Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III ‘elbow bumps’ with Atty. Lesley Jeanne Yu Cordero, Senior Disaster Risk Manager Specialist of the World Bank, after the Senate adopted a resolution commending the seven awardees of The Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) of the Philippines, Tuesday, March 9, 2021. Cordero was one of the awardees in the field of political and social sciences. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Mar 10 (Mabuhay) –Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Tuesday backed the possible redeployment of police and military personnel to enforce minimum health standards in public places amid the rising cases of COVID-19 in the country.

Sotto was reacting to the statement of vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. who said police and military personnel may be dispersed again in convergent areas as authorities noticed that many Filipinos have become complacent over safety protocols.

“Whatever it takes! I will support the decision of the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases,” Sotto said in a text message when asked about Galvez’s statement.

“They are [privy] to stats we don’t have,” he added.

The Philippines recorded 2,668 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, bringing the total to 546,078 cases.

Data from the World Health Organization showed that the Philippines has reported the highest number of new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours in the Western Pacific Region.

OCTA Research’s Dr. Guido David also said that the daily new cases of COVID-19 in the National Capital Region may reach 5,000 by March 31 as the projected reproduction number may have already increased to 1.8.

Sotto along with other senators earlier urged the public to strictly follow health protocols amid the increasing number of COVID-19 cases.

Senator Grace Poe, for her part, believes that the surge in COVID-19 cases should be addressed through immediate vaccination of health workers and other priority groups.

“We should vaccinate faster than the virus can spread. This is taking into account that the supply of the government-procured and donated doses will reach the Philippines on time,” she said.

“We count on the task force to continue equitable negotiations for the purchase of safe and efficient vaccines, complemented by a smooth implementation of the inoculation program,” she added. (MNS)

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