5 percent positivity rate or the percentage of patients who have positive results, which is the standard of the World Health Organization.
With just 100 days until Christmas Day, Roque expressed hope that Filipinos would experience a “merry Christmas” where they are safe, healthy, and with their families.
“(Ang) merry Christmas nasa puso naman natin yan basta tayo po’y kapiling natin mga pamilya, ligtas sa sakit, tayo po’y magkakaroon ng merry Christmas kung tayo po’y buhay. Yan ay enough reason para magkaroon tayo ng merry Christmas sa panahon ng pandemiya (A merry Christmas will be in our hearts as long as we’re with our families, free from illness, we’ll have a merry Christmas while we’re alive. That’s enough reason for us to have a merry Christmas at the time of a pandemic),” he said.
Last month, President Rodrigo Duterte expressed hope that the world would be Covid-free by December should a vaccine be developed. (PNA)