7 COVID-19 survivors donate blood to help other patients – PGH

Robie de Guzman   •   April 13, 2020   •   965

MANILA, Philippines – Seven individuals who recovered from novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have successfully donated their blood plasma to help other patients fight the disease, the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) said on Monday.

Dr. Jonas Del Rosario, PGH spokesperson, said the seven individuals are among the 21 COVID-19 survivors being eyed for the procedure after they were found to be eligible blood donors.

At least 65 COVID-19 recoveries have expressed interest in undergoing screening to donate their blood, he added.

The PGH has been using convalescent plasma therapy – a process of transferring blood of recovered patients to those who are still fighting coronavirus – to help treat patients.

A vaccine for COVID-19 has yet to be developed.

Del Rosario said that so far, two COVID-19 severe cases have received donated blood plasma.

He said the transfusion process was conducted smoothly and that no adverse reactions were reported among the recipients.

He, however, did not say if the treatment has helped the patients recover from the illness as they need to wait for 24 to 72 hours to see any clinical improvement.

Blood plasma from a donor can only be given to one patient.

The PGH reiterated its call for other COVID-19 survivors to give their plasma to help treat severe cases.

As of April 13, the Philippines has 4,932 confirmed infections, with 315 deaths and 242 recoveries. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

Senate panel to conduct hearing on timing of Cha-Cha talks amid coronavirus pandemic

Robie de Guzman   •   January 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments is set to conduct a hearing this week to discuss the timing of efforts to push for Charter Change anew amid the coronavirus pandemic, panel chairperson Senator Francis Pangilinan said on Monday.

In a statement, Pangilinan said the hearing, which is scheduled on Wednesday, January 27, will consult representatives from sectors affected by the proposed amendments.

Among the resource persons who have confirmed their attendance to the hearing are 1987 Constitution Framers Florangel Rosario Braid, Atty. Christian Monsod, and former Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide.

Also attending the hearing are Priest Ranhilio Aquino, former Supreme Court Justice Vicente Mendoza, DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, and Department of Justice Chief State Counsel George Ortha II.

Pangilinan said the hearing will tackle procedural concerns and “prejudicial questions” that need to be considered relative to the proposed Charter change.

“Una, given Covid and ‘yung ating krisis sa ekonomiya, napapanahon ba mag-Charter Change? Pangalawa, kung napapanahon ang Charter change, ito ba ay dapat con-ass [constitutional assembly] o con-con [constitutional convention]? Tapos pangatlo, kung con-con, e ‘di maliwanag yung eleksyon, kailan?” he said.

“Kung con-ass naman, mayroon pang isang isyu na hanggang ngayon hindi pa nareresolba: Ito ba ay dapat voting jointly ang Senate at House. Ibig sabihin ay 300 plus senators and congressmen sabay boboto ng three-fourths vote? O three-fourths vote separately, ibig sabihin three-fourths vote ang Senate, at three-fourths vote ng House,” he added.

The hearing will discuss Senator Sherwin Gatchalian’s Resolution of Both Houses No. 1, Senators Francis Tolentino and Ronald Dela Rosa’s RBH No. 2, as well as Senator Richard Gordon’s Senate Joint Resolution No. 1.

QC orders stricter measures in quarantine hotels amid reports of COVID-19 UK variant in PH

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 25, 2021

QUEZON, Philippines—The Quezon City government said it will impose stricter measures in quarantine hotels amid reports that the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) UK variant has taken root in several parts of the country.

QC Mayor Joy Belmonte said there is a need to double the city’s efforts in preventing the spread of the new variant. She said there will be stricter protocols in hotels serving as quarantine facilities for returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

“Now that the DOH confirmed the presence of the new strain in several places of the country, the more we need to double our efforts in preventing the spread of the virus,” she said.

Belmonte reiterated that returning OFWs should follow government-mandated quarantine period, especially if they came from countries with confirmed reports of the COVID-19 variant.

The Quezon City government will also intensify its inspection of hotels and other establishments to ensure health and safety protocols are followed.

Meanwhile, Belmonte reported that Quezon City currently has zero case of the Covid-19 variant after the city’s first index case already recovered. The male resident was already allowed to go home yesterday afternoon, a day after he tested negative for the virus. AAC

DFA Consular Office in General Santos City closed until Jan. 26

Marje Pelayo   •   January 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) informs the public that its Consular Office in General Santos City will be temporarily closed on Monday (January 25).

This is to give way to disinfection activities in its office premises and the implementation of other preventive measures to manage risks against coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The Consular Office will resume its regular operations on Tuesday (January 26).

Affected applicants with confirmed appointments who are unable to avail of consular services due to the suspension of operations must secure another appointment by emailing gensan.rco@dfa.gov.ph with the following information:

  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Original appointment date and time
  • Preferred date and time of new appointment

The preferred new appointment may be on any working day from Monday to Friday from January 26 to February 26 during the CO’s regular operation hours 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Applicants that need emergency or urgent Consular services may contact CO General Santos by email at gensan.rco@dfa.gov.ph.

The DFA requests the public’s understanding and cooperation as we continue to battle against this pandemic.

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