MANILA, Philippines – If there is one lesson from the pandemic that Israel could teach the Philippines, it is that, among other things, shutting down the economy will not solve the surge in COVID-19 cases.
Israel Embassy Deputy Head of Mission Nir Balzam said during a press forum on Wednesday that keeping the economy open will help keep the government afloat through the harsh effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Nobody knows that if you lock everything, turn everything off is not always the answer, ”said Balzam, sharing that Israel kept its economy open despite a surge in COVID-19 infections.
“ This is the opposite of lockdown . It means that things are open. Due to the increase, there are still a few restrictions. Promotion of home work … The hotels are open. The tourist attractions are open. You have to keep the economy open, “said Balzam.
The diplomat added that mass gatherings were reduced from 10,000 to 30,000 to 300 to 400 people,” still viewed as a mass gathering “.
Apart from that By reducing the number of mass gatherings, Israel also recognized the importance of vaccine boosters to combat the swelling cases.
Balzam said that according to the experts, boosters must be given six months after the second dose.
“One of the options was not to give the booster. Another option was to give the booster. And they [experts] saw that the benefits of booster administration will likely be better than having more lockdowns, “he said.
Israel was one of the first countries to emerge from massive lockdowns and experience symptomatic COVID- Has successfully eradicated 19 cases. The last lockdown was enforced in December, about a week after one of the world’s fastest vaccination programs began.
On the flip side, most parts of the Philippines are experiencing a surge in coronavirus after the highly transmissible Delta variant first identified in India Cases hit, causing the health sector and academy to demand stricter community quarantine measures.
This despite opposition from some members in the corporate sector to say the country can’t afford another massive lockdown and is slamming instead more detailed lockdowns so as not to hinder the flow of business between cities.
Metro Manila itself has just come out of a two-week extended community quarantine, although that did little to reduce the cases, and in fact the country actually recorded last Monday its highest daily number of COVID-19 cases with 18,332 infections Capital region had just returned to the less restrictive quarantine classification.
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