Health reform advocate, Dr. Tony Leachon warned the public not to be complacent despite the announcement of the World Health Organization (WHO) that COVID-19 is no longer a global health emergency.
The announcement was made Friday by WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Among the reasons cited by the WHO's chief were the increasing population immunity due to vaccination and infection, decreasing mortality and easing of pressure on health system.
Leachon said the announcement should not be treated as a moment of celebration, but rather as a moment to think and reflect what needs to be pursued to prevent the spread of the virus.
"It is a moment of celebration on one hand but a moment as well for us to rethink and reflect so that we can also be prepared. Dapat hindi tayo maging relaxed but maging vigilant pa tayo... kasi ang subvariant, darating 'yan, it will come and go but I think ang kailangan natin is to prepare... so okay naman 'yan. It makes us happy but the preparation should still be there and in the next few years," says Leachon.
He added that wearing face mask and following minimum public standards must still be properly observed to prevent the spread of the virus.
“We must actually lay down, ihanda natin ang path or ang daanan towards stabilization of our population, for example, wearing of face mask, minimum public standard kung makaroon tayo ng surge,“ he said.
Leachon added that it is the right time for the government to implement the universal health care and to appoint a secretary for the Health Department.
“Para 'yung solid plan of action maayos na natin and then ma-integrate all the systems that will enable us to prepare for the next pandemic,“ he added.
He stressed the importance of COVID-19 vaccines.
A surge of COVID-19 cases was also observed recently, according to Leachon.