AFP confirms PSG personnel vaccinated vs COVID-19 experienced no side effects

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 19, 2021   •   410

MANILA, Philippines—The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has confirmed that members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) who received COVID-19 vaccine shots have not experienced adverse side effects.

AFP Spokesperson Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, in a statement, said the personnel volunteered to get vaccinated to make sure President Rodrigo Duterte will be safe from the COVID-19 virus.

The personnel received criticisms after they were inoculated without proper government authorization.

“We are pleased that PSG Personnel who have volunteered to be vaccinated in the pursuit of their mission to protect the President did not only perform a selfless act. They were also safe as an aftermath of the inoculation. No adverse side effects as we speak,” Arevalo said.

Last week, the Palace confirmed that the Food and Drug Administration granted the PSG a compassionate permit for the use of 10,000 doses of Sinopharm’s COVID-19 vaccine. -AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

PH detects 10 more cases of COVID-19 India variant

UNTV News   •   May 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Saturday said it has detected more cases of Covid-19 variants in the country.

This was based on the latest whole-genome sequencing report of the Philippine Genome Center and the University of the Philippines-National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH) which included samples from the crew members of the MV Athens Bridge, returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) with relevant travel history, and deceased severe or critical COVID-19 cases.

The DOH reported the detection of ten (10) B.1.617.2 (India) variant cases, thirteen (13) B.1.1.7 (United Kingdom) variant cases, seven (7) B.1.351 (South Africa) variant cases, and one (1) P.3 (Philippines) variant case among the thirty-seven (37) samples sequenced last May 14, 2021.

B.1.617.2 VARIANT CASES:

Of the 10 new B.1.617.2 variant cases, one is a seafarer who came from Belgium and the other nine are crew members of MV Athens Bridge.

The DOH said, the seafarer disembarked in Belgium and flew back to Manila via the United Arab Emirates (UAE). He arrived in the Philippines on a flight last April 24, 2021 and has completed his isolation period last May 13, 2021.

Meanwhile, four of the nine crew members remain admitted at a hospital in Manila and are currently in stable condition while the other five are currently in an isolation facility.

These 10 B.1.617.2 variant cases are in addition to the first two cases previously reported last May 11, bringing the total to 12.

The DOH reiterates that all of the close contacts of the first two cases of B.1.617.2, have completed the prescribed 14-day quarantine and have been discharged from their quarantine facility.

Of the three initially reported COVID-19 positive cases that are close contacts of the 2nd case in the plane, one was sent for sequencing but was not detected to harbor a variant of concern (VOC).

B.1.1.7 VARIANT CASES:

Of the 13 new B.1.1.7 variant cases detected, three (3) are ROFs and 10 are local cases. Based on the case line list, one case has died while 12 have been tagged as recovered.

B.1.351 VARIANT CASES:

Out of the additional seven B.1.351 variant cases, two (2) are ROFs, two (2) are local cases, and three (3) cases are currently being verified if they are local or ROF cases. Based on the case line list, two cases are still active while one has died and four have recovered.

P.3 VARIANT CASES:

The new P.3 variant case is a local case with an address in Region IX. The case died last February 28, 2021.

At present, the P.3 variant is not identified as a variant of concern. This variant is currently being investigated and information continually collected to determine its public health implication.

Amid implementation of stricter border control measures, the DOH reminded the public anew to observe minimum public health standards and immediately get vaccinated when it’s their turn.

The agency said, strict adherence to these measures can prevent infection and further mutation of COVID-19.

“A low transmission rate means fewer chances for the virus to mutate,” the DOH said.

DTI: Halos 200-libong manggagawa, balik-trabaho sa ilalim ng GCQ

Robie de Guzman   •   May 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Maaari nang makabalik sa trabaho ang nasa 200-libong empleyado matapos na ibalik sa general community quarantine “with heightened restrictions” ang National Capital Region (NCR) at mga karatig-lalawigan.

Ayon kay Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez, magiging daan ang paglipat sa GCQ ng NCR, Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, at Laguna – tinatawag na NCR Plus – upang mapababa ang bilang ng mga nawalan ng trabaho noong kasagsagan ng enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

“As we further open the economy, we are expecting to bring back 200,000 to 300,000 jobs to lessen the number workers displaced since the start of the ECQ,” ani Lopez.

Noong nasa ilalim ng ECQ ang NCR Plus, umabot sa 1.5 milyon ang bilang ng mga Pilipino nawalan ng trabaho dahil sa coronavirus pandemic.

Nabawasan ito at naging isang milyon noong ipinatupad ang modified ECQ.

Ayon kay Lopez, sa ngayon ay aabot pa sa 700-libong manggagawa ang hindi pa rin nakakabalik sa trabaho dahil sa limitadong operasyon ng ilang establisimyento gaya ng mga restaurant, at barbershop. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Joan Nano)

1 dead, 3 hurt in military clash with Abu Sayyaf Group in Sulu

Robie de Guzman   •   May 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — A suspected Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) member was killed while three soldiers were injured in a gunfight in Sulu, the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Western Mindanao Command (AFP-WestMinCom) said Friday.

In a statement, the AFP-WestMincom said the encounter between the ASG and the operating forces of the Joint Task Force (JTF) Sulu occurred early morning Friday in Barangay Kagay, Indanan.

The bandits fled the scene after the firefight that lasted for five minutes.

JTF Sulu commander Major General William Gonzales identified the slain ASG member as Arab Undo, one of the remaining followers of the slain ASG senior leader Hatib Hajan Sawadjaan.

Authorities recovered from the clash site one cal. 45 pistol, one backpack, a solar panel, personal belongings, and food items.

Meanwhile, the three soldiers who were wounded in the encounter were brought to Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista Station Hospital for medical attention. They are now in stable condition.

“Pursuit and blockade are being conducted by the Joint Task Force Sulu to thwart the extrication of the local terrorists group,” Gonzales said.

“This is another one blow to the ASG and we hope we could be able to neutralize the remaining members of the terrorist group the soonest,” he added.

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