Brazil’s Bolsonaro tested again for novel coronavirus

UNTV News   •   July 7, 2020   •   404

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Monday (July 6) he had undergone another test for the novel coronavirus, after local media reported he had symptoms associated with the COVID-19 respiratory disease, including a fever.

Bolsonaro told supporters outside the presidential palace that he had just visited the hospital and been tested for the virus, adding that an exam had shown his lungs “clean.”

CNN Brasil and newspaper Estado de S.Paulo reported that he had symptoms of the disease, such as a fever. The president’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Bolsonaro has repeatedly played down the impact of the virus, even as Brazil has suffered one of the world’s worst outbreaks, with more than 1.6 million confirmed cases and 65,000 related deaths, according to official data on Monday.

The right-wing populist has often defied local guidelines to wear a mask in public, even after a judge ordered him to do so in late June.

Over the weekend, Bolsonaro attended multiple events and was in close contact with the U.S. ambassador to Brazil during July 4 celebrations. The U.S. embassy in Brasilia did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Bolsonaro previously tested negative for the coronavirus after several aides were diagnosed following a visit to U.S. President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago, Florida, estate in March. (Reuters)

(Production: Leonardo Benassatto, Paul Vieira)

OFWs for repatriation decide to stay after getting COVID-19 vaccine shot – Bello

Marje Pelayo   •   January 27, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III reported that some overseas Filipino workers (OFW) have taken back their decision to fly home to the Philippines after getting a shot of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine.

Most of them who preferred to stay are OFWs in the Middle East.

Bello said they believe they would have greater chances to get another job since they were already vaccinated. 

“Mayroong mga almost about 100,000 who applied for repatriation. Iyon ang nire-repatriate pa natin,” Bello noted.

“Nabigla kami bilang mayroon siguro around 60% of those who asked for repatriation suddenly changed their minds and said, “No, hindi na kami uuwi”. Tinanong natin kung bakit, iyon pala na-vaccinate na sila,” he added.

The Department of Labor and Employment has, so far, logged around 420,000 repatriated overseas Filipinos since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Around 60,000 OFWs are on queue for repatriation this year and the agency still has a P5-B fund for this from President Rodrigo Duterte. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

PH gov’t to tap service provider for COVID-19 vaccine info management system

Robie de Guzman   •   January 27, 2021

MANILA, Philippines The Philippine government will tap the services of a third-party service provider for the country’s COVID-19 vaccine information management system (VIMS), Malacañang said on Wednesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, in a statement, said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has authorized the Department of Information and Communications (DICT) to perform actions necessary to procure the services of a qualified third-party service provider to cater to all services pertaining to the design approval, IT project implementation, and service management of VIMS.

This to ensure the accurate, timely, and efficient distribution and administration of the COVID-19 vaccines, Roque added.

The IATF also mandated the DICT to formulate the standards to ascertain the qualifications of the third-party service provider in undertaking the required services in the VIMS.

According to Roque, the functions of the Philippine COVID-19 VIMS shall include citizen vaccination capture and automation; provide management and automation; supply chain management; and vims dashboarding, reporting, and analytics.

It shall be the key process automation and data capture, storage, processing, and analytics system for the immunization and administration and supply chain management of the COVID-19 vaccines, he added.

The government is eyeing to roll out its COVID-19 mass vaccination program in February.

IATF approves mandatory 5th-day testing for inbound travelers

Marje Pelayo   •   January 27, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) issued a resolution on Wednesday (January 27) allowing the mandatory 5th-day test for inbound travelers. 

This means all travelers arriving in the Philippines must wait for five days in isolation before they are tested for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in line with the recommendation by the Department of Health (DOH).

The DOH believes such a measure is more effective in detecting and determining if a traveler is a COVID-19 carrier or not.

“For efficiency, for government and also to be more rational in doing things, atin pong ginawa ito. Pero kung sila ay may nararamdaman na o di kaya ay may high suspicion. Meron siyang sakit na ito, siya po ay kailangang i-test,” said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

DOH said it is important for each traveller to be isolated to prevent potential transmission of the virus while they are waiting for their turn to be tested.

“Pero ang kailangan natin maintindihan, iyong ating prinsipyo na isolation first, as long as we isolate them even though they are positive we are assured na naco-confine lang doon sa kwartong yun ang sakit at hindi po makakapanghawa kaya isa rin po iyan na nakalagay sa ating resolution na kailangan walang cohorting,” Vergeire said.

Once they are tested negative, they will be endorsed to their respective local government units and serve the 14-day mandatory quarantine period in their areas of destination.

The new testing and quarantine protocols aim at preventing further spread of the more contagious UK variant and possible entry of other variants of COVID-19 into the country.

Meanwhile, based on DOH’s update over 600 individuals who have close contacts with the 13 UK variant positive cases in the Cordillera Administrative Region have been identified.

Also, the DOH has identified a number of returning overseas Filipino workers who arrived in the region and has been waiting for the result of their tests whether they are positive or negative of COVID-19.

“Contacts na nakita na po nila. First, second and third-generation contacts,” Vergeire said,

“Also, nakapagusap na rin po sila. They have reviewed itong triaging system ng CAR. Nakakita na rin sila ng 8 na OFWs na bumalik po sa bansa at pumasok po dito sa lugar na ito,” she added.

Still, the DOH maintained that it is early to declare the situation in the region as community transmission. MNP (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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