COVID-19 cases in PHL breach 18,000; New cases mostly from Metro Manila – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   June 1, 2020   •   605

MANILA, Philippines – The total number of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections in the country have climbed to 18,086 with 862 new cases reported on Sunday, the Department of Health (DOH) said.

The DOH said that of the new cases, only 16 are “fresh” or those results that came out within three days while 846 are “late” or results belatedly reported.

Of the fresh cases, six are from the National Capital Region (NCR), while the remaining 10 are from other regions.

Of the late cases, 238 are from the NCR, 81 from Central Visayas, 235 are repatriates, and the remaining 292 are from other regions.

In its May 31 bulletin, the DOH noted that the fresh cases are based on the daily accomplishment reports submitted by only 15 out of 42 current operational laboratories.

“Late cases reported from May 28 to 31 are based on the validation of complete line lists from 27 laboratories and the partial line list from one laboratory. No more late cases will be reported until the remaining 14 operational labs submit their line lists,” the DOH added.

The DOH also reported seven new fatalities for May 31, bringing the total deaths to 957 while recoveries rose to 3,909.

In a virtual briefing on Sunday, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire explained that the increase in reported COVID-19 cases since Friday means that its current validation process is much faster after they have completed the COVID-19 test backlogs.

“Sana ay naiintindihan niyo po na kahit mataas ang mga bagong naitatalang kaso ay hindi po ibig sabihin na lumalala ang ating situation. Nawa ay napuksa na din ang pangamba sa inyong isipan ukol sa kung tama ba ang naging desisyon na mag transition to GCQ [general community quarantine],” she said.

The DOH earlier said that one of the experts’ basis in recommending to shift Metro Manila and other areas to GCQ is the slower case doubling rate, which is now noted at seven days compared to every two days pre-quarantine period in March.

Under GCQ, more businesses and offices are allowed to resume partial operations, and more employees have been authorized to return to work, provided that minimum health standards are observed. Public transportation operations have also resumed but only at limited capacity.

The department, however, called on the public to remain vigilant and to continue observing health protocols such as physical distancing, wearing of face mask and maintaining good hygiene to curb the spread of coronavirus disease.

“Kahit nasa GCQ na tayo, hindi ito ibig sabihin na relax na rin tayo sa mga protocols natin. Sa Lunes, pagpasok ng mga may trabaho, paglabas ng bahay, huwag po kalimutang magsuot ng [face] mask, dumistansya ng isang metro sa mga katabi, magbaon ng alcohol para sa mga kamay,” Vergeire urged. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

ALAMIN: Mga paghahanda bago magpabakuna kontra COVID-19

Marje Pelayo   •   February 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Ang mga bakuna na lamang ang kulang upang maisakatuparan na ang vaccination program ng pamahalaan.

Halos lahat ng mga lokal na pamahalaan ay nakapagsagawa na ng mga dry run sa sistemang ipatutupad oras na magsimula ang pagbabakuna.

Tiniyak ng mga ito na wala nang aalalahanin ang publiko dahil libreng ibibigay ang mga bakuna.

Kinakailangan na lamang ang pagpaparehistro sa kanya-kanyang lokal na pamahalaan upang mabakunahan.

Ngunit nagbigay paalala ang mga doktor sa mga dapat gawin ng isang indibidwal upang maihanda ang sarili bago magpabakuna.

Ayon kay Dr. Rontgene Solante, isa sa miembro ng vaccine expert panel ng Department of Health (DOH), mahalaga na maikondisyong mabuti ang pangangatawan ng isang taong tatanggap ng COVID-19 vaccine.

Una, dapat ay may sapat na tulog at nakakain ng maayos ang isang magpapabakuna.

Pangalawa, hindi nakaranas ng pag-ubo o lagnat sa nakalipas na tatlong araw bago ang takdang araw ng pagpapabakuna. Kung may sipon lamang ay maaring maituloy ang pagpapabakuna.

Pangatlo at pinaka-mahalaga sa lahat, dapat ay nakahanda ang kaisipan ng isang magpapabakuna at wala nang anumang agam-agam dahil maaring makaapekto ito sa pisikal na kondisyon.

“Talagang preparahan mo siya. Maganda ang (kalusugan) mo, walang sintomas, walang ubo, walang lagnat at saka ang importante dito ready ka sa pagbabakuna,” payo ng eksperto.

“Tanggalin mo rin ang takot mo dahil sa bakuna,  minsan kapag nandoon pa rin ang fear mo o hesitations, baka kapag ini-inject iyan may mga ganoong klaseng kliyente na kapag ini-inject, talagang natatakot. Baka mas lalong mag-manify ang side effects,” dagdag nito.

Paliwanag ni Dr. Solante, normal lamang na magkaroon ng side effects sa isang tao ang kahit anong bakuna.

Payo ng doktor, iwasan na uminom ng anomang gamot upang maibsan ang sakit na mararamdaman pagkatapos na mabakunahan at sa halip ay agad na kumonsulta sa doktor kung kinakailangan.

“Kadalasan kung meron kang lagnat kung sa tingin mo hindi kaya ng katawan mo very uncomfortable for you iinom ka ng Parecetamol. Pero kung kaya naman as much as possible, wala tayong inumin. Uminom lang ng maraming tubig tapos i-monitor,” payo ni Dr. Solante.

“Tapos ang medyo masakit kung saan tinuturok ang bakuna. Usually nawawala iyan within 48 to 72 hours,” dagdag nito.

Nauna nang sinabi ng Food and Drug Administration (FDA) na magkakaiba contraindications ng mga bakuna.

Gaya na lamang ng Pfizer-BioNTech na hindi pwedeng ibigay sa may mga allergy, maging sa mga buntis at breastfeeding mothers.

Ang Astrazeneca naman ay patuloy pang iniimbestigahan ang kaso ng mga elderly na namatay sa Norway matapos na mabakunahan nito.

Habang ang Sinovac ay hindi naman inirerekomenda na gamitin sa mga healthcare workers na madalas ma-expose sa mga pasyenteng may COVID-19. MNP (sa ulat ni Joan Nano)

Metro Manila LGUs shell out 20% down payment for COVID-19 vaccines

Marje Pelayo   •   February 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Several local government units (LGUs), particularly in Metro Manila, have already paid 20% advance payment for the purchase of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines.

Among them were the Quezon city government that paid for 1.1-M doses of Astrazeneca vaccines; the city of Manila for a total of 800,000 doses; San Juan City for 100,000 doses; and  Mandaluyong City for 150,000 doses.

On Wednesday (February 24), Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivares announced that they also have released the advance payment for 200,000 doses of Astrazeneca vaccines for his constituents.

“On the part of the Paranaque nakapag-down na po kami ng 20 percent that is P9.606-M para po sa 200,000 na doses,” Olivares said.

Meanwhile, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benhur Abalos Jr. said the agency has, likewise, paid the same for the initial supply of COVID-19 vaccines.

Abalos said they are targeting to vaccinate at least 50% of the agency’s total staff population.

“Fifty (50) percent po ang gustong magpabakuna sa amin,” he confirmed.

“Iyon pong aming unang babakunahan ay yung mga traffic enforcers po namin to protect the public and then to protect themselves kasenyung exposure po nila nasa kalye po sila,” he added,

The LGUs are now preparing for the rollout of COVID-19 immunization ahead of the arrival of the vaccines.

The exact date of arrival of the supplies, however, is not yet confirmed. MNP (with reports from Janice Ingente)

DOH, FDA to probe Mon Tulfo’s alleged use of unauthorized COVID-19 vaccine

Robie de Guzman   •   February 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday said they would investigate reports on the use of smuggled vaccines against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The DOH issued the statement following the admission of Special Envoy to China Ramon Tulfo that he received coronavirus jabs from China’s Sinopharm, which has not yet been authorized for use in the country.

Tulfo on Tuesday said he got inoculated with illegally procured vaccine last year with some Cabinet officials, a lawmaker and some of President Rodrigo Duterte’s security team.

The DOH warned the public that the use and distribution of smuggled vaccine is illegal.

“Ito po ay makakasama sa imbestigasyon and all of these things kapag nakita natin na hindi naayon sa mga batas na meron tayo dito sa ating bansa will be considered illegal,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a virtual briefing.

“Kung sinoman po yung mga kababayan natin, distributors or suppliers na nagbibigay ng mga bakuna na wala pang emergency use authority ay magkakaroon ng appropriate investigation and if there would be violations, magkaka-sanctions po,” she added.

Vergeire also stressed that vaccines need to undergo regulation and secure emergency use authorization (EUA) to ensure its safety and efficacy.

FDA Director General Eric Domingo said Sinopharm has yet to file an application for an EUA.

“As of now, wala pa pong nag-a-apply sa amin. ‘Yung Chinese Government, sumulat po sila kay Secretary (Carlito) Galvez informing him na wala silang local na distributor dito at hindi ko alam kung ano ang kanilang magiging applications po and strategy,” Domingo said.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, meanwhile, said that Malacañang will leave the investigation on the issue to the FDA.

He, however, stressed that taking illegally procured COVID-19 vaccines is not a policy of the Duterte administration.

“Wala pong ganiyang polisiya dahil kung may ganiyan pong polisiya, siguro commercial quantity na ang kumalat noong mga bakuna na hindi naaprubahan. Pero inaantay po talaga natin ang aksiyon ng FDA sa mga bagay-bagay na ito,” Roque said.

To recall, some members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) were revealed to have taken unauthorized coronavirus vaccine shots in December.

The FDA and the National Bureau of Investigation are undertaking separate investigations into the matter.

Domingo said the PSG has yet to respond to FDA’s inquiry into their illegal inoculation. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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