Our action plan vs coronavirus is helter-skelter and unfocused Rappler

Our action plan vs coronavirus is helter-skelter and unfocused Featured

THIS early, we want to express our doubts and misgivings about the proposed phase 2 of the National Action Plan against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), which has been hastily hatched without proper planning and authorization.

According to sketchy details outlined in a story posted by GMA TV news, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana disclosed that the second phase of the National Action Plan to curb Covid-19 is already being crafted, and it will be presented soon to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

Before throwing in our questions, let us give full vent to the details revealed by the good secretary’s announcement.

Lorenzana said the next phase the National Action Plan will contain measures for easing the lockdown to enable the economy to recover.

He said this would be the second plan to be put together. The first covered the three months from April to June, Lorenzana said.

“The objective [is] different from this month because we are now able to contain the virus and there’s a need to craft another campaign or action plan to ease the lockdown and to return the economy into a little bit normal, the lives of people into a little bit normal,” he added.

According to Lorenzana, the proposed second phase of the National Action Plan was to be presented to the inter-agency task force on Thursday.

He also said that despite criticisms from detractors, the first phase of the plan had been successful because it yielded good results.

Lorenzana is the chairman of the National Action Plan against Covid-19. The vice chairman is Interior Secretary Eduardo Año while the chief implementer is Secretary Carlito Galvez, also a retired military man.

There are too many things that are troubling and questionable about this story.
First, who created the National Action Plan group, and who appointed Lorenzana as the chairman?

Second, was the National Action Plan conceived by the often-mentioned National Task Force Covid 19 (NTF), whose existence is also shrouded in mystery? If so, what and who are the members of the NTF?

Third, how do these entities — the National Action Plan and National Task Force — relate to the IATF-EID? Do they take orders and direction from the main task force?

Fourth, why are the members of the National Action Plan solely military men? Where are the doctors and medical professionals who will be needed for the plan to work? For all their military credentials, Secretaries Lorenzana, Año and Galvez do not have the medical training and expertise to answer the threat of Covid-19. They know very little about the disease and its treatment.

Fifth, what would be the merit therefore of an action plan against Covid-19 that has been hatched and developed by former military men?

Sixth, is the military factor the reason why our response to Covid-19 has mainly featured draconian restrictions on the movement of citizens and our public life, and why there is so much talk of policing and punishment of rules violators?

Seventh, is the military element the reason why the IATF-EID finds it so hard to support the full opening up of the economy so the nation can at last move forward and rebuild?

It is fair to raise these questions because the progress of our struggle against the coronavirus has been marked more by setbacks than victories.

Not a day passes in which the Department of Health does not report a rise in the number of new infections (cases) and deaths, and no day comes in which some new barangays are not reported to have been infected and are then quickly locked down.

We are not winning the war against the virus because our collective effort is helter-skelter, disorganized and unfocused.

We can see how the splendid qualities of generalship can serve us well in this struggle, but these must be matched by the expertise and service of medical professionals, scientists, statesmen and economists, for the nation to triumph in this struggle.000
Read 218 times Last modified on Friday, 03 July 2020 16:05
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