Sara: ‘I will forever be between a rock and a hard place amidst this pandemic’

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 17 Nov) – Mayor Sara Duterte said she will forever be “between a rock and a hard place” amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Mayor Sara Duterte. Photo from the DCDR 87.5 Facebook page

She said this in her pre-recorded State of the City Address (SOCA) streamed live over Facebook on Monday, in reference to being put in a difficult situation in trying to put a balance between saving lives and preventing people from “going flat broke” due to the coronavirus.

“The rock that exemplifies all the people trying to save the lives of our fellowmen from dying of COVID-19 complications and the hard place that is representative of the people trying to save their families from going flat broke,” Duterte said.

She said she has weathered numerous storms, dealing with emergencies and disasters even in her previous terms as mayor of Davao.

“No term of mine was ever uneventful and I did not expect the current one to be smooth sailing but my wildest dreams never considered a pandemic. I have weathered numerous storms but what completely floored me was that I did not see an end to this one,” she said.

Last Sunday, Dr. Bernard Chiew, a cardiologist who chairs the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) national committee on external affairs and President of PCP-Southern Mindanao chapter from 2005 to 2006, said in a public post on his Facebook page on Sunday that a lockdown would help the healthcare system recover as the COVID-19 isolation center of government-owned Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) and private hospitals are “close to full capacity most of the time.”

Chiew echoed the sentiments expressed by an organization of doctors and medical directors in the city’s private hospitals for a lockdown.

The mayor said the city remains trapped in a “very peculiar reality just like the rest of the world” 10 months since the declaration of the COVID-19 outbreak.

She urged the people to manage their expectations as the outbreak will define their lives for another two years or more, without an effective vaccine that can end the pandemic, and reminded them to stay at home, wear a mask, frequently wash their hands, and observe social/physical distancing to avoid getting infected.

“Ten months into the COVID-19 pandemic and we have seen an alarming spike in the number of confirmed COVID-19 positive cases. As we wait for a vaccine to control the spread, we need to be thinking about ways to reduce risk of transmission,” she said.

She said the current situation presented the local government a problem which does not only involve a public health emergency but also economic and social crisis.

“And we are endlessly trying out the best strategic, seamless connection between the stages under our Plan of Action against COVID-19 – Prevention, Testing, Contact Tracing, and Isolation, Quarantine, and Treatment,” she said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)