By Arjane Faith Paala

Following pleas for its imposition due to monkeypox virus concerns, an infectious disease expert said on Monday, August 29, that implementing a lockdown this early is an overreaction.

Photo Courtesy of Reuters/ Geographic

Dr. Rentgene Solante, head of the infectious diseases unit at the San Lazaro Hospital, said in a news briefing that it is too early for a lockdown even after the country detected its fourth monkeypox case last week.

“Well, that’s overacting, no, in terms of lockdown as an option for monkeypox infection. Ang current cases natin are not enough yet to say na kailangan tayo mag lockdown,” Solante stressed.
According to him, educating the public further regarding monkeypox, a viral disease transmitted through close contact that results in rash and flu-like symptoms, would be a much better solution as of the moment.
“I don’t think a lockdown is a solution. It’s important to increase the awareness in these regions, especially kung saan ang monkeypox ngayon in terms of the community, paano natin maiwasan ang monkeypox, ano ‘yung mga common sintomas,” the health expert said.
However, Solante raised the possibility of local transmission as the recently reported case had no travel history.
“But given the fact na itong pang-apat na kaso ay walang history of travel, then the likelihood of a local transmission can be there, no? At hindi tayo magpapanic at mas lalo natin paigtingin ang mga protocols natin,” he said.
On the other hand, Solante warned the public of the potential surge in COVID-19 cases due to the opening of face-to-face classes, especially now with the presence of the recent globally-dominant Omicron subvariant BA.5 in the country.
“More people now are going out, especially with the implementation of full face-to-face classes, We would expect that cases would increase.” he forewarned.
He added, “This [Omicron BA.5] is the most evasive subvariant. Those who have been vaccinated could still catch the virus. Those who have been infected before could be infected again.”

Edited by Nehmia Elyxa Relano