QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Authorities have recorded a total number of 97 confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases with 14 deaths in the city.
Based on the latest report on Thursday (March 26), the Quezon City Government announced 10 new confirmed cases and two recoveries from the virus.
The virus has affected 53 villages in the city including barangays Bahay Toro, Mariblo, San Isidro Labrador, San Jose, West Triangle, Bagong Silangan, and Doña Imelda where the new cases were recorded.
Several of these barangays are already under “extreme enhanced community quarantine”.
Meanwhile, decontamination efforts are ongoing to prevent the further spread of the virus. —AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)
MANILA, Philippines – The Quezon City Hall of Justice building and its annex will be temporarily shut down after four of its court officers and employees tested positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the city government announced on Friday.
The city government said Mayor Joy Belmonte ordered the closure of the buildings for seven days of until the city’s Epidemiological and Disease Surveillance Unit (QC-ESU) has completed the appropriate testing and containment measures.
In her letter to Regional Trial Court Executive Judge Cecilyn Burgos-Villavert and Metropolitan Trial Court Executive Judge Ace Alagar, Belmonte explained that her decision to temporarily shut down the Hall of Justice is to enforce measures during epidemic or outbreak to prevent spread of disease.
QC-ESU head Dr. Rolly Cruz said they will conduct exhaustive contact tracing of all those who were in close contact with the court officers and employees who were found positive and perform follow-up testing as necessary.
Suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases shall be placed on home quarantine or isolation in a quarantine facility as feasible under the circumstances, he added.
Meanwhile, the city’s Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DRRMO) started the thorough surface disinfection and misting of the whole City Hall complex.
The agency said the disinfection began on Thursday and will last until Sunday.
The Quezon City’s Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (QCESU) on Thursday said it will conduct a contact tracing on those who recently had direct contact with Mayor Joy Belmonte and two other employees who tested positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
QCESU head Dr. Rolly Cruz said employees who had contact with Belmonte and the two other staff will undergo swab testing, especially those working on the third and 14th floors of the city hall.
“Other people who had direct contact with the Mayor and the two other employees, including visitors, will also undergo swab testing,” Cruz said.
“Employees who will be tested need to undergo home quarantine until results are released as part of protocol,” said Cruz, adding that results will be out in three days.
Belmonte earlier said she is not manifesting symptoms of COVID-19 and that her office have already been closed for disinfection.
Other parts of the city hall will also undergo sanitation but operations will remain normal as not all employees came in direct contact with the mayor in the past few days.
Belmonte also assured she will continue to discharge her duties and functions as mayor even under quarantine through various alternative work arrangements.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Tuesday (July 7) he tested positive for the novel coronavirus, adding in a television interview that he was in good health despite running a fever.
The right-wing populist, who has played down the severity of the virus which he has called a “little flu,” took the test on Monday after developing symptoms.
In the interview broadcast on state-run TV Brasil, Bolsonaro said he began feeling ill on Sunday (July 5) and has been taking hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug with unproven effectiveness against COVID-19.
“It started on Sunday (July 5) with a certain feeling of unwell that worsened during the day on Monday (July 6), with malaise, tiredness, a bit of muscle pain and a fever that reached 38 degrees in the late afternoon. I then thought that with these symptoms, and with the presidency’s medic (believing it to be) a possible COVID-19 infection, I did a CT scan at the armed forces hospital here in Brasilia. And the lungs were clear,” Bolsonaro said.
Brazil has the world’s second-largest outbreak behind the United States. Latin America’s largest country has more than 1.6 million confirmed cases and 65,000 COVID-19 deaths.
Bolsonaro has repeatedly defied local guidelines to wear a mask in public, even after a judge ordered him to do so in late June. Bolsonaro has also railed against social distancing rules supported by the World Health Organization.
Over the weekend, Bolsonaro attended several events and was in close contact with U.S. Ambassador Todd Chapman during July 4 celebrations. Pictures showed neither wearing a mask.
The U.S. Embassy in Brasilia said via Twitter on Monday (July 6) that the ambassador had lunch on July 4 with Bolsonaro, five ministers and the president’s son, Congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro. The ambassador had no symptoms, but would undergo testing and is “taking precautions,” the embassy said. (REUTERS)
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