“Importante ang mental health pero anong saysay nito kung mamamatay ka sa virus? Angal sa lockdown pero [ang] tigas ng ulo natin.”
These were the scathing words of award-winning actor John Arcilla to Filipinos who are not observing minimum health protocols amid the surge in COVID-19 infections in the country.
As of January 2, the Department of Health recorded 4,600 additional COVID-19 cases or a 19.6% positivity rate, thus bringing the total to 2,851,931.
There were also 535 new recoveries, summing up the total to 2,778,943.
Moreover, there were also 25 new deaths, thus accumulating the total to 51,570.
Arcilla on January 2 shared a TikTok video that showed an unidentified overcrowded area where the mandated health protocols of physical distancing and wearing of face masks were no longer observed.
OMICRON ALERT. WALA NAMAN BUMABAWAL SATIN NA MAGSAYA. Pero may mga KASAYAHAN na pwedeng ikamatay ng iyong pamilya o kapitbahay. Importante ang MENTAL HEALTH pero anong saysay nito kung MAMAMATAY KA SA VIRUS? ANGAL sa Lockdown PERO ANTIGAS NG ULO NATIN. pic.twitter.com/7bFeqGFluZ
— John Arcilla official (@JohnArcilla) January 2, 2022
He then voiced out his sentiments against the people in the video seen ignoring the health and safety rules.
The Volpi Cup winner pointed out that people can both celebrate and still observe the prescribed preventive measures against COVID-19.
“OMICRON ALERT. WALA NAMAN BUMABAWAL SATIN NA MAGSAYA. Pero may mga KASAYAHAN na pwedeng ikamatay ng iyong pamilya o kapitbahay,” Arcilla wrote.
“Importante ang MENTAL HEALTH pero anong saysay nito kung MAMAMATAY KA SA VIRUS? ANGAL sa Lockdown PERO [ANG] TIGAS NG ULO NATIN,” he added.
Some social media users agreed with Arcilla.
One Twitter user also pointed out that the people managing the place could also be responsible for the overcrowding incident.
“Hello ser, may fault din dito ang management nito kung sakali. dapat may nagmomonitor sa extrance at exit points nito at tinitingnan ang volume ng tao na pwede lang makapasok,” the user Twitter said.
Some doctors and other Filipinos also previously expressed deep concern after the country saw over 1,000 new cases again on December 30.
The rising COVID-19 cases and the detection of local cases of the Omicron variant prompted the national government to place Metro Manila under the stricter Alert Level 3 status on December 31 or New Year’s Eve.
This status will be implemented from January 3 to 15.
According to the government’s alert level system, Alert Level 3 means:
“Case counts are high and/or increasing, with total bed utilization rate and intensive care unit utilization rate at increasing utilization.”
Alert Level 2 was first implemented in Metro Manila and other parts of the country last November as daily cases started to go down.
Under this status, most businesses and activities were allowed to resume at limited capacities of 50% for indoor venues and 70% for outdoor venues for fully vaccinated individuals.