By Bernadette E. Tamayo | The Manila Times
FORMER senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. called on local officials in areas devastated by Typhoon "Odette" to strictly enforce health and safety protocols in evacuation centers.
The presidential candidate made the appeal on Tuesday amid the surge in Covid-19 cases in the country.
Marcos and his running mate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio voiced alarm over the possible spread of Covid-19 among thousands of typhoon victims staying in evacuation centers if health protocols are not imposed.
The Department of Health reported a steady increase of Covid-19 cases since January 1 with the more transmissible Omicron variant now considered as the dominant strain.
"Huwag na nating dagdagan ang kanilang paghihirap (Let's not aggravate their burden)," Marcos said in a statement on Tuesday.
"We must ensure that Covid would not enter evacuation centers because it will pose a bigger problem," he said.
The UniTeam of Marcos and Duterte-Carpio also asked local government units to regularly disinfect temporary shelters, and provide health and hygiene kits, hand wash soaps, alcohols and masks.
The Philippines on Monday registered an all-time high of new Covid-19 infections with 33,169 cases, raising the Philippines' total caseload to 2,998,530.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque 3rd said the Philippines has already been classified as a critical risk for Covid-19, noting that the Omicron has surpassed Delta as the dominant variant in the country based on the latest whole-genome sequencing.
The UniTeam also vowed that the distribution of aid and relief goods to typhoon victims will continue despite the threat of Covid-19.
Apart from cash and relief goods, the UniTeam also distributed gallons of water and water filtration kits. They also donated construction materials to rebuild the houses destroyed by the typhoon.
The tandem also recently distributed generator sets and satellite dishes that helped restore electricity and communications signals in areas ravaged by Odette.