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9月15日のまにら新聞から

WHO warns relaxing mobility restrictions may result in COVID-19 deaths

[ 467 words|2021.9.15|英字 ]

The World Health Organization (WHO) Philippine representative warned that relaxing the mobility restrictions in the National Capital Region may result in more COVID-19 fatalities.

"It is an important element that we need to reduce movement. We need to ensure compliance with the restrictions because if we relax further it is likely that with the transmissible variant here we will see more deaths," Rabindra Abeyasinghe said during the "Laging Handa" public briefing on Tuesday.

"We are in a very critical situation. We need to do everything possible. We need to ensure that the most vulnerable will have access to vaccines and will be vaccinated fully. We have to ensure that everybody does everything possible to follow the minimum public health standard and ensure that there is less room for transmission," he added.

The WHO official also expressed dissatisfaction in the pace of vaccination of senior citizens in the Philippines.

"We have made progress but unfortunately the progress in the Philippines has been (painfully) slow. We still have nearly 3.6 million elderly people who have not received a single shot. This is unfortunate, this is unsatisfactory, this is also a reflection of the inequity that we are seeing globally happening within the country which we need to correct urgently," he said.

However, Abeyasinghe said Covax has allocated 10 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines which is expected to be delivered in the Philippines "within the next few weeks."

"As COVAX delivers more and more vaccines, we urge for protecting the most vulnerable as quickly as possible and that includes the elderly," he said.

"We expect much large consignments to come within this third quarter and fourth quarter to the Philippines and to many other countries who are recipient of Covax vaccine. So we will be mobilizing larger and larger (supplies) of vaccines so that we will achieve that percent population protection before the end of the year," he added.

Abeyasinghe said the WHO is urging for a moratorium on booster doses to achieve more equity through vaccination. He said, though, the group that may need a booster dose are the immunocompromised individuals.

"As long as there are vulnerable people that are not protected, we leave room for the virus to multiply... That is why the WHO is urging for a moratorium on booster doses unless they are absolutely indicated in the case of the immunocompromised individuals so that more equity can be achieved globally through vaccination," he said.

"There is no need at this point in time for booster shots for people coming even from the vulnerable groups. The only group that may require a booster dose are the immunocompromised individuals. We are looking closely at the evolving evidence, and we don't have a recommendation as yet that vulnerable people require a booster unless they are immunocompromised," he added. Robina Asido/DMS