Active COVID-19 surge in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand
It is sad to note that our ASEAN neighbors Thailand and Malaysia have nearly double our active and daily new COVID-19 cases. Indonesia is number 3 worldwide with 376,015 actives with Thailand at number 17 with 90,578. Malaysia is number 19 with 87,841 actives while we are number 27 with only 49,701.
On daily new cases, Indonesia is number 2 worldwide with 36,197, while Thailand is number 11 with 9,539, and Malaysia at number 13 with 9,105. Philippines is currently number 19 with only 5,916.
The surges in those countries were triggered by new variants despite their high vaccination rollouts. Indonesia has fully vaccinated 5.5 percent or 14.6 million out of its 274-million total population. Malaysia has 10.2 percent or 3.19 million fully vaccinated citizens from its 32.7 million population, while Thailand has 4.6 percent or 3.17 million of its total 70 million. We have a higher fully vaccinated people at 3.2 percent or 3.5M from our 109 million total.
Thailand’s surge began in April where 90 percent of deaths and cases increased tenfold. Its health care system is now buckling under the increased demand. They have imposed a partial lockdown but experts say it was a little too late.
Malaysia’s surge started with 1,500 daily cases also in early April, then crossed to 5,000 level third week of May, and now at 9,000 level.
Indonesia’s outbreak is both large and deadly (latest was 1,007 daily) with new cases expected to rise to 70,000 before the peak of the current surge.
We are a bit fortunate so far that these new Delta, Gamma and Lambda variants are effectively checked through our very strict border controls, that is 10 days forced quarantine of incoming travellers. So far, only 19 Delta cases entered the country and then secured against local transmission. At the same time our government’s steady vaccination rollout has delivered “protection” to vulnerables, such as senior citizens and those with comorbidities.
No wonder Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe, WHO representative, has encouraging words for Filipinos in a recent interview. “Let’s look at the Phiippines,” he said, “in terms of income capacity, population size, its being an archipelago, in a fair manner compared to far more resource-abundant countries. Even with limited capacity, the number of people who have succumbed to the virus is relatively lower compared with countries that have higher capacity and resources. It appears that the Philippines has done a good job. It is a middle-income country, you cannot expect them to have a First World type of response.”
A fitting and fair assessment, but this is a one whole nation’s fight and everybody, government, businessmen, and citizens should work together constantly to end this pandemic.
Impatience over P160-B FLR (for later release) budget
With election season set in October or just more than two months from now, legislators, mostly those up for reelection or graduation, are getting frantic on when will the DBM and the Office of the President release their “line-item”, choice infrastructure projects in the 2020 and 2021 budgets.
Some resorted to castigating the DBM’s Wendel Avisado and the Palace, saying that people’s “ayuda” and important projects are suffering from the delay. Others insinuated politics behind non-release of their “choice projects”.
This is quite understandable because most are reelectionists or seeking new positions and they desperately need money today to fund their political campaigns. Some may have even accepted “advances” from their favorite contractors who push them to “pressure” the Palace and DBM via media campaigns and interviews.
But what I cannot understand is why in the first place did these senators and congressmen agree in the approved GAA that these FLR will only be released with the approval of DBM and President Duterte? Was this part of a reneged “modus vivendi”? Just asking!
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