195 PDLs, 38 BJMP employees tested positive for COVID-19

Maris Federez   •   May 5, 2020   •   810

Inmates at the Manila City Jail | Courtesy: Photoville International

MANILA, Philippines — Close to 400 persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) at the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) have undergone the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing.

The Department of Health (DOH) also reported that of the 373 PDLs who went through the test, 195 have yielded positive results.

Thirty-eight employees of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) have also been infected with the deadly disease.

“Nakikipag-ugnayan ang DOH sa BJMP pati rin sa Philippine Red Cross (PRC) upang masiguro ang maagang ma-test, ma-isolate at magamot ang ang persons deprived of liberty, maging ang mga empleyado natin ng BJMP upang maiwasan ang pagkalat ng COVID-19 sa loob ng mga kulungan,” said DOH spokesperson Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire.

The DOH also said that the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have visited the Correctional Institute for Women where a significant number of detainees have tested positive of COVID-19.

Several testing activities are also being conducted among the PDLs and BJMP employees in different detention facilities in the country as part of the preventive measures against the infectious disease.

The DOH is determined to reach its target of 30,000 COVID-19 tests per day until the end of May.

Vergeire said the agency’s four soon-to-be-opened swabbing centers will be a big help in intensifying the country’s testing capability.

These swabbing centers are located in Bulacan, Pasay City, Taguig City and along Roxas Blvd. in Manila.

“Ang lahat ng ito ay magbubukas anomang araw ngayong linggo ayon kay BCDA (Bases Conversion and Development Authority) President Vince Dizon. Upang maabot ang ating mga resulta ng target na 30,000 tests kada araw sa darating na Mayo 31, ang DOH ay may itinalagang karagdagang lab encoders upang mapabilis ang labas ng mga resulta ng COVID-19 tests na isinagawa,” Vergeire added.

The health department will also deploy additional manpower in the designated swabbing centers to help fast track the processing of results. — (from the report of Aiko Miguel) /mbmf

CHED prepares guidelines for limited face-to-face classes for health-related courses

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 2, 2020

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) is preparing its guidelines for the limited face-to-face classes for health-related courses.

According to CHED Chairman Prospero De Vera III, the said courses which might possibly have limited face-to-face classes are medical courses, Physical Therapy, Nursing, and courses with actual applications needed.

Baka iyon muna kasi hindi ka magiging magaling na doktor o nurse kung hindi ka talaga pupunta sa ospital (That would be it, for now. You won’t be a good doctor or nurse if you don’t go to hospitals),” he said.

De Vera also said schools might implement the limited face-to-face classes by the second semester of the first quarter of 2021 once they passed the inspection. Meanwhile, graduating students with laboratory subjects, and Hotel and Restaurant Management courses will be opened.

“And if indeed the retrofitting is good then we have more confidence that when the second semester comes up in January maybe we can start opening schools slowly,” De Vera added.

The Department of Education (DepEd), on the other hand, said it will leave the decision to President Rodrigo Duterte if face-to-face classes will be allowed for basic education or K to 12 classes. -AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

Baguio City suspends night market run due to crowd control lapses

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 2, 2020

The Baguio City government has suspended the operation of the night market after apparent lapses in crowd control.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong already ordered a post-night market assessment to evaluate the incident. The night market was reopened on Tuesday (December 1) as part of the city’s plan to reopen the economy and restore the livelihood of the displaced vendors affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Magalong, however, stressed that reopening businesses should not mean sacrificing the health and safety of the people.

“We must strike a balance between reopening the economy and safeguarding the health and safety of the people. This is our new normal direction,” he said.

City Treasurer Alex Cabarrubias and Market superintendent Fernando Ragma Jr. are set to identify weak points and vulnerabilities in the night market area and discuss solutions. AAC

LGU ordinance, kailangan sa pagpasok ng mga menor de edad sa mall – DILG

Robie de Guzman   •   December 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Hinimok ni Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año ang mga lokal na pamahalaan na maglabas ng ordinansa para payagan ang mga menor de edad sa loob ng mga mall sa general community quarantine (GCQ) areas.

Ginawa ni Año ang pahayag kasunod ng rekomendasyon na payagan nang lumabas ang mga menor de edad sa gitna ng novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Una nang sinabi ng DILG chief na maaaring pumasok sa loob ng mga mall sa GCQ areas ang mga menor de edad na 15 anyos pababa basta’t kasama ang kanilang mga magulang.

Ngunit kailangan aniya itong pagtibayan ng ordinansa, lalo na ng bawat lungsod sa Metro Manila.

“Ito po ay pagtitibayin sa mga ordinansa ng ating mga NCR (National Capital Regions) mayors sa lugar po ng GCQ (General Community Quarantine)” ang wika ni Año.

Paglilinaw naman ni Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez, limitado lamang ang aktibidad na maaaring gawin ng mga menor de edad sa loob ng mall gaya ng pagbili ng pagkain at iba pang mahahalagang bagay.

Ayon kay Lopez, ito ay bahagi ng mga hakbang ng pamahalaan upang muling pasiglahin ang ekonomiya na nalugmok sa gitna ng pandemya.

Samantala, sinabi naman ng Philippine National Police (PNP) na hihintayin nila ang ilalabas na ordinansa ng mga lokal na pamahalaan bago nila payagan ang mga menor de edad na makapasok sa loob ng mga mall.

“Kailangan pagtibayin yan ng isang ordinansa. Sa meeting namin ng JTF COVID Shield, pinaghandaan po namin itong recommendation ng mayors sa Metro Manila at kaugnayan din natin si NCRPO director para nga sa pagpapatupad nitong nirecommend nila na tinanggap naman ng IATF at inannounce na nga kagabi,” ang wika ni Lieutenant General Cesar Hawthorne Binag, ang commander ng Joint Task Force COVID Shield.

Hinimok rin ng pulisya ang mga magulang na kung maaari ay huwag nang dalhin sa mall ang mga bata hangga’t nananatili ang banta ng COVID-19.

“Nakikiusap kami na hangga’t kaya dahil wala pa po tayong vaccination e umiwas na lang po muna sana. This is to protect and prevent the disease from spreading further. Siguro kung medyo naturukan na tayo ng vaccine ay that’s the time na pwede na lumabas,” ang pahayag ni National Capital Region Police Office director Brigadier General Vicente Danao Jr.

Sinabi rin ni PNP chief General Debold Sinas na pauuwiin nila ang mga batang magtutungo sa mall habang wala pang inilalabas na ordinansa.

“Hindi namin hulihin at alamin muna ng pulis ang dahilan kung bakit nasa mall na sila at pauwiin natin sila,” ang wika ni Sinas. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

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