Second wave in Europe a warning to PH

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    THERE is an air of optimism being felt in the Philippines with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic, primarily because the Department of Health has tallied new confirmed cases of less than 2,000 for nine days in a row.

    The DOH reported on Wednesday evening that there were 1,383 more cases nationwide, raising the number of active cases to 29,474. There are now 412,097 reported cases in the country. Most of the new cases were found in Cavite (81), Laguna (74), Batangas (71), Quezon City (69), and Rizal province (67).

    A total of 95 more deaths have been confirmed, bringing the number of fatalities to 7,957.

    Meanwhile, 143 new survivors were recorded, taking the recovery count to 374,666, which is 90.9 percent of the country’s total caseload.

    Compare these figures to the global situation: COVID-19 cases have already passed 54 million, with listed deaths at 1.3 million, according to the World Health Organization.

    ‘Europe’s second wave of COVID-19 infections should remind Filipinos that the fight against the coronavirus is still ongoing…’

    The concerning news is that Europe is experiencing a second wave of infections and it remains as the hardest-hit region in the planet. The continent accounted for 46 percent of new global cases and 49 percent of deaths last week, the death toll surging 18 percent with the elderly Europeans bearing the brunt of the epidemic.

    The lay of the land is appalling. Switzerland’s hospitals are practically all full, the French government is unlikely to lift a partial lockdown any time soon, while Portugal was preparing to extend measures for two more weeks. Health authorities in Russia reported a total of 1.99 million infections which is the fifth-highest caseload in the world.

    In the Middle East, Iran vowed to impose severe restrictions across many districts, after obstinate religious policies had prevented it from imposing a full lockdown since the first COVID-19 cases were reported last February. In the United States, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that all 1,800 public schools will be closed and will revert to remote learning after the city recorded a seven-day average positivity rate of 3 percent.

    All over the world, elections and approval ratings of international leaders are being decided by how well their countries cope with the pandemic. You want proof of this? Remember the recent electoral defeat of President Donald Trump and the landslide victory in New Zealand by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. And may we cite the high approval and trust ratings of President Duterte and the support and reverence the Chinese people bestow upon China President Xi Jinping.

    Europe’s second wave of COVID-19 infections should remind Filipinos that the fight against the coronavirus is still ongoing and there should be no reason to lower one’s guard.