DOH Speaks on the Risks of Big Community Pantries Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
DOH – The Department of Health spoke regarding big community pantries which are potential “superspreaders” of COVID-19.
It has been a year now since the COVID-19 fight started. Undeniably, the coronavirus disease spread fast that even the World Health Organization (WHO) was alarmed by the rate of the spread among nations.
WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic and warned countries not to let their guards down early in the fight against it. It can be a long-term battle.
The Philippines is one of the countries that logged cases of COVID-19. In fact, a surge in the cases of the disease recently took place after daily records of at least 6,000 new cases for several days now.
Many households are financially struggling now amid the pandemic. Several businesses closed following the week-long, if not month-long, restrictions on their operations and amid the new normal adapted by the people now.
Many individuals lost their jobs amid the pandemic and some of them are the breadwinners of their families. Meanwhile, on another side, the present problem has sparked the bayanihan spirit. Currently, there are a lot of community pantries where people who are in need can get some of the food and goods available. Individuals who want to share can donate goods and food to these pantries.
However, amid the COVID-19 pandemic now, big community pantries can be “superspreaders” according to the Department of Health (DOH). Based on a report on ABS-CBN News, the health department cited that the health protocols must really be observed and there must be coordination with the local government.
Speaking to TeleRadyo, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the people must understand that the NCR Plus is still under a Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) now and the activities like the community pantries must be well-coordinated to prevent it from causing risks.
According to Vergiere, big community pantries are potential superspreaders if the people are crowded and physical distancing cannot be practiced. She advised the organizers of the pantries to coordinate with the local government citing that the barangay officials’ help are needed.
“At the end of the day kailangan ‘yung mga organizer must be responsible,” the DOH Undersecretary said.
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