Alert Level 2 raised over Taal Volcano amid ‘increasing unrest’

Marje Pelayo   •   March 9, 2021   •   852

MANILA, Philippines – Alert Level 2 has been raised over Taal Volcano on Tuesday (March 9) amid “increasing unrest.”

In its latest bulletin, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) said that a total of 28 volcanic tremor episodes, four low-frequency volcanic earthquakes, and one hybrid earthquake  at shallow depths of less than 1.5 kilometers beneath Taal Volcano Island were recorded in the past 24 hours.

Also, volcanic tremors have increased seismic energy compared to previously recorded episodes and ranged between three to 17 minutes in duration. 

“The total number of volcanic tremor events has risen to 866 since the onset of increased activity on February 13,” PHIVOLCS said.

“In addition to these, a total of 141 low-frequency volcanic earthquakes have occurred within one kilometer depths beneath the volcano island and immediate vicinity,” it added.

The agency said seismic activity in the past month indicates increased magmatic and hydrothermal activity at shallow depths beneath the volcano island.

This means there is probable magmatic activity that may or may not lead to an eruption, the agency noted.

With this development, the PHIVOLCS stressed that entry into Taal Volcano Island remains strictly prohibited as it is considered a permanent danger zone. 

Evacuation, however, is not yet recommended, the agency said,

MMDA to let IATF decide on restrictions on minors under Alert Level 2

Maris Federez   •   November 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) announced that full mobility of minors and seniors remains status quo in the National Capital Region under Alert Level 2.

MMDA chairman Benhur Abalos said the 17 Metro Manila mayors will leave it to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to decide on the restrictions it will set for minors under the region’s current status.

“The IATF is the best position to decide on the mobility restrictions on minors considering that it has the necessary scientific and empirical data as well as the health epidemiological and pediatric experts,” Abalos said.

Concerns on whether minors should be allowed to go to malls surfaced after a two-year-old boy allegedly contracted coronavirus disease three days after going to the mall. —/mbmf

DILG directs MMDA, metro mayors to review guidelines allowing minors outdoors

Maris Federez   •   November 13, 2021


MANILA, Philippines — The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has ordered the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Metro Manila Council of mayors to review the restrictions on children in going out of their residences.

This came following a post on social media regarding a two-year-old boy who contracted coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) three days after going to the mall.

A doctor reportedly posted about a boy who he diagnosed to have contracted the virus. The doctor did not give the identity of the boy.

Upon his inquiry to the companion of the boy as to how and where the boy could have been exposed, he was told that the boy had gone to the mall.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año expressed dismay upon learning of the said post.

Secretary Año reiterated the power of the local government to impose restrictions on children in going to the malls as they are not yet vaccinated against the highly infectious virus.

The MMDA has earlier said that children are allowed to go to malls in areas under Alert Level 2, as long as they are accompanied by their parents.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health (DOH) through its spokesperson Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire issued a statement regarding the report, reiterating that the cause of the positive COVID-19 result could be from various factors.

“This news is very unfortunate. Although the recent activities done, like the mall visit, may be a possible source of infection, its exact cause will remain multifactorial and uncertain. Factors such as adults from the same household going to work and bringing the infection home could also be a possibility,” Vergeire said.

“In line with this, we would like to reiterate that the COVID-19 virus is still very much present,” she stressed.

The DOH, Vergeire said, “is tirelessly encouraging individuals aged 12 and above to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to achieve the ‘cocoon effect’ which protects younger children at home and in the community”.

The official advised parents and guardians to take extra precautions if they will bring their children with them as more establishments were opened.

Vergeire also emphasized the importance of getting vaccinated, as well as, observing health protocols.

“We have to avoid the 3Cs: closed-contact settings, crowded places, close spaces to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 infection, and complement it with the strict and religious adherence to the Minimum Public Health Standards (MPHS) as these will be part of our new normal,” the health official said. —/mbmf (with details from UNTV Correspondents Aiko Miguel and JP Nuñez)

DOH: Muling paglobo ng COVID-19 cases, posible ‘pag patuloy ang kumpulan sa pampublikong lugar

Robie de Guzman   •   November 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Patuloy pa ring bumababa ang kaso ng COVID-19 sa bansa batay sa pinakahuling datos ng Department of Health (DOH).

Sa nakalipas na pitong araw, bumaba pa sa 46% o katumbas ng 2,343 ang average na kaso sa buong bansa.

Sa Metro Manila, 50% naman ang ibinaba at nasa 409 kaso na lang ang naitatala kada araw mula noong Nobyembre 1 hanggang 7.

Ang daily moving average din ng kaso sa Metro Manila sa ngayon ay mas mababa pa sa naitala noong Pebrero na umaabot sa 443 kada araw.

Sa kabuuan, nasa low-risk classification pa rin ang Pilipinas para sa COVID-19 ngunit babala ng DOH, maaari itong muling tumaas kapag hindi nasunod ang ipinaiiral na public health protocols.

Sa obserbasyon ng DOH, dumagsa ang maraming tao sa mga pampublikong lugar mula nang ibaba sa COVID-19 Alert Level 2 ang Metro Manila.

Kabilang sa mga lugar kung saan nakita ang kumpulan ng maraming tao nitong nakalipas na weekend ay mga mall at parke.

Kaya paalala ng DOH sa publiko, maging responsable, umiwas sa mga matataong lugar at isuot ng maayos ang face mask at face shield.

“Bagamat napunta na tayo sa alert level 2, alam natin sabik na sabik ang ating kabaayan na lumabas at they can enjoy with their families outside, hindi naman natin pinipigilan dahil allowed […] pero sana naman lahat tayo will be responsible enough at maisip natin andito pa ang virus. We are not out of the woods yet,” ani DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

“‘Pag nakita natin madaming tao, ‘wag na muna tumuloy para maiwasan po natin ang magkasakit at magpanghawa sa iba,” dagdag pa niya.

Umapela rin ito sa mga lokal na pamahalaan na istriktong ipatupad ang COVID-19 protocols upang mapigilan ang muling paglobo ng kaso.

“Nananawagan kami sa LGUs now that we are on alert level 2, the only way that we can be able to sustain this kind of opening up of economy and this kind of low risk classification is for local governments to truly enforce and monitor the compliance to minimum public health standards,” ani Vergeire.

Babala ng opisyal, maaaring tumaas muli sa 53,000 ang aktibong kaso ng COVID-19 sa bansa pagsapit ng Disyembre kung magpapakampante ang publiko sa gitna ng nagpapatuloy na banta ng coronavirus infection.

“Pag bumaba ang compliance to MPHS (minimum public health standards), even just for 30 percent na mare-reduce ang pag-comply, maaring tumaas ang kaso pagdating po ng Dec. 15,” ani Vergeire. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Aiko Miguel)


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