Palace: The worst of COVID-19 crisis is over

READY FOR BLENDED LEARNING. Parents and guardians of students wait in line for the distributions of module for the online blended learning at the Pasay City West High School on Wednesday (Sept. 16, 2020). The government has scheduled the opening of online classes on October 5. | PNA photo by Avito C. Dalan

THE worst of the novel coronavirus crisis in the Philippines is over, Malacañang insisted on Wednesday, September 16.

“Naintindihan po natin yung pessimism ng ating kababayan dahil napakahirap po talaga nitong pandemiya na dinulot nito. Pero ang masasabi ko lang po (I understand the pessimism of our citizens because the situation is really difficult now. But all I can say is) the worst is over,” said presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.

The statement was in response to a recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey that found 57 percent of Filipinos fearing “the worst is yet to come” with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Roque noted that the country only “hit rock bottom” because of the lockdowns that the national government had to enforce in an attempt to contain the further spread of the virus.

“Kaya lang naman po talaga tayong we hit rock bottom dahil sinara natin ang ekonomiya. Kaya nga po ngayon ang ating panawagan sa lahat, puwede po tayong mabuhay na nandiyan pa ang COVID dahil hanggang wala namang bakuna, walang gamot eh talagang matatagalan ang ating pandemya ‘no (We only really hit rock bottom because we closed the economy. That is why today we call on everyone, we can live while COVID is still here because as long as there is no vaccine, there is no cure, the pandemic will go on),” he said.

“Pero ang sinasabi lang po ng ating Pangulo, puwede naman pong mabuhay basta pag-ingatan po ang ating mga kalusugan para tayo ay makapaghanapbuhay at makakamit natin ito sa pamamagitan ng hugas, mask at iwas (But what the President is saying is that can survive as long as we take care of our health so that we can pursue our livelihoods and we can achieve this through washing of hands, wearing face masks and prevention),” the spokesman added.

The SWS survey, conducted from July 3 to 6 and released on Tuesday, September 15 noted that the Filipino adults who believe that the worst-case scenario has yet to happen rose from 47 percent in May to 57 percent in July.

Of the new figure, 70 percent came from Metro Manila. This was followed by Visayas (61 percent), balance Luzon or areas in Luzon excluding Metro Manila (56 percent) and Mindanao (49 percent).

“Compared to May 2020, the proportion of those who fear ‘the worst is yet to come’ rose sharply in Metro Manila, up by 20 points from 50 percent,” the pollster said.

Meanwhile, Filipinos who believe that “the worst is behind us” fell from 44 percent in May 2020 to 35 percent in July.

The survey was conducted among 1,555 Filipinos nationwide through mobile phone and computer-assisted telephone interviewing. SWS noted the sampling error margins of ±2% for national percentages, ±6% for Metro Manila, ±5 for Balance Luzon, ±5% for the Visayas, and ±5% for Mindanao.

As of this writing, there are 272,934 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country, with 4,732 fatalities and 207,858 recoveries.

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