As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in the country, Amnesty International Philippines urges the government to plan ahead for a clearer and more sustainable approach to respond to the pandemic. Human rights must be at the center of all prevention, preparedness, containment and treatment efforts from the start, in order to best protect public health and support the groups and people who are most at risk said Amnesty International Philippines in a statement.
“There is a need for a more coordinated government response to the COVID-19 threat, which takes into account people and groups most at risk of the most adverse impact,” said Butch Olano, Section Director of Amnesty International Philippines.
“The latest WHO situation report says that transmission risk is very high, and while measures have been implemented to mitigate this, the government should also start taking into account long-term needs, keeping in mind that as transmission rates increase, human rights, especially those of marginalized groups, are affected both by the virus and the government’s response.”
Amnesty International Philippines emphasizes the government’s obligation to guarantee all human rights, in particular, the right to health, by ensuring that goods, services, and information necessary for prevention are not only available but accessible and affordable for all persons.
“Certain groups are at greater risk of contracting Coronavirus and its effects. People living in poverty or those with precarious employment, people with disabilities, and people in detention face additional challenges in preventing exposure to COVID-19.The Philippines government’s plan of action must ensure that everyone can access health care goods, facilities, and services, free from discrimination, including diagnosis and care, including these groups.” Olano added.
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