Remain vigilant against COVID-19 despite nearing endemic stage — Bong Go

Sen. Bong Go on Friday, 14 October, reminded Filipinos to remain vigilant against the virus by following health protocols and getting vaccinated despite the possibility that the country is nearing the endemic stage of COVID-19.

In an ambush interview after personally aiding senior citizens in Davao City, Go continues to urge Filipinos to follow health guidelines and receive COVID-19 vaccinations, including booster shots.

To prevent the virus from spreading, he also advised them to wear face masks whenever possible.

“Kung hindi naman po discomfort on your part, magsuot pa rin tayo ng face mask dahil hindi natin alam kung sino ‘yung may sakit sa bahay natin,” said Go.

“Maaaring dala natin pag-uwi natin, sa transportasyon sa labas dala natin ‘yung sakit, hindi tayo nagpa-test. Hindi naman all the time nakakapag-test tayo. What if ‘yung iba walang symptoms tapos dala na pala ‘yung sakit sa bahay, ‘yung mga matatanda dun (sila ang delikadong mahawahan),” he stressed.

The country may be approaching the endemic stage, according to disease expert Dr. Rontgene Solante, head of the Adult Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine at San Lazaro Hospital in Manila, as cases are currently on a downward trend and severe and critical infections are still at a low level.

According to Solante, endemicity is when “cases remain, but are already low.”

“There are still people who will get infected. There will still be that population that will develop severe symptoms but comparing with pandemic, the transmission is not that high anymore,” explained Solante.

Despite this, the disease expert cautioned that given the country’s open borders, there is a possibility for the XBB Omicron subvariant to get in the Philippines. The XBB subvariant, which is thought to be “highly immune-evasive,” could still infect people who have COVID-19 antibodies.

The XBB subvariant is causing an increase in cases in Singapore. However, Solante noted that Singapore’s healthcare facilities were not overrun by the subvariant.

This week, the World Health Organization and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control also reported that another wave of infections may have started in Europe as cases begin to rise again across the continent.

Meanwhile, Go continues to convince more eligible Filipinos to get their complete vaccination and booster shots. He emphasized the importance of getting vaccinated for the country’s return to normalcy.

“‘Pag qualified na ho kayo sa booster, magpa-booster na po kayo. Napatunayan naman kapag bakunado kayo at nakapag-booster na kayo, mas maiiwasan ‘yung pagkakasakit at pag-aalala,” said Go.

“Huwag tayong maging kumpiyansa dahil minsan may dumarating na mga nadidiskubre na bagong variants at subvariants ng COVID,” he added.

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