The reign of the idiots
November 21, 2014
I’M staggered by the justifications of Health Acting Secretary Janet Garin and Armed Forces Chief Malacañang of their visit to the quarantined peacekeepers in Caballo Island in Cavite which Malacañang approves.
Garin and Catapang have drawn flak for what many see as violation of the idea of quarantine.
The peacekeepers from Ebola-stricken Liberia are on 21-day quarantine, an international procedure to prevent the deadly virus from spreading.
More than 5,000 have died from Ebola which is raging in West African countries notably Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. Several cases of the disease manifesting after persons, mostly health workers ,from West Africa have returned to their countries like the United States.
Garin and Catapang went to Caballo Island Sunday (Nov. 16), with a photographer, not wearing Personal Protective Equipment.
Anthony Leachon, president of the Philippine College of Physicians said, “”It was a breach of protocol — quarantine is an enforced isolation during the 21-day incubation period” of the virus.”
Leachon said the visit of the two officials in Caballo Island “sends a wrong signal” as the DOH and medical and health organizations embark on an intensive information campaign on precautionary measures to prevent the spread of Ebola, in case it comes to the country.
Garin said she went there to make sure that the peacekeepers were provided with proper facilities and medical treatment while on quarantine.
She is that hands-on?
A good executive would be able to accomplish that objective without personally going there. In this age of mobile phones, a personal visit to the island is unnecessary.
But of course, if she didn’t go there, she and Catapang would not be in the news.
They need to be in the news as preparation for their 2016 election agenda.
As to their non-use of the PEE, Garin said it was not necessary since none of the peacekeepers was showing symptoms of Ebola.
But Ebola’s incubation period is 21 days, thus the quarantine requirement.
In the case of Thomas Eric Duncan, a taxi driver in Liberia who helped carry an Ebola victim, Marthalene Williams, to the hospital on Sept. 15, he developed fever only nine days after when he was already in the United States.
Garin said PPEs are expensive and limited in supply. “We are saving the PPE as the need arises. It is better that we have the PPE available when we already need them.”
Then, why did she and Catapang have to go to Caballo island? The soldiers, trained for adverse situations, would not have minded at all even if they didn’t come.
Of course, again, there’s the photo-op which those with higher political ambitions find hard to resist.
But the classic reason was that of Catapang, head of the country’s 20,000-strong armed forces. He said it was Garin’s idea to visit the peacekeepers and since the acting health secretary said it was okay, then it was okay.
There’s a word for what they are and what they did. It starts with “I”. The synonym starts with “S”. In tagalog, the word starts with “T.”/ By Ellen Tordesillas| VERA Files – Fri, Nov 21, 2014