Fred Lumba: Are you okay?

The world’s poorest countries, the World Bank recently reported, will be the hardest hit by the CoVid 19 pandemic.

That is true because our beloved Philippines, a Third World country striving double time to get out of the mire, is now reeling from the monstrous adverse effects the deadly pathogen has inflicted since the Luzon lockdown was announced March 15.

The national government is now scrambling to generate and gather the P275 B funds the president earmarked to provide 18 million families, the poorest of the poor especially, the financial provisions for their month-long sustenance.

I am not someone who by knee jerk reaction looks for a scapegoat but I have strong suspicions some persons in very high and sensitive positions at the WHO and from within the Chinese leadership did not honestly declare the extent of the situation until they could no longer keep the lid on tightly.

Eleven weeks after a lockdown was ordered on January 23, Wuhan, the city of 11 million people, from where the infectious virus originated, has already lifted the barricades last April 8 and is now slowly springing back to life.

What is exasperating and unsettling is the thought that before the lockdown was eventually enforced, a former mayor of Wuhan admitted that some 5 million residents left the city to avoid being “imprisoned.”

On March 24, Chinese officials declared that no new infections were recorded, precipitating the lockdown lifting.

Would you believe that only 2,535 deaths were registered victims of CoVid 19 at the spanking capital of Hubei province which elicited some raised eyebrows. Some independent observers and analysts said, based on the collected number of urns from funeral homes from March 30, the estimated total number could be above 40,000.

There are media reports from reputable organizations in the US castigating WHO director General Tedros who, they alleged, may be “too friendly” with Chinese President Xi Jin Ping, even showing a picture of the two in a handshake.

There are even insinuations arising from US and foreign media investigations – which I am inclined to believe – that China, for whatever reason, sinister or not, may have “intentionally” let loose of the virus and subtly covered it up with well-prepared and properly slanted news releases.

This is why the WHO, initially, somewhat was unsure whether to call the contagion as a pandemic. Until finally, WHO declared it as an international health emergency. 

The US supports the operations of the WHO with $450 million dollars while China contributed a measly $42M.

Back home, a plea aired over YouTube by a spokespperson in behalf of a family of renowned doctors from Zambales who have had extensive medical practice and research in the US, directed to Pres. Duterte, is now being shared among many netizens in the internet.

The YouTube broadcast claims the doctor (a certain Fabunan?) has invented or discovered a cure for the CoVid 19 but which has remained unacted because of bureaucratic layers.

DOH Sec. Duque and FDA chief Eric Domingo should ideally be the front persons who should be in the know because the issue concerns their offices.

Without a recommendation and endorsement from Duque, the FDA under Domingo cannot officially act on the matter.

This is the bureaucracy being complained about. The cordon sanitaire is in effect, gentlemen.

So, are we okay?

No, we are not okay. 

The DSWD is having a very difficult time answering the “millions” of complaints from supposed to be recipient-beneficiaries of the Social Amelioration package announced by the President.

In the meantime, while many countries (180 plus) are still reeling from the weight of the Covid 19 menace – US, Italy, Spain, France, UK, Iran, Syria and many more parts of Asia and Africa – the Chinese have announced to have conveniently weathered the storm.

ARE YOU OKAY? (Email your feedback to fredlumba@yahoo.com.) GOD BLESS THE PHILIPPINES!