Believe it or not, the steady decline in the number of COVID-19 cases has helped the Leni Robredo-Kiko Pangilinan presidential tandem draw gigantic crowds to their campaign rallies that literally turn the skies pink and shake the ground with excitement.
The Duterte administration itself highlights in its reports the same drop in COVID cases – but for a different reason, which is to show that its public health campaign is succeeding in curbing the pandemic that has killed nearly 60,000 Filipinos. and hampered the economy.
While the downward trend may not directly benefit the presidential candidacy of former Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., that should not worry President Duterte, who has said often enough that he neither supports nor endorsed no one for the presidency in the national elections on May 9.
Restrictions on people visiting commercial establishments, malls and other public places have been eased. More people can now move to more areas, including campaign rally sites.
While helping to bring commerce back to life, the space that opens up also allows those locked in for too long to check out what they hear, good or bad, about the lady in pink offering to lead the way. to an inclusive national revival.
As the Department of Health announced data showing a drop in the number of COVID cases, more and more people, including a few without face masks, have resumed visiting friends and relatives – some of each other meeting up in the Leni-Kiko gatherings we’re talking about and feeling the contagious energy.
Along with the usual political speeches, the rallies have sometimes taken on a kind of cultural flavor with the presentation of historical and folkloric vignettes unique to the venue that help keep the crowd focused while being informed of the issues.
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The improving COVID situation depicted by the DOH numbers and charts featured on President Duterte’s “Talk to the People” TV show last Tuesday can be validated by what can be easily seen in the neighborhood and public spaces. .
This easy validation is different from, say, presidential preference polls involving supposed interviews with 2,400 people who have gone unseen, faceless, and nameless. One wonders if the surveys are real or are just mental conditioning tools.
ABS-CBN News’ data analysis team reported, meanwhile, that the country just saw its lowest number of active COVID-19 cases in about four months.
Data shared by the health department, he said, showed the 30,527 active COVID-19 infections reported on Friday were the lowest in the country since Jan. 4. The DOH also reported 290 new infections, less than 300 for the fifth day in a row.
Amid the good news comes warnings from epidemiologists that Holy Week is upon us and the remaining days leading up to Election Day could become super spreaders if people don’t observe rules and protocols to avoid infection.
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While COVID numbers have fallen to manageable levels in the Philippines, it looks different in the United States, whose cases have placed it firmly at the top of the world0meters.info list with its total of 82,034,738 cases as of date. ‘yesterday.
Global data as tabulated based on World Health Organization statistics as of April 8, 2022, showed that the top two countries with the highest number of COVID cases after the United States are India with 43,033,067 and Brazil with 30,094,388.
But when broken down by number of cases per million people, their position changes on the global list of 228 countries and territories. The United States drops to 54th place among the most infected with 245,164 cases/1 million inhabitants; India (at No. 149), 30,652 cases; and Brazil (at No. 88), 139,830 cases.
On the shorter 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) list, the Philippines, with its declining COVID cases, improved its ranking from 2nd place to long-standing (towards Indonesia) in 5th place, below Vietnam and Indonesia. , Malaysia and Thailand.
When their ranking is based on the country’s number of cases per million population, the Philippines’ position improves one notch to No. 6 from the top.
ASEAN’s ranking when the count is based on one million people places Brunei (with its smallest population of 444,869) No. 1 on the list with 310,085 cases / 1 million people, followed in descending order Singapore (190,873), Malaysia (130,147), Vietnam (102,502), Thailand (54,673), Philippines (32,819), Laos (25,846), Indonesia (21,643), Myanmar (11,121) and Cambodia (7,934).
VCM, NYC ballots delayed
Receiving questions from readers registered to vote at the Consulate General of the Philippines in New York as to when they might vote, we emailed Consul General Elmer G. Cato to inquire about preparations.
He told us Friday that vote-counting machines, overseas ballots and other election materials shipped by the Manila Election Commission were still in Alaska and expected to arrive in New York this week. This delayed final testing and sealing of the VCMs.
Cato said the consulate is committed to ensuring the smooth conduct of overseas elections and protecting the results. “We strongly encouraged overseas voter registration and awareness of this year’s domestic elections,” he added.
Tomorrow, he said, the consulate will co-host a webinar with Comelec to explain the postal voting method the consulate will use, as well as answer questions related to the elections.
“While we understand the concern of some kababayans about the delay in the arrival of election paraphernalia,” Cato said, “their assertion of possible disenfranchisement and the fact that we are not open about the delay is unfair on our part as it is beyond the control of the consulate”.
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