HEAD: Police’s house search for COVID-19 cases a concern

By: Delta Dyrecka C. Letigio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | July 18,2020 - 04:21 PM

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Health Alliance for Democracy (HEAD) Cebu City Chapter has expressed concern about reports of the police being tasked to find and take persons infected with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). 

“This house-to-house style of tracking COVID-19 patients is uncalled for at this crucial point when health crisis response in the Philippines is obviously failing,” said HEAD Cebu City in a statement. 

Read more: ‘Parang tokhang’: Senator hits house-to-house search for COVID-19 patients

The Philippines has 61, 266 total COVID-19 positive cases with 1,643 total deaths as of July 17, 2 p.m. It hit the 60,000 end of July projection of the experts of the University of the Philippines even earlier than July 31st. 

Read more: PRO-7 cops, who recovered from COVID-19, urged to join contact tracing team and donate blood

For HEAD, the Filipinos do not need more police and military presence and intervention but instead, a proactive, inclusive, and pro-people response in the COVID-19 health crisis. 

HEAD Cebu Chapter is demanding that this practice be put to a stop to and cease sowing fear in the communities. 

“It is disturbing to arm law enforcers and give them the power to intrude into people’s homes given the fear of COVID-19 infection and the infamous Oplan Tokhang of the gove, rnment in its bloody war on drugs,” said HEAD. 

Read more: Palace: No house-to-house search for COVID-19 patients

The group said it is important to focus on community-based services that would decrease the “desperation and suffering” of the people. 

They reiterated the call to the national government to urgently act on the public health emergency by giving the most needed support to the degrading health system and sector through mass testing that targets the medical frontliners, essential workers, people with co-morbidities and communities with a high number of COVID-19 cases.

They also called for the hiring of more nurses and doctors; and, giving of the intended nurse’s and doctor’s salary in accordance to the law, in addition to the hazard pay and additional benefits that must be given to them on time whether public or private institution. 

“All these efforts do not require violence and police intervention, or a new law in the face of the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.  The government must act fast and with political will for the sake of its constituents. The people have had enough and could no longer breathe with all the anti-people decisions and policies,” said HEAD. 

The group hopes the government would reconsider this new protocol in the tracing of COVID-19 patients. /dbs

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TAGS: COVID-19, head, house-to-house tracking, police

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