NDRRMC sends assessment team in areas devastated by TS “Vinta”

admin   •   December 28, 2017   •   5876


MANILA, Philippines — National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Spokesperson Romina Marasigan lamented that the high death toll due to the typhoon, despite the constant reminder and preparations made by the government, is unacceptable.

The NDRRMC deployed an assessment team to areas hit by typhoon Vinta.

The group is tasked to gather information regarding those affected by the typhoon.

The death toll due to the typhoon is still at 164 while 176 are still missing following the onslaught of Vinta in Mindanao.

According to Marasigan, more than 23,000 families are still staying at 231 evacuation centers.

The number of damaged houses is at 2,663,  of which, 1,654 are totally damaged and 1,009 are partially damaged.

The government has already provided 12 million pesos worth of aid to the victims of the typhoon.

“Until now, the operation center is still on red alert status as we continue to provide aid to our fellowmen,” said Marasigan.

The NDRRMC admitted that the high death toll due to the typhoon is unacceptable, noting the government even properly provided information and prepared early for the calamity.

With this, the agency is in favor of proposals to amend the law that would pave way for the creation of a new department which will have the sole task of responding to calamities and disasters.

“In terms of disaster, one life lost is one too many.  It is really unacceptable that there are deaths because of typhoons or landslides or disasters that threaten our country. Our government continues to prepare. We are hoping to achieve zero casualties during calamities or disasters,” said the NDRRMC spokesperson.

Because of the high number of deaths, the NDRRMC reminded the public anew to listen and follow warnings from the government about calamities to avoid accidents.

“The cooperation of the public is really important especially when it comes to evacuation. When the water level in their areas is increasing, we are also putting the lives of our responders on the line to be able to save them or evacuate them,” said Marasigan.

Lea Ylagan | UNTV News & Rescue

PH healthcare workers positive for COVID-19 now at 1,062; death toll at 26

Marje Pelayo   •   April 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is taking its toll on the Philippine healthcare system, according to the latest report by the Department of Health (DOH).

As of Wednesday (April 22), a total of 1,062 frontline workers have been confirmed positive for COVID-19:

  • 422 Doctors
  • 386 Nurses
  • 30 Medical technologists
  • 21 Radiologic technologists
  • 51 Nursing assistants
  • 152 Other Services i.e. Administration and Barangay healthcare workers

Of the said number, 26 medical workers succumbed to the disease, 19 were doctors or physicians.

Taos puso po kaming nakikiramay sa ating 26 na health workers na pumanaw dahil sa COVID-19 (We deeply express our condolences to the [families] of our 26 health workers who succumbed to COVID-19),” DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a virtual presser.

This figure, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) is alarming and the agency expresses concern over the increasing infection rate of COVID-19 among the country’s frontline health workers as compared to other countries in the Western Pacific Region.

“The trend we are seeing in the Philippines, where the percentage is about 13%, is worrisome,” said Dr. Adbi Mahamud, WHO-Western Pacific Region COVID-19 Incident manager.

“In our region, it is around 2-3%. The Philippines is a bit of an outlier,” he said in a virtual press briefing on Tuesday (April 21).

For its part, the DOH said it is willing to cooperate with any investigation that the international health body will undertake to check if there are lapses in terms of infection control among health facilities in the country which increase the number of healthcare workers contacting the disease.  

But Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said he still needs to verify with WHO regarding the report.

“I also read in the news today that WHO did issue this report of a relatively high rate of infection among our healthworkers and frontliners but I need to validate this report,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said. MNP (with details from Aiko Miguel)

Global COVID-19 cases soar to 937,000; death toll at 47,000

Marje Pelayo   •   April 2, 2020

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases continue to rise across the globe.

As of 1:00 p.m. on Thursday (April 2), the total number of COVID-19 cases worldwide is at 937,783, only less than 70,000 before it hits the one million mark, based on the latest report by the John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.

The United States, Italy and Spain already surpassed China, the origin of the new coronavirus, as countries with the highest number of confirmed cases.

Meanwhile, 47,261 patients have died of the disease, most of them reported in Italy (13,155 deaths).

Still, China has the highest number of recoveries at 76,426 from the total number of 194,330 patients reported worldwide.

Top 10 countries with the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide (As of 1:52 p.m. April 2, 2020):

  • The United States    216,721
  • Italy                         110,574
  • Spain                       104,118
  • China                       82,394
  • Germany                 77,981
  • France                     57,763
  • Iran                          47,593
  • United Kingdom      29,865
  • Switzerland              17,768
  • Turkey                     15,679

SOURCE: John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center

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PH authorities on alleged raid, confiscation of PPEs in hospitals: ‘Fake news!’

Robie de Guzman   •   April 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Authorities on Thursday denied information circulating online that the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) is raiding private hospitals and confiscating stocks of personal protective equipment amid novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.

May kumalat po na fake news that some hospitals were raided by government, specifically OCD, to confiscate their supplies and equipment para ipamigay sa ibang hospitals. Fake news po yan,” Mark Timbal, spokesperson of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (NDRRMC), said in a message to reporters.

The OCD is the implementing arm of the NDRRMC.

On Wednesday night, information about the supposed raid made rounds on social media. The confiscated medical supplies were allegedly being consolidated to be distributed to other health facilities with attributions to a senator.

In a social media post, the Medical City denied the occurrence of such an incident.

“There are news circulating that a raid of PPEs occurred in our premises on the evening of April 1. We deny this and encourage everyone to be careful in spreading unverified information,” the post read.

Senator Bong Go, whose name surfaced in social media posts in connection with the purported incident, denied the allegation.

“Claims circulating that I am involved in handling donations intended for the government are utterly false, deliberate disinformation, and black propaganda,” Go said in a statement.

He also denied having any hand in OCD operations after it was tasked by President Rodrigo Duterte to manage, consolidate and allocate all donations of medical supplies in relation to the government’s COVID-19 response.

“Nais ko po klaruhin na wala po akong kinalaman sa operasyon at mandato ng OCD. Wala rin pong kinalaman ang opisina ko sa distribution ng government resources,” Go said.

According to Timbal, the OCD, like what was done in previous disaster response operations, has been gathering resources through procurement and donations.

“In the case of the COVID-19 response, OCD procured PPEs and other medical supplies and received donations from various donors. These are then provided to various hospital recipients,” he said.

“We are very grateful po to all our donors and the member-agencies of the NDRRMC who provide logistical support for the transport of the various items that we are giving to hospitals across the country,” he added.

He also thanked the media for helping the agency in its fight against false information.

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