APOLOGIES to whoever felt upset with the news last week on the vaccination to fight the Delta variant that is causing an exponential increase in infections and more deaths in the NCR+ areas which are under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
As far as I am concerned, the intention of the articles was to bring awareness to the importance of getting jabbed because as health authorities said, vaccines bring more benefits than not having them. There was no intention to spread fake news or instigate unvaccinated citizens to rush to vaccination sites and Baguio is under GCQ, not ECQ.
Delta is more contagious than the other virus strains and it is quickly spreading. Medicine epidemiologists in the U.S. believe that Delta will accelerate the pandemic, showing estimates that by the end of July, Delta was the cause of more than 80 percent of new U.S. COVID-19 cases.
Although the W.H.O. and our own DOH said that vaccinated people also can transmit Delta, this was not the case with other variants. This made health agencies promptly decide to revise or return their masking guidelines for all, including the vaccinated.
By the way, as early as two or three days before my Delta variant article came out last Saturday, national papers already had it in the news. The title of one article said, “MMDA: ‘No vaccine, no ayuda’ rumor caused ‘unruliness’ at jab sites in Manila, Las Piñas”.
This was why MMDA chair Benhur Abalos asked the NBI to go after the sources of misinformation that only those vaccinated for COVID-19 will receive cash aid as the NCR reverts to ECQ. Abalos clarified that the distribution of ayuda for each person worth P1,000 or P4,000 per family is not attached to whether one has been vaccinated or not.
If you ask health officials how fast “Delta Air” will spread and how many people will get the infection, they will not know. But the answers, according to research scientists, depending on where you live and how many people in your area were vaccinated.
This means the “Delta Air” can hop, skip and jump from one poorly vaccinated location to another because it is in the air.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) described Delta as more transmissible than the common cold and influenza, as well as the viruses that cause smallpox, MERS, SARS, and Ebola, and as contagious as chickenpox.
Health officials have been consistent in reporting to the public that the highest spread of cases and severe outcomes are happening in places with low vaccination rates, and that latest reports confirmed that hospitalizations and deaths have been among the unvaccinated.
Even President Duterte was not spared from the ruckus as he was blamed for an announcement he issued. On July 29, just a day before the announcement that NCR+ will be under a two-week ECQ, he said that law for unvaccinated persons should be passed, but that he could not wait for it.
“This is my order: You will be returned to your house,” the President stated. “So if you want to go out, get vaccinated.” There is no law or official order to back this but the President’s statement added to the confusion and subsequent panic anyway as people rushed to vaccination sites before the break of dawn, eager to get a jab and for fear they will be apprehended. The Manila PIO found out about this.
Presidential spox Harry Roque, cousin Ronald Perez’s idol and friend, quickly defended his boss and apologized for him, of course. That is the difference between people in Malacanang and us who are at the bottom of society: They have people who apologize for them and are not investigated, while we have to apologize and defend ourselves. It is not fair.