‘Babalik din sa atin ‘yon,’ Vico Sotto warns hoarders of disinfectants

JC Gotinga
‘Babalik din sa atin ‘yon,’ Vico Sotto warns hoarders of disinfectants
If some people don't get to disinfect because others hoarded alcohol and sanitizers, it increases the risk of the coronavirus spreading, says the Pasig mayor

MANILA, Philippines – It’s the reciprocity rule, according to Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto. What goes around comes around.

Urging citizens to desist from hoarding rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizers, and other disinfectants, Sotto warned that the practice may actually cause the novel coronavirus to spread faster.

“Babalik din po sa atin ‘yon. Kapag hindi nakapag-sanitize ‘yung ibang tao, eh ‘di baka lalong kumalat ‘yung virus,” he told reporters as he led the distribution of disinfectant kits to leaders of Pasig’s barangays. (It will come back to us. If other people are unable to sanitize, then the virus might spread even further.)

The Pasig government gave out a total of 500 sets of disinfectant kits that include sprayer canisters, chlorine tablets, hazmat suits, face shields, goggles, boots, and nitrile gloves to its 30 barangays. The number of each items in each set was proportionate to each barangay’s population.

The city’s professional response team demonstrated the proper use of the equipment to the barangay representatives who were charged to routinely disinfect common areas in every neighborhood.

SPRAY KIT. The Pasig City government distributes 500 spray canisters to its 30 barangays. Photo by JC Gotinga/Rappler

4-day workweek for city employees

The local government started spraying disinfectant in the city’s public areas earlier this week. With classes suspended, all 45 public schools in Pasig were disinfected by the end of Friday.

Places most frequented by people, such as the city hall and the public market, are disinfected daily. The wet market will remain open, Sotto emphasized, but the dry goods bazaar on the market complex’s third floor has been closed temporarily.

To decongest the city hall to give room for “social distancing,” it will be open for frontline services and transactions from Monday to Saturday, but its employees will only work 4 days in a week.

A numbering system limits the volume of people doing business inside the city hall at any given time.

All big events and gatherings in the city are canceled.

5 cases of infection

Pasig has had 5 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, one of whom, an 88-year-old woman with a preexisting medical condition, died on Thursday, March 12.

Sotto called for calm and urged people not to panic.

“From the patients who were positive with COVID-19, we conducted extensive contact tracing, and our contact tracing has been very successful,” Sotto said.

City authorities are “very strict” with placing the patients’ contacts under home quarantine, and they see to it that their needs are all met, Sotto said in an earlier interview. – Rappler.com

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JC Gotinga

JC Gotinga often reports about the West Philippine Sea, the communist insurgency, and terrorism as he covers national defense and security for Rappler. He enjoys telling stories about his hometown, Pasig City. JC has worked with Al Jazeera, CNN Philippines, News5, and CBN Asia.