Presidential Adviser on Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion has pitched a paradigm shift as far as the monitoring of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the country is concerned.

Presidential Adviser on Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion (Photo from Go Negosyo Facebook page)

Concepcion says that the new approach involves not looking at daily new case counts anymore as well as not panicking over mild cases of COVID-19.

“We monitor only the severe cases which are being hospitalized. Put simply, we just monitor the hospitals and find out which of the infected are unvaccinated, fully vaccinated, or boostered. That kind of information would be more useful,” he said in a statement Tuesday, Dec. 28.

The Philippines is currently enjoying a downtrend in COVID-19 cases wherein it has consistently recorded fewer than 500 fresh daily cases for a month. Despite this victory, the country is still on its toes regaring the possible spread of new mutations of the disease, such as the Omicron variant.

“Life must go on,” Concepcion said, noting that crippling lockdowns will become a thing of the past once the country learns to manage cases.

“We must trust the vaccines. And in places now strengthened by vaccination, it is certain that the spread of the virus can be controlled and we can finally learn to live with COVID,” the Palace official said.

“When COVID becomes endemic, we will have built a wall of protection through vaccinations, we will know how to avoid catching it, and we will know how to treat it. That is why our goal for 2022 must be to make the pandemic endemic,” he added.

The last hard lockdown that Filipinos had to endure took place in August. Concepcion and the private sector actually proposed the lockdown as a preemptive measure against the entry of the highly infectious Delta variant of COVID-19.

With that particular variant practically defeated, Concepcion has since set his sights on the pressing matter of acquiring vaccine supply for booster shots. Boosters are additional COVID-19 jabs that heighten a person’s protection against the disease.

Concepcion said Tueaday that vaccine manufacturer AstraZeneca will deliver this month the final batch of the 9.8 million jabs it pledged to Go Negosyo for its “A Dose of Hope” program.

“With the arrival of additional shots, we will have enough supply to complete the vaccination of private sector workers. We can also use these to start providing our workers with booster shots while we work on another agreement with AstraZeneca for additional supply,” he said.

“We express our utmost gratitude to AstraZeneca for fulfilling its commitment to deliver almost 17 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to Go Negosyo. Without their help, the private sector’s vaccination program would not have succeeded,” noted Concepcion.

For her part, AstraZeneca Country President Lotis Ramin said, “The completion of the delivery of AstraZeneca doses to the private sector through the multilateral agreement with the national government is a testament that with the bayanihan spirit, we are stronger together.”

“We are grateful for the opportunity given to AstraZeneca as the pioneer in this multilateral agreement in helping contribute to vaccine access for Filipinos. This significant milestone is a symbol of hope and I am truly inspired by all the tireless efforts of the private sector and the national government in making this possible,” she added.

Through Go Negosyo’s initiative, the private sector and local government units (LGUs) entered into a tripartite agreement with AstraZeneca for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines under A Dose of Hope.

Source: Manila Bulletin (