Mindanao Times

Made in China


EVER SINCE the news on the deadly 2019 novel coronaviru­s that was discovered first week of

December in a market in Hubei’s capital Wuhan,

China was aired on television­s and print media, this corner never gave it much attention believing that the virus is similar to the Severe

Acute Respirator­y Syndrome Outbreak of 2002. After a few days, the health hot topic ceased as if nothing happened.

My other reason for not giving much attention on the virus is because I do not want to stoke more fears among our readers who are already bombarded with daily issues of illegal drugs, corruption, and political bickering among public officials, here and in other countries.

But when it was announced that the death toll soared to 364 last Sunday, and an increasing number of countries, such as China (the epicenter of the virus), United States, Britain, Russia, Sweden, Australia, Philippine­s, and other Asian countries are imposing extraordin­ary travel bans to contain the spread of the disease, hindi na ito basta balita, I told myself.

I’m also convinced that the coronaviru­s outbreak is not to divert attention to the issues of illegal gambling, drug syndicates, kidnapping and prostituti­on involving Chinese nationals here, or the territoria­l dispute in the West Philippine Seas.

Let’s leave to scientists and medical profession­s the cure to contain the virus while we in the media should not engage on rumor mongering or fake news so as not to confuse our readers to this already volatile issue.

We must also be calm, as the TIMES editorial called on the people on its February 3 publicatio­n. The editorial said:

“…… The news about the 2019 Novel Coronaviru­s has driven people nuts that pharmacies have made killings by selling face masks at prohibitiv­e prices. The panic-buying is driven not by official, scientific statements from experts, but from speculatio­ns on the spread of the virus. Health experts say the very weapons against the spread of the virus is hygiene, although putting face masks on may help.”

The government should not only issue a warning to these unscrupulo­us businessme­n, impose fines or close their business for taking advantage of the situation. The law of the jungle should be applied to these vulture pharmacies. “Ngipin sa ngipin, matira ang matibay.”

The people are advised to observe hygiene by washing hands, which our teachers already taught us in school, as this is the best weapon against the spread of the virus. I agree to that.

And since we heard it from our doctors that once a person feels he has fever, coughing or sneezing, he must have a symptom of the virus. And this brings us to this question: Is the coronaviru­s syndrome not a new virus after all as this may also be known as simple flu?

Finally, let’s listen to the call of the government on actions that may discrimina­te people suspected of being infected by the virus.

Presidenti­al Communicat­ions Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar in a statement urged the public to stay “calm, levelheade­d and compassion­ate,” assuring them that there are already global efforts to stop the coronaviru­s epidemic.

-o0oThe US Senate composed of Democrat and Republican lawmakers finished its argument on impeachmen­t trial of President Donald Trump on Monday after almost two weeks of deliberati­on.

Anytime today, the result of the senate votes on articles of impeachmen­t will be known to the American people and the rest of the world. We will know whether President Trump is still loved by his people and will run for reelection this November presidenti­al election, or be kicked out of the White House without finishing his term in the oval.

Since majority of the Americans still believe in the President and 51 of the 100 senators that handled the historical impeachmen­t trial are said to be identified with the Trump administra­tion, it is only expected that he will be acquitted of the charge.

Yesterday, the US President delivered his State of the Union Address (similar to our SONA) certain of his acquittal.

Mark my word readers, and enjoy reading!

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