Bare Truth by Rose de la Cruz
Bare Truth

Anti vaxxers have rights and responsibilities too

Jan 15, 2022, 3:59 AM
Rose De La Cruz

Rose De La Cruz

Columnist

NO one is questioning the anti vaxxers for not wanting to get inoculated against the rampaging virus.

Sure they have rights under the Constitution and as a human being. But with their rights, come responsibilities to those around them—family, friends, officemates, neighbors and the whole population.

Their reckless behavior in even staging a rally (of them unvaccinated and without masks are easy targets for the Omicron and Delta variants of Covid- 19) at the Liwasang Bonifacio only augmented the circulation of the virus in the air in a public plaza where people converge to get a ride, to promenade or even to pass through from one point to another had exposed hundreds, if not thousands, that day to the virus.

And if the victims of their recklessness and stupidity get sick, which I hope not, who gets to pay for their meds, their check-up, their food and their careers, not them but the newly- infected.

Is that being fair? Certainly not.

It is just right that the Manila Police District charged six of the rallyists for violations of quarantine protocols and local government ordinances.

They even call themselves maharlika (which in Filipino means dangal and kadakilaan) but the way they behave and their selfishness about their rights (never mind if all would get sick) betray whatever noble intentions, if any, they espouse.

They "publicly question government action against [the] Covid-19 pandemic and encourage their members to refuse vaccination."

So what about their duty to their country and their countrymen. They do not live in an island.

I find those who support them opportunistic, the senators especially, in their espousal of their freedoms and rights, when we all know how vicious and treacherous this coronavirus is.

Those politicians look only at furthering their ambitions to be elected again, or for the first time. They want name recall, even if the issue at hand is as crooked as their lies and deceptions.

In a spot report, the Manila Police District said that Police Lt. Col. Dionelle Brannon, Ermita Police Station commander even tried to dialogue with the suspects who were "initially warned about their protest action while in the present alert status but they refused to abide."

The violators refused to wear masks or present any vaccination cards (which they obviously did not have) clearly violating the City Ordinances and the minimum health protocol prescribed by theinter-agency task force on the management of emerging infectious diseases."

Inquest proceedings for the six took place Wednesday morning against: Antonio Lorenzo Santillan, 29; Reynaldo Valeros Jr., 55; Sonia Valeros, 52; Albert Muyot; Christopher Samarita, 37; andDixie Anthony Parungao, 36.

The charges include: Violation of RO 8627 "Requiring the Mandatory Use of Facemask in All Public Places within the City of Manila" RO 8800 "An Ordinance Providing for the Enhanced Vaccination Mandate to Regulate the Mobility of the Unvaccinated Individuals within the Territorial Jurisdiction of the City of Manila and Providing Penalties for the Violation

RA 11332 "Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act"

Article 151 "Disobedience to Person in Authority."

This group earlier launched a protest in September and May of 2021 in what the PNP said was an "apparent bid to emphasize that they do not believe in the coronavirus," a Star report said.

Both instances were well-documented in the news and social media as the group trotted out tarps and placards suggesting the pandemic was "planned." The group also claimed that "so many" have died from getting vaccinated in the country.

On Tuesday, the COVID-denying group's tarps slammed the "medical martial law" caused by the "mandatory vaccination."

Back in 2019, the World Health Organization named vaccine hesitancy as one of the top threats to global health, saying it "threatens to reverse progress made in tackling vaccine-preventable disease."

CHR airs stand on transport ban for the unvaxxed

The Commission on Human Rights said in a statement from spokesman Jacqueline de Guia asked the DOTr to review the ban, saying that it “effectively restricts the exercise and enjoyment of fundamental rights.”

“The reality is that ordinary Filipinos continue to rely on public transportation in attaining basic needs, such as for food, work, and accessing health services,” she said.

But DoTr Undersecretary Artemio Tuazon Jr. said the policy is not unconstitutional since it does not fully prevent movement, adding that unvaccinated Filipinos “can still travel using their own vehicles, but not public transport.”

The CHR, however, pointed out that the ban would lead to challenges in accessing essential goods and services since not everyone has a private vehicle, Rappler reported.

The CHR urged the government to constantly review restrictions to ensure that they are legal, necessary, consistent with recognized rights, and proportional to the aim of protecting the public.

“We continue to urge the government to address vaccine hesitancy and the low vaccination rate in the country with education that addresses common misconceptions and positive encouragement,” De Guia also said.
“Key to upholding the right to health is informed choice and the government has the obligation to continue to promote and communicate the benefits of vaccination, especially to vulnerable sectors, and not resort to fear or force just to achieve population protection against COVID-19.”

Severe outbreak of Omicron

Metro Manila isnow in an “Omicron severe outbreak,” with the average daily attack rate (ADAR) of COVID-19 cases in the area recorded at 111.80, according to OCTA Research. ADAR refers to the average number of new cases in a period out of every 100,000 individuals.

In the NCR it is 111.80 new cases per day per 100k people, David said adding that “an acceptable attack rate is below 10.”

David said Baguio City, Angeles City and Santiago City are at the “mature stage.”

“Accelerating [stage] — Naga City, Dagupan, Lucena, Olongapo, Iloilo City, Lapu Lapu. Early stage — CDO, Cebu City, Davao City,” he added.

On Wednesday, the Philippines logged 32,246 more cases, pushing the country’s active tally to 208,164. Of the currently sick, the Department of Health said the majority or 97.8 percent have mild or no symptoms. Specifically, 197,091 people have mild symptoms, 6,435 have no symptoms (asymptomatic), 2,872 have moderate symptoms, and 1,468 have severe symptoms while 298 are considered critical cases.

Free meds, vitamins to frontliners’ families

A presidential aspirant asked the government to provide free vitamins and medicines to the immediate relatives of all health care workers in the country, as they are the most vulnerable in contracting Covid-19.

Health workers have accepted the danger they face in this pandemic, but what weighs them down the most, aside from the low wages and delayed benefits, is when their loved ones get sick because of them, the aspirant said.

“When they come home they bring with them whatever virus they picked up in the hospital. We don’t see the enemy, but chances are, they carry the viruses from the hospitals they work in.”

“Even if they wear PPEs, this is no guarantee that they are completely safe and won’t infect others,” said Bongbong Marcos as he recommended that both the national and local government units immediately ensure a sufficient supply of essential medicines and vitamins, not only for the front-liners but also for their immediate relatives.
“It’s hard to accept that you as a front-liner might have infected your family member. It’s even harder to accept knowing you can’t do much when their condition has worsened,” he explained.

“The irony is, while you’re caring for others, you can’t do much for your own family,” he added.

According to the Department of Health, around 29,609 health care workers have already tested positive for Covid-19 since the pandemic broke out in 2020. Around 97 percent of that number were reported to have recovered, but there was no firm number of how many of their relatives became infected, ill or died.

“I pray our health workers remain healthy – along with their families,” he stressed.

Funds lack lead to no contact tracing

The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) will no longer be hiring more COVID-19 contact tracers for this year due to lack of funds, Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said.

“We don’t have additional hiring for contact tracers,” Malaya said over ABS-CBN News Channel.

Malaya said only P250 million were allotted for contact tracers this 2022, and even this will not be enough to cover some 15,000 contact tracers hired by DILG last year.

“We added them last year, unfortunately for this year, there was a decrease in the budget in the DILG for contact tracing funds,” he said.

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