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An issue of equality



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THERE is the issue of equality currently bugging the public with the way some people are seemingly privileged in getting tested for the coronavirus (COVID-19).

President Duterte’s partner Honeylet Avanceña and his daughter Veronica were tested along with Paolo and Sebastian Duterte even if they have not shown any symptom of the disease.

Sadly, some Filipinos did not welcome the initiative. A frontline physician from Zamboanga del Sur reported on social media that they were only given two swab (not testing) kits in the hospital where she works even if they have several persons under investigation (PUIs) who are symptomatic.

She questioned that if the government could provide tests for VIP officials who are asymptomatic, then they could most likely for the poor PUIs who are symptomatic or probably had history of travel. If the government could not deliver, she said, how do they expect people to cooperate?

Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, who tested positive for the virus in spite of being asymptomatic could be a case of false positive, said Health Secretary Francisco Duque who is himself currently under home quarantine after being exposed to a director who tested positive for the virus.

Zubiri’s wife tested negative. Other government officials who were tested were Senators Sherwin Gatchalian, Nancy Binay, and some members of the Cabinet.

The truth of the matter is as these government officials and their kin are being given testing priority, Juan dela Cruz is being denied the same chance.

Another report in social media said a hospital in Benguet has not been able to discharge its PUIs because their swab tests are still pending due to the limited supply of test kits.

Akbayan Youth members also slammed the alleged preferential treatment given to government officials and their kin.

Dr. RJ Naguit of Akbayan Youth said the right to live should not be decided on who has the deepest pockets. Everyone has to be strong, whether rich or poor. One test kit they use is equivalent to one test kit taken away from people who badly need it.

The Trade Union of the Philippines said these indiscretions are the reasons why ordinary Filipinos continue to lose respect for our public officials and distrust the government.

Thousands of test kits from China and South Korea supposedly arrived in the country recently. We have to conduct mass testing at the earliest time possible.

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