MANILA — Vice President Leni Robredo on Monday reminded the public to stay at home as authorities sought to curb cases of the omicron COVID-19 variant and increasing coronavirus infections in Metro Manila and nearby provinces.
“Alam po natin na grabe iyong transmissibility nitong variant na ‘to. Kung may gumagala na positive, talagang iyong pag-increase ng number of cases, grabe talaga,” Robredo said in a Facebook live.
(We know that transmissibility of this variant is high. If a COVID-positive person is roaming, the increase in cases is high.)
“Siguro po, reminder lang po na yung mga hindi naman kailangan lumabas, lalo na sa mga may comorbidity, better po na stay put muna sa bahay, kasi grabe talaga ngayon,” she added.
(Perhaps, just a reminder to those who do not need to go out, especially those with comorbidity, it's better to stay put at the house for now because the situation is bad.)
Robredo aired the reminder as she oversaw the "Swab Cab" or mobile testing facility of the Office of the Vice President at the Immaculate Conception Church in Novaliches, Quezon City.
“Ang access talaga sa swabbing, medyo mahirap ngayon kasi dagsa. Dinadala natin iyong swab cab sa mga communities,” she said.
(Access to swabbing is a bit difficult because of the high demand, so we bring the swab cab to the communities.)
“Masaya tayo na marami nagpapa-swab. Dati po, hirap kami na ikumbinsi 'yung mga tao na magpa-swab. Pero ngayon po, kusa na. Hindi na kailangan i-incentivize pa sila. Kusa na talaga,” added the Vice President.
(We are happy that many people are getting swabbed. We used to find it hard to convince people to get swabbed. But they now do it on their own. It no longer needs to be incentivized. They get swabbed on their own.)
The swab cab will visit two more areas this week, Robredo said.
“Medyo hirap po kami ngayon pagdating sa tao dahil ang dami na po na positive, hindi lang sa mga OVP employees, pero pati po sa mga volunteers natin, maraming nagpa-positive,” she said.
“Gustuhin man po namin na araw-araw itong gawin, bina-budget po namin iyong tao saka oras para tuloy-tuloy iyong ating swabbing.”
(We are having some difficulty with manpower because many are testing positive, not just among OVP employees, but volunteers, too. Though we want to do this everyday, we are budgeting our personnel so that the swabbing could continue.)
She mentioned her daughter Tricia, a doctor, was one of the volunteers at the Swab Cab.
The Philippines' health department on Monday reported 33,169 new coronavirus cases, marking the third straight day of record-high additional infections.
In a bulletin, it said total cases had reached almost three million, while deaths were at 52,293, after confirming 145 more fatalities on Monday.
The rising number of infections risked overwhelming the healthcare system, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told ANC, calling on symptomatic people to immediately isolate and get tested.
The Philippines has detected 43 cases of the omicron variant. Its capacity for genome sequencing is limited.
— With reports from Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News; Reuters