Child with polio from Laguna to be brought to Metro Manila – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   September 23, 2019   •   1048

MANILA, Philippines – A five-year old boy from Laguna, who was earlier confirmed as the country’s second case of polio, is set to be transferred to Metro Manila, the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday.

DOH Region 4A director Eduardo Janairo said this is to closely monitor the child’s health as he who is also suffering from other ailments.

The DOH earlier said the latest case of polio was reported to be from an immunocompromised child who is suffering from multiple pediatric diseases.

“Mula nung 2014 nabigyan (siya) ng anti-polio noon, lumabas na yung iba’t ibang sakit. May thalassemia siya, mayroong Hirschsprung, kaya naoperahan pa raw yun eh… nagtatae dahil yung bituka niya naka block eh,” Janairo said.

The boy has been discharged from the hospital and is able to walk after experiencing the onset of paralysis last August.

Janairo said there is a need to monitor the child’s condition as he is severely malnourished.

“Tsaka may ibang sakit kaya binabantayan siya ngayon. Kaya gusto ni (DOH) Sec. (Francisco Duque III) dalhin sa Maynila para maalagaan sa ospital,” he added.

The first case of polio in the Philippines was a three-year old girl from Lanao del Sur.

The DOH also said that poliovirus has been detected in water sewage samples taken from Manila and Davao during a regular environmental surveillance.

Its re-emergence in two different locations has prompted health officials to declare a polio outbreak after 19 years of being polio-free.

The DOH said there is no cure for polio and it can only be prevented with multiple doses of polio vaccines that have long been proven safe and effective.

A series of synchronized oral polio immunization program for children under the age of five in areas at risk beginning October.

The department also reminded the public anew to practice good personal hygiene, wash their hands regularly, use toilets, drink safe water and to cook food thoroughly to avoid contracting disease. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Sherwin Culubong)

DOH explains COVID-19 recoveries are symptoms-based, not test-based

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 31, 2020

All the mild and asymptomatic cases that had undergone quarantine for 14 days have been considered recovered after not exhibiting any symptoms of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), according to the Department of Health (DOH).

The DOH said this policy is the global standard where symptoms-based is used and not test-based in declaring a recovered COVID-19 patient.

Kapag asymptomatic po siya after 14 days without symptoms, they can already be tagged as recovered pwede na po siyang mag- trabaho (If he is asymptomatic after 14 days without symptoms, he can already be tagged as recovered and resume work), according to DOH Usec. Rosario Vergeire.

Still, Vergeire said that it is important that a recovered individual should have an assessment from a physician confirming his recovery.

The number of daily recoveries went up to over 38,000 on Thursday (July 30), with a total of 65,054 recovered cases. The daily number of cases, meanwhile, went over 3,000.

The DOH said the ‘mass recoveries’ and surge of cases is due to the ‘reconciliation efforts’ of the department to consolidate its data with the data of local government units (LGUs) through Oplan Recovery.

Oplan Recovery is the DOH’s initiative to monitor the status of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country. –AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

DOH aims to test 10-M Filipinos for COVID-19

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 21, 2020

The Department of Health (DOH) aims to target 10 million Filipinos to undergo testing for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III, however, said the government does not have the capacity to test all citizens, adding that no country has ever had the capacity to do so.

Hindi naman po natin pwede i-test ang bawa’t mamamayan wala pong bansang nakakagawa nito kahit ang pinakamayaman katulad ng United States of America (You cannot test every citizen, no country has done that even the richest ones like the United States of America),” he said.

However, Duque said they target to test 10% of the total population of the country by 2021. This would exceed the ratio testing capacity of America, Duque added.

“[Our target] is 10 million Filipinos to be tested by 2021. We hope to do the test at 32,000 to 40,000 a day,” he said.

READ: DOH to include PUV drivers in expanded COVID-19 testing

The DOH previously announced they will include other workers in their expanded COVID-19 testing while they recently announced the completion of a Filipino-made coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) test kit.

“We still have lots of testing kits. It’s about 2 million plus testing kits still left para gamitin sa goal na gusto natin (to be used to achieve our goal) for us to have sustained capacity for testing,” according to DOH Spokesperson Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire. –AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

Duque: We successfully flattened the curve since April

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 15, 2020

The Philippines has successfully flattened the curve since April, according to the Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III.

The Health Secretary said the number of new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases stabilized from 210 to 220 per day.

“So over time we have been able to stabilize the number of new cases being reported anywhere 210-220 per day. This is the clarification I would like to make,” he said.

Duque said the doubling time of cases and mortality also slowed down. He explained the doubling time went down from around two days to eight days.

“I mentioned that on basis of case doubling time that has actually become longer beyond 7 days, anywhere from 8-12 days. This is an improvement from the initial phase of the outbreak, where case doubling time is about 2.5 days,” according to Duque.

However, former special adviser to the COVID-19 National Task Force (NTF) Dr. Anthony Leachon said the DOH should review their data.

As of July 14, the DOH reported 634 new cases, increasing the total number of cases to 57,545. The Philippines also previously recorded the highest number of COVID-19 cases in a day with 2,434 tallied last July 5. 

“I don’t think we have flattened the curve based on our increase in cases, number of deaths, and full critical care capacity of NCR and Cebu hospitals,” he said in a tweet.

Senator Miguel Zubiri also slammed Duque for his remark and said daily cases increased to over a thousand and the Philippines is soon becoming number one is Southeast Asia in terms of COVID-19 cases.

“The only thing that is flat are the backs of all the poor patients in fully occupied COVID-19 wards all around Metro Manila fighting for their lives,” he said.

Meanwhile, in a message, Duque said COVID-19 cases in April declined after implementing Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). He also added that COVID-19 cases increased due to the expanded COVID-19 testing. —AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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