Majority of the countries are facing problems containing the Coronavirus after it has been discovered in China. On Jan. 30, the Philippines has recorded its first case after a 38-year-old Chinese woman turned positive for the virus. Days passed and cases continued to soar. Like other countries working hard to stop COVID-19, the Philippines indeed tried its best controlling the new deadly virus. But among all, one stood from the rest: South Korea.
The country managed to “flatten the curve” in less than a week despite the increased cases, making the contagion beatable. South Korea has even coped to curb all new cases from thousands to hundreds. It is a wake-up call for the Philippines that nothing is impossible.
Surprisingly, South Korea proved the virus can be economically controlled by intervening fast before it becomes a crisis. South Korean government immediately developed test kits for mass testing and urged the public to stay at home. With the country’s efforts, further transmission was avoided, and COVID-19 patients were detected early and given proper treatment. Other than that, one trait that South Koreans have is political will. The country’s government was not reluctant to impose immediate measures despite the nonexistence of a crisis-level outbreak. The government also asked for the public’s help and cooperation to curb the virus. Furthermore, social trust is higher in South Korea compared to others, particularly to democratic countries such as the Philippines. Before imposing some measures in a democratic country, it will run through voting system then implementation, and this could take a lot of time. But recently, with the special powers granted to President Rodrigo Duterte, the president may utilize this to generate fast results. It covers the proper distribution of monetary funds and relief goods, creation of more test kits and strict implementation of stay at home policy across all affected islands of the Philippines.
As the country starts ramping up for mass testing, this is a big opportunity for the Philippines to flatten the curve. Filipinos are very resilient. If everyone remains positive with love and compassion for each other, together we can beat the virus and we will heal as one.
By Karl Einon T. De Belen
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