Malacañang is encouraging senior citizens who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 to continue staying indoors as they remain to be at high risk for respiratory disease.
This, after the National Commission on Senior Citizens chairperson Franklin Quijano urged the national government to allow the elderly who have been fully vaccinated to go out to help boost the economy and for their total wellness.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque clarified that senior citizens are not completely prohibited from leaving their homes especially if it is for grocery shopping or exercise.
“Hindi naman po absolutely prohibited ang mga seniors na lumabas. Puwede po silang lumabas para bilhin iyong mga kinakailangan nila; kung kinakailangang pumunta ng mall para dito eh pinapayagan naman sila. Pangalawa, pinapayagan silang mag-exercise dahil importante naman talaga ang exercise para sa health promotions (Seniors are not absolutely prohibited from going outside. They can go out to buy what they need; if they need to go to the mall, they are allowed. Second, they are allowed to exercise because it’s important for health promotion),” he said.
However, he said the national government may consider further relaxing quarantine protocols for senior citizens once the country achieves “population protection” of vaccinating 50 to 60 percent of the population with concentration in Metro Manila, two other cities, and six provinces.
“Tingin ko po depende iyan kung maa-achieve na natin iyong population protection ‘no. Ibig sabihin, hindi lang naman po iyong mga may bakuna ang pupuwedeng magkaroon ng proteksiyon, kinakailangan mas marami pa sa populasyon ang magkakaroon ng proteksiyon dahil ang bakuna po is not a guarantee na hindi na kayo tatamaan ng Covid (I think it will depend if we achieve population protection. It means that it’s not only those who have gotten vaccinated that would have protection, a bigger percent of the population should also have protection because a vaccine is not a guarantee that you won’t get infected with Covid-19),” he said.
Roque noted that although the vaccine would significantly reduce the risk of getting Covid-19, it is still possible to test positive for the virus.
“It is a guarantee na siguro hindi kayo magkakasakit nang malala o hindi kayo mamamatay pero iba po ang kondisyon ng mga seniors (It is a guarantee that you won’t get severely ill or die but the case for seniors is different) — they are especially vulnerable,” he said.
He also said senior citizens should remain indoors for their own good.
“Let us veer on the safer side na hanggang wala pa pong (until we have not achieved) population protection, habang hindi pa natin nababakunahan ang 70 percent ng ating populasyon, stay at home muna po ang mga lolo at lola (while we have not vaccinated 70 percent of our population, our grandmothers and grandfathers should stay home),” he added.
Meanwhile, Roque said he saw no problem with some local government officials (LGUs) offering gifts such as discount coupons or sacks of rice to residents to encourage their constituents to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
“Hindi naman panunuhol ‘yan. ‘Yan po ay marketing. Lahat naman po ng ating undertaking kinakailangan mayroong communication at mayroong marketing at kabahagi lang po ‘yan ng kanilang overall marketing dahil alam naman natin na ang pagbabakuna ang solusyon talaga sa pagtatapos nitong pandemyang ito (I don’t think it’s bribery. It’s marketing. All our undertakings require communication and marketing and it is only part of their overall marketing because we know that vaccination is the only solution to ending this pandemic),” he said. (PNA)