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Scientists studying possible links between COVID-19, climate change

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By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

Scientists are now studying possible links between the coronavirus disease and climate change.

Philippine Climate Change Commission (CCC) Secretary Emmanuel De Guzman

Philippine Climate Change Commission (CCC) Secretary Emmanuel De Guzman

Citing the fifth assessment report of the United Nations-led Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Philippine Climate Change Commission (CCC) Secretary Emmanuel De Guzman said the distribution of some disease vectors or carriers have been altered by local changes in temperature, rainfall and humidity, and extreme weather.

“As global warming worsens, the risk for human infection from these diseases increases,” De Guzman explained.

He said the surge in dengue cases in the country in 2019 could have been an indirect effect of climate change, and that scientists are now looking into possible links between the coronavirus and climate change.

“Our public health system must be able to adapt to this phenomenon and provide medical care to the increasing number of patients. Let us remain vigilant and resilient in these trying times,” De Guzman said.

According to the World Health Organization, there are already 168,019 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 6,610 related deaths in 146 countries as of Tuesday.

In the Philippines, the Department of Health has reported 187 cases with 12 deaths as of Tuesday afternoon.

“Amid the alarming spread of COVID-19 in our country and in other parts of the world, we must cooperate with our public health and local government authorities and heed their advice to control the spread of the disease,” De Guzman said.

“As in a climate emergency, we must be resolute and resilient in responding to this public health emergency.”

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