By JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL
COTABATO CITY — As Covid-19 cases in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) continued to drop with only 18 active cases as of March 23, the Ministry of Health (MOH) advised those unvaccinated to get vaccinated since vaccine really works against Covid-19, and “it is safe, halal and free.”
On Thursday, MOH Director General Ameril USMAN also reiterated that fake news claiming vaccines can cause one’s death or turn an individual into a zombie are baseless since majority of the world’s population are already vaccinated.
Of the total cases, 7 are from Maguindanao, 4 from Cotabato City, 7 from Lanao del Sur including Marawi City, and none from the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi.
MOH OIC-Minister Dr. Zul Qarneyn Abas said: “Since the outbreak of covid-19 pandemic, the region recorded a total cases of 19,726, with 19,023 or 96.4% total recovery and had 686 or 3.5% total death.”
Abas further stressed that vaccination activities in the region will continue even during the month of Ramadan this coming April as the Bangsamoro Darul Ifta stated in its fatwa (sermon) that vaccines will not nullify or void the observance of fasting.
Meanwhile, MOH Director General Usman also urged those who are not yet vaccinated to get their COVID-19 shots, and reminded the public not to be complacent with the region being classified under Alert Level 2.
Under this level, establishments are allowed to operate at a maximum of 50% indoor venue capacity for fully vaccinated individuals and those below 18 years of age, even if unvaccinated, and 70% outdoor venue capacity.
“We are still far away from 80% vaccination rate of becoming a herd immunity in the region. The cooperation of the general public and all sectors in the government including our media friends will play a crucial role in increasing the almost 27% or more than 900,000 total number of region’s population currently vaccinated compared to 3.5 million target population,” said Dr. Usman.
“MOH always stands firmly that vaccine really works against Covid-19, it is safe, halal and free,” added Usman, reiterating that fake news claiming vaccines can cause one’s death or turn an individual into a zombie are baseless since majority of the world’s population are already vaccinated. (JIJ)