“He who laughs has not yet heard the bad news.”
By Alex P. Vidal
IS the Philippines going the opposite direction in as far as the fight against the pandemic is concerned?
While more than 67 million doses of the vaccine have been administered in the United States so far as of this writing, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and there have been a reported “dramatic” decline in the number of hospital admission cases here, the Philippines’ new COVID-19 cases for March 29 reportedly breached the 10,000-mark for the first time ever, bringing the number of active infections to 115,495.
This report is so depressing and is tantamount to “unholy week” especially since many countries around the world are on the verge of inoculating a large part of their population as the pandemic entered its first year since terrorizing us all in 2020.
The Department of Health (DOH)’ COVID-19 bulletin reportedly showed there were 10,016 new infections on March 20, setting a new high for single-day increases since the pandemic arrived in the Philippines.
With this sad development, no one in the Philippines will completely feel the ambiance of a “holy week” as the total number of cases is now reportedly 731,894, with 602,213 of them listed as recoveries, with 78 patients officially recovering on March 29.
The death toll, on the other hand, has risen to 13,186, with 16 new fatalities.
Unholy week indeed.
Either we have incompetent health authorities or the Duterte administration was caught flat-footed and couldn’t handle the mammoth problem that has destroyed economies all over the world.
Moderna, COVID-19 vaccine maker, said it was expected to ship 40 to 50 million doses per month to the US to fulfill its contracts even as it has shipped the 100 millionth dose of its vaccine to the US government, the company announced March 29.
The 200 millionth dose is reportedly expected by the end of May and the 300 millionth dose by the end of July.
“I would like to thank the millions of people who have put their confidence in Moderna’s science and our COVID-19 vaccine. We are encouraged by the fact that more than 67 million doses have been administered in the U.S. and we are humbled to know that we are helping address this worldwide pandemic with our vaccine,” Stephane Bancel, Moderna's CEO, said in a statement as reported in the U.S. media March 29.
“I would also like to thank the Moderna team, our suppliers and our U.S. manufacturing partners including Lonza and Catalent, for their tireless and extraordinary work in completing this important milestone.”
In the Christian church, Holy Week, the week between Palm Sunday and Easter, is observed with special solemnity as a time of devotion to the Passion of Jesus Christ.
It is called the Great Week because great deeds were done by God during this week in the Greek and Roman liturgical books.
Used in the 4th century by St. Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, and St. Epiphanius of Constantia the name Holy Week were Originally only on Good Friday and Holy Saturday as holy days.
Later, Wednesday was added as the day on which Judas reportedly plotted to betray Jesus, and by the beginning of the 3rd century the other days of the week had been added.
According to Britannica, the pre-Nicene church concentrated its attention on the celebration of one great feast, the Christian Passover, on the night between Saturday and Easter Sunday morning.
“By the later 4th century the practice had begun of separating the various events and commemorating them on the days of the week on which they occurred: Judas’s betrayal and the institution of the Eucharist on Maundy Thursday; the Passion and death of Christ on Good Friday; his burial on Saturday; and his Resurrection on Easter Sunday. Holy Week is celebrated from Sunday, March 28 to Sunday, April 4 in 2021,” explains the Britannica.
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two dailies in Iloilo)