The surge

Effective tomorrow, the Greater Manila Area — composed of the National Capital Region and the provinces of Laguna, Cavite, Rizal and Bulacan — will be placed under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) status for a period of seven days to contain the fresh surge of Covid 19 cases in the country.

The country saw a sharp rise of infections during the last two weeks that almost reached 10,000 new cases every day, a situation that is quite alarming.

Of course, the opposition was quick to let loose a steady barrage of propaganda blaming the “inability” of the Duterte administration in taming the pandemic. Rappler, its main mouthpiece, came out with an article with the title, ‘what went wrong” with the Duterte administration’s response to the pandemic.

In the eyes of Rappler and the yellow media, when things turn bad, it’s the fault of President Duterte. When the response to the pandemic goes well, credit goes to local government executives: the governors and mayors.

It’s not that I am still surprised by such mangling of the news and the crude effort to use the Covid 19 pandemic as a propaganda weapon against President Duterte.

This is really the problem when “freedom of the press” is abused and tolerated. Rappler and company can twist facts and tell outright lies without fear of censorship or sanctions. In many countries, this kind of reckless reporting bordering on inciting to sedition is quickly stamped out. Anyway, Rappler and company’s biased reporting belies their own propaganda that press freedom is under attack under the Duterte administration.

But we have to set the facts straight.

What we have witnessed lately isn’t the result of mismanagement or fumbles in the government response.

Elsewhere around the world, and even in the United States where vaccination has rolled out in full swing these last two months, surges in Covid 19 infections have been reported. And a number of countries have imposed lockdowns to clamp down on the deadly virus’s ability to revolve, mutate and spread even faster. The United Kingdom is still on lockdown, just to cite one example.

Dr. Teddy Herbosa, M.D. explained on CNN that the fresh surge of Covid 19 cases can be attributed to a number of factors, one of which is the mutation of new variants of the virus that are quicker to spread from person to person.

Another factor is that many people have relaxed on their own personal protection measures. Just look at Facebook and you could find countless pictures of friends and family getting together in restaurants and drinking places. Sadly, many people feel they are invulnerable to the disease, and no threat from Covid 19 can prevent them from having a good time.

We are in a situation that calls for everybody to do his or her share in fighting Covid 19. The first duty is avoid being exposed to the disease by staying at home as much as possible. When people have to go out to buy essenials, they must make sure they follow minimum protocols by wearing a face mask and face shield. Frequent handwashing cannot be overemphasized. Every small act to prevent getting infected must be done.

About Manuel "Boy" Mejorada
Manuel "Boy" Mejorada is a journalist and social media activist. A former Iloilo provincial administrator, he is now waging a crusade against corruption and narco-politics.

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