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Binay asks gov't to prepare for Omicron variant

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Former Vice President Jejomar Binay asked the Department of Health to prepare for the possible entry of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

"Sinabi mismo ng DOH na hindi maiiwasan ang pagpasok ng Omicron variant dito sa ating bansa. A Health official said we can only slow it down, but not stop it. Kaya ngayon pa lang dapat naghahanda na tayo," said Binay, who is running for a seat in the Senate.

Binay said that while the travel ban on select countries is a good sign that the government is finally being pro-active, it should also focus on strengthening the country's health defenses while cases are still down.

"Sana ay gamitin ng gobyerno ang panahon na mababa ang mga kaso para magbakuna ng mas marami pang mga mamamayan, lalo na yung mga nasa labas ng Metro Manila," he said.

Binay said it is also important to bolster the health care system to make it more responsive.

"Suggestion ko lang po ay bigyan ito ng mga solusyon ngayong Disyembre hanggang Enero, habang mababa pa ang mga kaso ng COVID. December and January should be devoted to strengthening our defenses against a newer, more infectious variant," Binay said.

"Kapag sapat ang gamot at supplies at ang bilang ng nurses at health workers, at masinop ang testing at contact tracing, mas magiging handa tayo sakaling magkaroon uli ng surge dahil sa Omicron variant," he said.

Binay said the government should ensure the protection of the people from any further harm, and the economy from any further damage. "The key is to make health a priority and to make sure that the health front is managed competently," he said.

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