Don’t drop your guard


The arrival of Covid vaccines gave the world hope that we may be able to finally defeat the virus. Currently, more than 689 million doses have been administer­ed across 153 countries, according to data collected by Bloomberg. Although there were initial reports of possible side effects, the jabs showed signs of being able to protect people from getting sick. This prompted some countries to ease restrictio­ns. With the increased movement of people, most everyone dropped their guard and removed their face masks. No more social distancing. Then the inevitable happened—infections surged in most countries that opened up.

India on Monday reported 103,558 new Covid infections, according to data from the federal Health Ministry. The record increase in cases pushed India to lock down Mumbai and ordered offices to work from home and shut malls and restaurant­s through April.

On April 5, the Associated Press reported that European countries are trying to tamp down a surge in Covid-19 cases by ramping up vaccinatio­ns, hoping to spare hospitals from becoming overwhelme­d by the pandemic’s latest deadly wave of infections. France’s health minister warned that the number of intensive care unit patients could match levels from a year ago.

From the Associated Press: “The crush of coronaviru­s patients has been relentless for hospitals in Poland, where daily new infections hit records of over 35,000 on two recent days and the government ordered new restrictio­ns to prevent large gatherings.”

On Wednesday, Brazil, which has a population of 212 million, reported more than 4,000 daily Covid deaths for the first time as the pandemic continues to rage across Latin America’s largest nation. Bloomberg said Brazil’s Health Ministry registered 4,195 fatalities on Tuesday, bringing the total since the virus first arrived to 336,947. It’s the second highest tally globally, trailing only the US. Cases surged by 86,979 in the past 24 hours, pushing the toll to 13.1 million.

Here’s how Covid-19 ravaged some countries: The US, which is the richest and most powerful country on earth, reported 556,000 deaths and almost 40 million infections.

Mexico, which has a population of 128 million, reported 205,000 Covid deaths.

Britain, which has a population of 67 million, recorded almost 127,000 coronaviru­s deaths, the highest toll in Europe.

Italy, which as a population of 60 million, suffered 112,000 Covid deaths.

In the Philippine­s, rising Covid infections prompted President Duterte to put Metro Manila and four nearby provinces under enhanced community quarantine from March 29 to April 11. On Tuesday, news reports said the country posted a “record high” 382 Covid deaths, as cumulative total coronaviru­s infections soared to 812,760. The death toll on Tuesday stood at 13,817, or 1.7 percent of the country’s Covid cases. A Department of Health bulletin on April 6 puts the scary news in proper context: “The number of deaths reported today [382] already includes the [341] deaths not reported in previous counts.”

Do the math. The 382 Covid deaths on Tuesday can’t be a “record high” because they include 341 deaths not previously reported. Obviously, we are not one of the best countries as far as handling the pandemic is concerned. However, we’re not a failure either. As one Businessmi­rror columnist loves to say, TGYF—THANK God You’re Filipino.

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