‘Auring’ slightly accelerates as it nears Eastern Visayas-Caraga area

UNTV News   •   February 21, 2021   •   460

MANILA, Philippines — More areas have been placed under storm warning signals as Tropical Storm Auring slightly accelerated on Sunday afternoon while moving northwestward towards Eastern Visayas-Caraga area, PAGASA said.

The country’s first tropical cyclone for this year was last estimated 355 km east of Surigao City, Surigao del Norte as of 4 p.m., moving northwestward at 20 kms per hour towards Dinagat Islands-Eastern Samar-Leyte area, where it is forecast to make landfall on Monday morning, the weather bureau said in its 5 p.m. weather bulletin.

Auring, which is packing maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometers per hour (kph) and gusts of up to 80 kph, is expected to maintain its strength in the next 12 hours. However, the likelihood of weakening into tropical depression before it makes landfall is not yet ruled out.

Moderate to heavy rains are expected in Caraga, Eastern Visayas, Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon, Camiguin, Catanduanes, Albay, and Sorsogon.

Light to moderate with at times heavy rains may be experienced over Zamboanga Peninsula, MIMAROPA, Davao Oriental, Davao de Oro, Quezon, and the rest of Bicol Region, Visayas, and Northern Mindanao.

PAGASA warned of gale-force winds in areas under Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) #2 and strong breeze to near-gale conditions with occasionally higher gusts over the areas where TCWS #1 is in effect, as well as over CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, Aurora, and the rest of Visayas and Bicol Region.

Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal no. 2 is hoisted over the following areas:

The central and southern portions of Eastern Samar (Taft, Sulat, San Julian, Borongan City, Maydolong, Balangkayan, Llorente, Hernani, General Macarthur, Quinapondan, Balangiga, Lawaan, Giporlos, Salcedo, Mercedes, Guiuan), the central and southern portions of Samar (Hinabangan, Calbiga, Pinabacdao, Villareal, Basey, Marabut, Santa Rita), the eastern portion of Leyte (Babatngon, Tacloban City, San Miguel, Alangalang, Santa Fe, Palo, Tanauan, Pastrana, Dagami, Tabontabon, Tolosa, Julita, Burauen, Dulag, La Paz, Mayorga, Macarthur, Javier, Abuyog, Mahaplag), and the eastern portion of Southern Leyte (Silago, Sogod, Hinunangan, Libagon, Saint Bernard, Hinundayan, Anahawan, San Juan, Liloan, San Francisco, San Ricardo, Pintuyan)

Dinagat Islands and Surigao del Norte including Siargao and Bucas Grande Islands

Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal no. 1 is hoisted over the following areas:

Sorsogon, Masbate including Ticao and Burias Islands, Albay, Catanduanes, the eastern portion of Camarines Sur (Caramoan, Presentacion, Sagnay, Buhi, Iriga City, Nabua, Bato, Balatan), and the eastern portion of Romblon (Magdiwang, San Fernando, Cajidiocan)

Northern Samar, the rest of Eastern Samar, the rest of Samar, Biliran, the rest of Leyte, the rest of Southern Leyte, Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor, Negros Oriental, the northern and central portions of Negros Occidental (Kabankalan City, Himamaylan City, Binalbagan, Isabela, Moises Padilla, Hinigaran, La Castellana, Pontevedra, San Enrique, La Carlota City, Pulupandan, Valladolid, Bago City, Murcia, Bacolod City, Talisay City, Silay City, Enrique B. Magalona, Victorias City, Manapla, Cadiz City, Sagay City, Escalante City, Toboso, Calatrava, San Carlos City, Salvador Benedicto), the northern and central portions of Iloilo (Carles, Balasan, Estancia, Batad, San Dionisio, Sara, Concepcion, Lemery, Ajuy, San Rafael, Passi City, Bingawan, Calinog, Lambunao, Duenas, San Enrique, Dingle, Anilao, Banate, Janiuay, Badiangan, Pototan, Barotac Nuevo, Dumangas, Mina, Maasin, Alimodian, Leon, Tigbauan, Oton, Iloilo City, Pavia, San Miguel, Cabatuan, Santa Barbara, New Lucena, Zarraga, Leganes, Barotac Viejo), Capiz, Guimaras, and the eastern portion of Aklan (Tangalan, Malinao, Makato, Lezo, Numancia, Kalibo, New Washington, Batan, Altavas, Balete, Banga, Madalag, Libacao)

Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Davao Oriental, Davao de Oro, Davao del Norte, Camiguin, Misamis Oriental, and Bukidnon

WHO, UNICEF declare end of polio outbreak in PH

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 11, 2021

The World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Thursday (June 11) declared the end of polio outbreak in the Philippines.

In a joint statement, the WHO lauded the efforts of the Department of Health (DOH), other government agencies and civil society in ending the outbreak.

The DOH announced a polio outbreak in the country in September 2019, after 19 years of being polio-free. On June 3, the department officially concluded its polio outbreak response.

WHO Representative to the Philippines Dr. Rabindra abeyasinghe said the closure of the polio outbreak is due to the combined efforts of medical frontliners, strong community efforts, and government response.

“This is a major win for public health and is an excellent example of what collective efforts can attain, even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

“We look forward for these efforts to be sustained for a strong and resilient immunization system, utilizing the investments made for polio outbreak response and COVID-19 vaccination to ensure all children are protected from vaccine preventable diseases as the Philippines moves towards achieving Universal Health Care,” he added.

Both WHO and UNICEF assisted through vaccine procurement and delivery, development of immunization guidelines, and social mobilization.

“The success of the polio immunization in the Philippines is proof that when we come together for children, great things happen. UNICEF celebrates all the vaccine champions and partners who made this possible. We must keep the momentum and accelerate routine immunization and safeguard essential child health services while rolling out COVID-19 vaccines for priority groups,” according to UNICEF Philippines Representative Oyunsaikhan Dendevnorov. AAC

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Duterte, Xi call for ‘win-win’ cooperation on 46th anniversary of PH-China ties

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping both call for a “win-win” cooperation in commemoration of the 46th anniversary of Philippine-China relations.

The Philippine President expressed his gratitude for  China’s assistance to the Philippines in the face of challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Philippine-China economic ties are of course the dynamic force that will continue to drive or bilateral relations forward,” Duterte told Xi in a statement.

“I am confident that my Administration’s Build Build Build program together with the Belt and Road Initiative, will reap long-term benefits for our peoples,” he added.

Meanwhile, in a letter addressed to Duterte, the Chinese president acknowledged that in recent years, with concerted efforts of both sides, Philippine- China relations have remained “healthy and stable.”

“I attach great significance to the development of China-Philippines relations, and stand ready to work with you in guiding our bilateral relations to move forward in a sustained and steady manner, so as to achieve greater win-win results and mutual benefits,” Xi said. AAC

 

US CDC eases travel recommendations on 61 countries, including Philippines

Robie de Guzman   •   June 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has relaxed its travel recommendations for 61 countries amid the coronavirus pandemic.

From level 4, the US CDC eased travel recommendations to level 3 on 61 countries, including the Philippines, Japan, France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Switzerland, Canada, and Mexico.

The complete list of countries included in the advisory may be viewed here.

The advisory of the US CDC for level 3 stated that travelers should make sure they are “fully vaccinated before traveling to these destinations.”

“Unvaccinated travelers should avoid nonessential travel to these destinations,” it added.

The agency said that with the current situation in the Philippines, all travelers may be at risk of getting and spreading COVID-19 variants and that they should follow recommendations or requirements like wearing a mask and staying 6 feet apart from others.

The US CDC’s risk assessment levels for COVID-19 are as follows:

  • Level 4 – COVID-19 very high (Avoid travel to these destinations. If you must travel to these destinations, make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel)
  • Level 3 – COVID-19 high (Make sure you are fully vaccinated before traveling to these destinations. Unvaccinated travelers should avoid nonessential travel to these destinations)
  • Level 2 – COVID-19 moderate (Make sure you are fully vaccinated before traveling to these destinations. Unvaccinated travelers who are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should avoid nonessential travel to the these destinations)
  • Level 1 – COVID-19 low (Make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel to these destinations)
  • Unknown – COVID-19 unknown (Avoid travel to these destinations. If you must travel to these destinations, make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel)

The agency said the change came after it revised its criteria for travel health notices.

The US State Department said it is coordinating with the CDC in revising its travel advisory to reflect the changes. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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