Yesterday, there was this article published in the Philippine Star (online version here) with a title that caught my attention…O Israel!
The said article was written by long-time columnist Boo Chanco (who cited the Washington Post, Capital Economics and Deutsche Welle for context) and to put things in perspective, below are notable excerpts for your reading. Some parts in bold…
According to The Washington Post, Israel is now partying like it’s 2019.
“With most adults now vaccinated against the coronavirus and restrictions falling away – including the lifting this week of outdoor mask requirements – Israelis are joyously resuming routines that were disrupted more than a year ago and providing a glimpse of what the future could hold for other countries.”
Oh, Israel! How did you guys do it? We are still in limbo. The best guess for us puts two more years of aimless wandering in the COVID desert.
According to The Washington Post, “the rate of new infections has plummeted – from a peak of almost 10,000 a day to about 140 – and the number of serious coronavirus cases in many hospitals is down to single digits.
“The emergency COVID-19 ward at Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv resumed duty as a parking garage, and waiting rooms are suddenly flooded with non-COVID patients coming for long-deferred treatments.”
But Israeli health officials are quick to note that the pandemic is not over. They are worried about the variants. There is also the possibility of outbreaks in schools, where most students are too young to be vaccinated.
Still, Israel is showing what other nations can expect if they can keep on vaccinating.
“With almost 90 percent of the most vulnerable cohort – those 50 and older – fully inoculated, experts say hospital ICU units are now shielded from being overwhelmed, as almost happened earlier in the pandemic.”
Just two months ago, the spread of the disease stubbornly refused to slow. Vaccination with the Pfizer vaccine is making the difference for Israel.
Dr. Tony Leachon, who once advised IATF, however observed rightly that while “vaccines save lives, the success of Israel is anchored on leadership and governance, and agility in execution.”
According to Deutsche Welle, Israel was able to secure large quantities of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine because Israel agreed to pay double the price for each dose.
Israeli officials explained they agreed to pay extra per dose because they figured that in pure economic numbers, the total amount they overpaid was a miniscule fraction of what it costs to lockdown the country. This is not counting the extra medical costs of COVID and the incalculable price of losing a loved one.
Poor Filipinos. We don’t have leaders who think as clearly as the Israelis. We have red tape loving bureaucrats. So, we didn’t have enough vaccines early enough, and it seems we have the wrong one.
A successful vaccination rollout would be our country’s economic game changer. But as Capital Economics said, progress has been disappointing as only one percent of the population has been inoculated almost two months since the start of the program.
Israel launched one of the fastest rollouts in the world. According to The Washington Post, Israel delivered just under 10 million doses of the two-shot Pfizer vaccine regimen, reaching 4.98 million people or about 55 percent of its total population. An additional 400,000 Israelis have received one shot.
“If those who have been infected and then recovered are added, more than 60 percent of Israeli residents now have some level of protective antibodies. The virus is running short of vulnerable bodies to infect.”
Can you imagine if we were able to do that for Metro Manila? NCR’s population is comparable in number to Israel’s.
Wow! Those are very notable details. It is very clear that Israel went all-out and paid heavily to protect their people and set the stage for social and economic comebacks. I admire Israel for their focus, their efforts and management of the COVID-19 crisis (China Virus) there. To put things in perspective, watch these related YouTube videos below…
By comparison, the efforts here in the Philippines are nowhere as efficient and nowhere as successful. It should be noted that yesterday, the Philippines’ total number of COVID-19 cases has passed the 1,000,000 mark. Regardless, I encourage you all to read Boo Chanco’s article in full at https://www.philstar.com/business/2021/04/26/2093707/oh-israel
Going back to Israel, they already announced that they will open their borders to foreign visitors who have already been vaccinated for COVID-19.
In ending this piece, let me ask you readers the following questions:
- What is your opinion about Israel’s COVID-19 vaccination program and the way they managed their economy and society?
- Here in the Philippines, what is your opinion about the COVID-19 crisis-related efforts of the national government as well as the local government units (LGUs)?
- Also here in the Philippines, as local citizens, do you believe your respective mayors are diligently working to serve you and protect your from COVID-19? Do you find your mayors more focused with their egos instead of performing public service?
- Still here in the Philippines, if you are a local business owner or manager, has your local government been helpful or harmful?
If you are willing to answer, please do so in the comments section below. If you want more privacy, please contact me directly online.
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