Sunday, May 10, 2009

Newspaper editorials against Pacquiao are just overreactions. Pacquiao is not being irresponsible when he chose to come back despite the DOH secretary's publicity hugging plea for him to postpone his trip. The DOH chose to highlight the WHO local representative's suggestion for Pac to delay his trip. Actually the WHO local rep also said Pac can go home but he is asked to observe social distancing. When airport authorities allowed the likes of Lito Atienza and others to mob Pacquiao upon his return, this is not Pac's irresponsiblity. It is of the airport's and DOH's.

The WHO does not actually advise against travelling. It's website clearly states that: "If you are feeling unwell or have symptoms of influenza, you should not travel. If you have any doubts about your health, you should check with your health care provider." Pacman was not sick when he travelled. He could have gotten the virus if he stayed in the US longer because that's where the virus is. Imagine lots of Americans also come and see him there.

The WHO also has this to add in its website:

"The Although identifying signs and symptoms of influenza in travellers can help track the path of the outbreak, it will not reduce the spread of influenza, as the virus can be transmitted from person to person before the onset of symptoms.
      Scientific research based on mathematical modelling shows that restricting travel would be of limited or no benefit in stopping the spread of disease. Historical records of previous influenza pandemics, as well as experience with SARS, validate this.
Does WHO recommend screenings at country entry and exit points to detect if ill people are travelling?
     No. We do not believe entry and exit screenings would work to reduce the spread of this disease. However country-level measures to respond to a public health risk are the decision of national authorities, under the International Health Regulations 2005.
    Countries that adopt measures that significantly interfere with international traffic (e.g. delaying an airplane passenger for more than 24 hours, or refusing country entry or departure to a traveller) must provide WHO with the public health reasoning and evidence for their actions. WHO will follow up with all of its Member countries on such matters.
    Travellers should always be treated with dignity and respect for their human rights."

What Pac has been showing this past few days is that he does not need Malacanan. It is Malacanan that needs him. First, he creates his own party, which means he is not running under Lakas/Kampi. Then he did not thank the president profusely after his win unlike in the previous ones. Then he does not grant the request to delay his trip. What does Malacanan do? Cancel the lunch/reception on Friday. They maybe afraid of the flu and they show that they are really vengeful.

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