BuCor reports 2 PDLs from Women’s Correctional succumbed to COVID-19

Marje Pelayo   •   April 29, 2020   •   338

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) reported on Tuesday (April 28) that two inmates at the Correctional Institute for Women (CIW) in Mandaluyong City have died from coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The facility’s first inmate to test positive for COVID-19 died on Monday (April 27). The administration of the facility has already reached out to the relatives of the 72-year-old patient and has contacted the hospital for the proper disposition of the patient’s remains.

The patient was hospitalized on April 13 after experiencing symptoms of pneumonia. 

Her admission to the hospital prompted the contact tracing of several persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) with whom she had contact days before she was confined.

Meanwhile, the BuCor also reported that the CIW inmate who was admitted at East Avenue Medical Center  last April 13, expired on April 21 because of sepsis, systemic lupus and pneumonia. She was later confirmed positive for COVID-19. The test was conducted on April 14, but the result only came out on April 27.

To date, BuCor has 50 confirmed cases of PDLs positive for COVID-19, three of whom have succumbed to the disease. 

All cases are found at the National Bilibid Prisons (NBP) and the CIW, the BuCor said, while the rest of the penal facilities in the country remain free of the deadly virus. 

Local airlines to increase number of flights this holiday season

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Local airlines are preparing to add more flights as more passengers are expected to travel this holiday season just as quarantine restrictions ease.

Philippine Airlines (PAL) spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said the easing of quarantine restrictions can help the airline industry recover from the effects of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“The good news is the Balikbayan Program. This is the easing of travel requirements for balikbayans to entice them to return to the Philippines,” she said.

Villaluna said they are also coordinating with local government units to make sure the minimum health standards are still being implemented.

Local airlines have already partnered with private laboratories for more affordable and faster swab testing of passengers. For PAL and Air Asia, the RT-PCR testing in their accredited diagnostic lab costs P4,000.

Meanwhile, Cebu Pacific launched a “test before boarding” policy which requires passengers to undergo an antigen testing before boarding. The testing in Cebu Pacific is free from December 3 to December 14 but it is only exclusive to passengers en route to General Santos City.

“This is an initiative where we are closely working with the LGU in coming up with this process wherein passengers are required to take an antigen test no more than five hours before their departure time and then the results will come out in 30 minutes,” according to Candice Iyog, vice president for Marketing and Customer Experience of Cebu Pacific.

Local airlines advise passengers to refer to their respective websites for the essential requirements before boarding their flights. AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

Duterte to attend virtual UN General Assembly on COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   December 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is set to participate in the 31st Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic from December 3 to 4, Malacañang said Thursday.

The Palace said Duterte is expected to deliver the Philippine Statement on December 3, where he will further amplify his call for global solidarity in addressing the challenges posed by the COVID-19.

The president is also expected to raise universal access to the anti-COVID-19 technologies, as well as the need for global efforts to ensure the availability of safe and effective vaccines to peoples of developing nations.

During the 75th UNGA session last September, Duterte also said that COVID-19 vaccines “must not be denied nor withheld,” and that “it should be made available to all, rich and poor nations alike, as a matter of policy.” – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Unemployment rate in October 2020 eases to 8.7% —PSA

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 3, 2020

The unemployment rate in October 2020 eases to 8.7%, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

From April 2020, with a 17.6% unemployment rate, the number of unemployed Filipinos continued to drop to 10% in July and 8.7% in October. This is equivalent to 3.8 million Filipinos, 15 years old and above, who are unemployed.

With several establishments reopening after strict lockdowns due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), several Filipinos were able to find jobs during the last quarter of the year.

Meanwhile, the underemployment rate also droppedd to 14.4% this October, compared to 17.3%t last July.

The PSA said the economy is gradually recovering as lockdowns continue to ease. -AAC

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