'People are dying': Lawmaker seeks additional vaccines in Visayas, Mindanao amid COVID spike

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 15 2021 10:36 AM

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MANILA - Deputy Speaker and Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez on Tuesday lamented the alleged inaction of government officials in prioritizing the supply of vaccines to areas with high COVID-19 incidence including his city.

Rodriguez said he wrote three letters to Secretaries Francisco Duque, Karlo Nograles, and Carlito Galvez following the spike in COVID-19 cases in Cagayan de Oro last month.

"Nobody ever answered. The 3 of them did not answer my letters, so what happened? People are dying in Cagayan de Oro City. As of May 1 up to the present, more than 3,400 already caught COVID-19 and there are many deaths already,” he said in an interview on TeleRadyo.

As of June 12, the total confirmed COVID-19 cases in CDO is at 8,751, including 1,641 active cases and 384 deaths.

"If there are more vaccines given to Cagayan de Oro, then we can prevent deaths because if you are vaccinated it is a scientific fact that you cannot have a severe COVID-19, only mild and it can be cured, but there is no additional allocation for Cagayan de Oro. The same with Mindanao. Mindanao is a battleground, matagal na sinabi yan, including Visayas. They are taking their sweet time into just giving to Metro Manila. Bumaba na nga sa NCR. Dito sa Mindanao walang additional vaccines,” he said.

Rodriguez said CDO needs additional allocation of vaccines, not just its normal share given the increase in the number of people getting infected with COVID-19.

“My concern is prioritization to certain areas which are having a spike. Hindi naman pwedeng business as usual. Yung regular allocation ibigay natin. Kung ganung regular, NCR ang marami. There is no plan of the IATF and the vaccine czar to look into specific areas which should be given more allocation because of the spike. Yan ang problema sa Cagayan de Oro, wala pang na receive na additional vaccine in spite the fact na 1 and a half months na ang spike dito,” he said.

Rodriguez added that their hospitals remain in full capacity. Some quarantine facilities are now being used to accommodate more patients, he said.

“The way to really lessen deaths is to be able for the IATF to realize that there are certain cities and places in our country which have higher incidence than others. D'yan dapat ireallocate and give more priority and give additional vaccines,” he said.

Cagayan de Oro City has been placed under modified enhanced community quarantine status from June 16 to 30.

For his part, Nograles said he has endorsed Rodriguez's request to the task force in charge of deploying the COVID-19 vaccines. 

He noted that President Duterte has already agreed to prioritize vaccine deployment in areas that have high incidence of COVID cases. 

- TeleRadyo 15 June 2021