MANILA— Sixty-one year old San Juan City resident Virginia Lim has been bedridden for 17 years now as her body's motor functions slowly deteriorated after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.
Armando, Virginia's husband, said the pandemic has caused even more pain, both physically and emotionally, for their family, as they tried to stay strong and give all their support for Virginia.
"More on paninigas ng katawan iyong kanyang Parkinson's. Parang 70 percent naninigas, 30 percent nanginginig," Armando said in an interview with ABS-CBN News.
(Her body gets rigid because of Parkinson's. It's like 70 percent is rigid, 30 percent is shaking.)
"Hindi na rin siya makatayo. Nakahiga siya, sabi niya, 'Pa, buksan mo iyong TV, manonood ako ng TV.' Channel 2, iyong 'Showtime', 'Probinsyano', iyon ang madalas na gusto niya talaga panoorin."
(She could no longer stand up. She's bedridden, she says 'Pa, turn on the TV, I want to watch TV. Channel 2, 'Showtime,' 'Ang Probinsiyano,' those are the programs she usually watches.)
Virginia's family use these simple joys as motivation for her and convinced her to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Armando said his wife had been afraid of the vaccine's side effects but was finally convinced after they explained to her the benefits of inoculation.
"Kako, 'Kami dito lahat sa compound, bakunado na lahat. Ikaw na lang ang hindi. Maaaring makakuha kami, ikaw mahahawa ka. Kami meron na kaming panlaban, ikaw wala pa," Armando shared.
(I said all of us here in the compound are fully vaccinated. You're the only one who is not. We might contract the virus and infect you. We're all protected, except you.)
"Nung natusukan siyang ganyan tapos ay masakit, medyo umiyak siya. Tapos nung tinanggal ho, siguro wala na iyong sakit, kumalma na ho siya."
(The pain from the injection made her cry but after that she calmed down.)
Virginia is one of three bedridden residents of San Juan City who received their Janssen jabs via home vaccination on Wednesday.
San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora said around 50 bedridden residents will be inoculated, and they are part of the remaining over 7,000 residents who must be vaccinated for the city to achieve herd immunity.
"Meron na ho tayong na-vaccinate na 134,205 na San Juaneños sa kanilang first dose at 84,806 naman sa second dose. That is 145 percent already ng ating target population para sa first dose at 91 percent naman para sa second dose," Zamora said.
(We now have 134,205 San Juan residents who received their first dose and 84,806 who got their second dose. That is 145 percent already of our target population for the first dose and 91 percent for the second dose.)
"Sa madaling salita, 7,953 na lamang or 9 percent ng ating target population ang kailangang bakunahan upang makamit natin ang herd immunity at nakikita ko ho na ito'y magagawa natin sa buwan ng Agosto. In fact, possibly just in the next few days."
(In other words, only 7,953 or 9 percent of our target population need to be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity and we can do this this August.)
The official said the city has enough vaccine supply.
"We have about additional 20,000 doses ng Sinovac, iyan po ay combination na ng first and second dose. And more than 4,000 doses of Pfizer, iyan ay combination na rin ng first and second dose," Zamora said.
(We have about 20,000 doses of Sinovac, that is a combination of shots for the first and second dose. And more than 4,000 doses of Pfizer, that is a combination of shots for the first and second dose.)
There are currently 182 active COVID-19 cases in the city. San Juan had two confirmed cases of the highly infectious Delta variant.
Zamora said both residents have already recovered from the disease by the time they were informed of the variant they had contracted due to the "limited capacity" of the Philippine Genome Center.
AID FOR RESIDENTS
As Metro Manila on Friday shifts to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), the strictest of all quarantine classifications, the region's mayors are also preparing for the distribution of cash aid.
During Metro Manila Council's meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19 response on Tuesday, Zamora said they were informed that the budget allocation for the upcoming round of financial aid will be the same as the amount they got during the first aid distribution.
"So that is P98 million for San Juan, na siya naman naming naipamahagi on time noong nakaraang ECQ ayuda. At mas magiging madali ho ngayon sapagkat meron na tayong master list. Kasi kung sino ho iyong nakatanggap noong huling ECQ ayuda, sila rin po iyong ngayon," he said.
(So that's P98 million for San Juan which we were able to distribute on time the past ECQ cash aid. This will be easy because we already have a master list. Those who received cash aid are the same ones who got financial aid in the past ECQ.)
There will be 100 beneficiaries per hour in each barangay. Serial numbers will be given to them. For example, beneficiaries with numbers 001 to 100 will be scheduled to get their cash aid from 8 am to 9 am. This will be in alphabetical order for a more systematic distribution.
As for food packs, these will be distributed to residents affected by granular lockdowns. To date, two compounds are affected in Barangay Batis and Balongbato.
For organizers of community pantries, Zamora appealed for initial coordination with the city government and barangay for house-to-house distribution of goods.
"Ayaw ho natin magpapapila ng maraming tao upang mamahagi ng ayuda. We welcome the help, we welcome the support but we also have to ensure that all health and safety protocols are followed," he explained.
(We don't want people to line up for the distribution of cash aid.)
The city will also distribute new quarantine passes to 40,000 households. The barangay will be giving this door to door, and residents no longer need to line up in barangays to get a pass.
Zamora also clarified authorized persons outside residence (APOR) do not need quarantine passes.
“Automatic ho iyon, as long as your industries or your businesses are allowed to open during ECQ, hindi niyo po kailangan ng quarantine pass dito po sa San Juan," he said.