13 of 17 regions in PH have local cases of Delta COVID-19 variant — DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   August 9, 2021   •   156

MANILA, Philippines — Local cases of the highly contagious Delta COVID-19 variant have now been detected in 13 of 17 regions in the country, the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday.

In an online press briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the National Capital Region (NCR) reported most cases with 146.

It is followed by Calabarzon with 47 cases, Central Luzon with 39, Central Visayas with 37, and Western Visayas with 36.

The Philippines has so far recorded 450 cases of Delta variant, 426 of which have already recovered, while 10 died.

Thirteen cases of Delta variant remain active while one is still being validated.

Vergeire said 83 of those infected with the Delta COVID-19 variant were not vaccinated against the viral disease.

Thirty-five of the cases have been confirmed to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, one received the first dose while the vaccination status of 315 cases is still being verified, she added.

“Among the 450 Delta variant cases in the country, 426 have recovered, 10 have died while 13 remain to be active after validation and repeat RT- PCR conducted by our Local Epidemiology and Surveillance Units,” Vergeire said.

The DOH has repeatedly advised the public to strictly adhere to minimum public health protocols even after inoculation as fully vaccinated individuals can still contract the virus and carry viral loads similar to those who are unvaccinated.

The agency, however, stressed that vaccines remain highly effective at preventing severe forms of the disease and that breakthrough infections among vaccinated persons remain uncommon.

Aside from the Delta variant, other highly infectious variants of the coronavirus disease, such as Alpha and Beta variants, have also been detected in the Philippines.

NTF clarifies flights from Hong Kong still allowed in Phl amid Omicron variant threat

Maris Federez   •   November 29, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 on Sunday (November 28) clarified that Hong Kong flights will still be allowed into the country amid threats of the new coronavirus disease variant.

The NTF clarified that “the inclusion of Hong Kong flights as part of inbound international flights temporarily suspended due to the emergence of the Omicron variant is not yet final.

The NTF said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has not made any formal announcement on the matter as of date.

“We await the formal announcement from the IATF following a final recommendation from the Technical Working Group on COVID-19 Variants and from other agencies,” the NTF added.

The task force further said that the government will work “to ensure timely adoption of preemptive measures to prevent or delay the entry of new variants which have the potential for undermining public health.”

The NTF assured that until the IATF issues a formal announcement, Hong Kong flights will still be allowed entry to the country. —/mbmf

PH expands ‘red list’, bans travelers from 7 more countries due to Omicron

Robie de Guzman   •   November 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government has added seven more countries to its Red List in a bid to control the possible entry of a new, heavily mutated COVID-19 variant called Omicron, Malacañang said.

In a statement, the Palace announced that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has placed Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, and Italy under the Red List effective November 28 until December 15.

This is in addition to South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini, and Mozambique that were earlier placed in the Red List due to the threat of Omicron, which was first detected in the area.

This means that travelers, regardless of vaccination status, who are coming from or who have been to the Red List areas within the last 14 days prior to their arrival will not be allowed to enter the Philippines.

The IATF said that only Filipinos returning to the country via government-initiated or non-government-initiated repatriation and Bayanihan Flights may be allowed entry. However, they will be subject to the prevailing entry, testing, and quarantine protocols for Red List territories.

The Philippine government said that passengers already in transit and all those who have been to the said Red List areas within 14 days before their arrival to the Philippines, who arrive before 12:01 a.m. of November 30, 2021, shall not be subject to this restriction from entry.

“They shall nevertheless be required to undergo facility-based quarantine for 14 days with testing on the 7th day, with day 1 being the date of arrival, notwithstanding a negative RT-PCR result,” the Palace said.

Passengers who have already arrived prior to November 28, and are currently undergoing quarantine pursuant to the classifications of their country of origin, shall complete their respective testing and quarantine protocols.

Passengers, whether Filipinos or foreigners, merely transiting through the Red List areas, will not be deemed as having come from these areas if they stayed in the airport the whole time and were not cleared for entry into such country by its immigration authorities.

“Upon their arrival in the Philippines, passengers covered by the immediately preceding paragraph shall comply with existing testing and quarantine protocols,” the Palace said.

The IATF likewise approved the temporary suspension of testing and quarantine protocols for countries/jurisdictions/territories classified as “Green” effective immediately until December 15, 2021.

Passengers from Green List areas who arrived in the Philippines prior to November 28 may still follow quarantine protocols assigned to their country of origin upon the date of their arrival, it added.

“Except for countries classified as ‘Red,’ the testing and quarantine protocols for all inbound international travellers in all ports of entry shall comply with the testing and quarantine protocols for ‘Yellow’ list countries,” the Palace said.

The Bureau of Quarantine and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) with the local government units (LGUs) have been directed to identify and locate passengers who arrived within 14 days prior to November 29, 2021, from countries classified as Red, and require them to complete quarantine under a home quarantine set-up for 14 days from date of arrival and undergo RT-PCR if symptoms develop.

The IATF also approved the temporary suspension of IATF Resolution No. 150-A providing for the entry of fully vaccinated nationals of non-visa required countries.

“With Omicron designated as a Variant of Concern, the IATF likewise approved the recommendations to strengthen local COVID-19 response,” the Palace said.

“These include strongly enjoining the local government units to heighten their alert for increasing and clustering of cases and emphasizing the need for active case finding; to immediately conduct contact tracing and isolation of cases detected from case surveillance among the community, including domestic and international travelers; and to use RT-PCR testing in order to allow for whole-genome sequencing of collected samples,” it added.

The task force also directed the Department of Health to ensure health system capacity is prepared to address increase of COVID-19 cases.

It also directed the Sub-Technical Working Group on Data Analytics to prepare models to show potential impact of the Omicron variant to prevailing protocols and approvals of the IATF.

ALAMIN: Mga patakaran para sa isasagawang 3-day national vaccination drive

Robie de Guzman   •   November 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Puspusan na ang ginagawang paghahanda ng mga lokal na pamahalaan sa Metro Manila para sa tatlong araw na national vaccination days sa darating na Nobyembre 29 hanggang Disyembre 1.

Kabilang sa mga inihahanda ay ang mga patakarang ipatutupad upang masiguro ang maayos na pagbabakuna sa bawat vaccination sites.

 

QUEZON CITY

Sa Quezon City, sinabi ni Mayor Joy Belmonte na 17 vaccination sites ang bubuksan sa lungsod.

Pero mahigpit na paalala sa mga nais magpabakuna, bawal pa rin ang walk-in at kailangan pa ring magpa-schedule sa QC vaccination portal para sa oras at lugar ng pagbabakuna.

“Bawal ang walk-in, bawal talaga at strictly forbidden pa rin ang walk-ins dito sa Quezon City but they can register na sa ating Vax Easy Plus that’s found in our Facebook page as well as in our website. They can book their schedule, the day, the time and the venue,” ani Belmonte.

Aniya, target ng lokal na pamahalaan na makapagbakuna ng nasa 50,000 indibidwal.

 

NAVOTAS CITY

Sa Navotas City, kailangan ring magparehistro sa covax.navotas.gov.ph ang mga nais magpabakuna sa 3-day vaccination drive. Ang schedule ay ipapaskil sa Facebook page ng lokal na pamahalaan.

Sa mga kabataang may edad 12 hanggang 17, obligado rin silang magparehistro at mag-set ng appointment sa vaccination sites na nakalaan para sa mga menor de edad

Sa mga magpapabakuna ng Pfizer, kailangan rin munang mag-set ng appointment sa vaccination portal, habang sa mga magpapabakuna naman ng ibang brand, maaari nang mag-walk in sa mga vaccination site na nagbibigay ng brand gaya ng Sinovac, Sinopharm, at AstraZeneca.

Pitong vaccination sites rin ang bubuksan sa Navotas City habang house-to-house naman ang gagawin para sa mga senior citizen.

 

PARAÑAQUE CITY

Samantala, ang mga taga-Parañaque City naman ay pinapayuhang bisitahin ang website ng lokal na pamahalaan para sa schedule at iba pang impormasyon hinggil sa vaccination drive.

Ayon kay Parañaque Public Information Office head Mar Jimenez, nakikipagtulungan rin sila sa mga opisyal ng barangay upang hikayatin ang iba pang residente na magpabakuna na laban sa COVID-19.

“Ang atin pong pamahalaang lungsod ay lubos ang paghahandang ginagawa po ngayon para dun sa sinasabi nating national vaccination day kaya po yung pagkakataon na yan amin pong laging pinananawagan sa tulong ng ating mga butihing kapitan na kumbinsihin ang ating mga kababayan na hindi pa bakunado,” ani Jimenez.

 

Para sa mga nasasakop ng iba pang local government unit, maaaring bisitahin ang opisyal na social media accounts at websites ng kani-kanilang lugar para malaman ang detalye at proseso para sa pagpapabakuna. (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Janice Ingente)

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