Authorities urged: Give senior citizens 2-hour window to shop for basic needs

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 07 2020 01:09 PM | Updated as of Oct 08 2020 06:58 AM

Health workers administer flu and pneumonia vaccines to 78-year-old Sonia Olayta as part of their community vaccination drive in Barangay Pembo, Makati City on Aug. 12, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA -- The National Commission of Senior Citizens (NCSC) on Wednesday urged authorities to give the elderly a 2-hour window to shop for their basic needs, despite the risk of contracting serious symptoms of the novel coronavirus disease. 

Malls and shopping malls are disinfected overnight and senior citizens face "a very low" chance of getting any disease if they are allowed go to there from 9 to 11 am, when these establishments had just opened, said NCSC Chairperson Franklin Quijano. 

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"If the mornings will be given to senior citizens, maski 2 oras lang po (even if it is just for 2 hours)… then the general public can come in afterwards, that is really so much gift that you can give senior citizens," he said in a Laging Handa press briefing.

"We have to answer the needs of the senior citizens, and these are the basic needs,” he added. 

Older adults, and people of all ages with pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, lung disease, or cancer "appear to develop serious illness more often than others," according to the World Health Organization. 

The elderly and the youth should stay home even in areas under the most lenient lockdown level, Malacañang said in April after the government's inter-agency task force (IATF) on pandemic response revised its protocol for the movement of persons. 

This infographic shows the WHO's advice for older adults and people with underlying health problems.
This infographic shows the WHO's advice for older adults and people with underlying health problems.

The coronavirus pandemic has sickened at least 326,833 people in the Philippines, which has been under varying degrees of lockdown since March.