MANILA, Philippines – Just over the weekend, confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Philippines climbed to 10, according to the Department of Health (DOH).
On Friday (March 6), the Department announced the country’s fourth and fifth cases.
The fifth case was the first confirmed local transmission of the virus, the DOH said, after verification from the Bureau of Immigration that the person had no recent travel history abroad.
The patient’s wife also tested positive for COVID-19.
Marked the sixth case, the DOH reported she is a 59-year-old female who was admitted at the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM) on March 5 after showing early signs of the virus. She is currently in stable condition.
On Sunday (March 8), four more infected persons of COVID-19 were confirmed.
The DOH released the details of the four additional confirmed cases on Monday morning (March 8) following the release of confirmatory tests results.
The seventh case (PH7) is a 38-year-old Taiwanese male who has no history of travel outside of the country and his symptoms started last March 3.
He has a history of contact with a Taiwanese foreign national who visited the Philippines and tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan.
He is currently admitted to a private hospital.
The eight case (PH8) is a 32-year-old Filipino male with history of travel to Japan within the past 14 days and the onset of COVID-19 symptoms began on March 5.
The ninth case (PH9) is an 86-year-old American male with pre-existing hypertension and history of travel to USA and South Korea.
He began showing symptoms on March 1.
The tenth case (PH10) is a 57-year-old Filipino male with no history of travel outside of the country.
He was reported to have had contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case, however, DOH is currently investigating details of his exposure.
All four patients are currently admitted to a private hospital.
In anticipation of the possible sustained local transmission, the Department raised the country’s virus alert system to Code Red Sublevel 1 though it clarified that it was a “preemptive call to ensure that “the national and local governments and public and private health care providers can prepare for possible increase in suspected and confirmed cases.”
“The DOH is currently exhausting all its efforts to identify others who may have come in contact with the confirmed cases to ensure that this localized transmission does not progress to community spread,” Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said.
Following the upgrade of the COVID-19 alert system, the DOH has recommended the declaration of a state of public health emergency across the country which means the “mobilization of resources, ease processes, including procurement of critical logistics and supplies, and intensifying reporting.”
“This declaration is a signal to all concerned agencies, Local Government Units and health care providers to be ready to implement planned response measures. We are continuously reminding everyone to practice personal protective measures such as hand hygiene, social distancing, and proper cough etiquette. Avoid unnecessary travel and postpone mass gatherings, as well. It is our individual responsibility to protect ourselves and the people around us,” the Health Secretary remined.
“Only through collective action in our communities will we be able to limit the spread of the virus,” he said.
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) logged an additional 6,959 new cases to the country’s Covid-19 count and raising the tally to 1,353,220 on Saturday (June 19).
The latest figure pushes the total number of active cases to 59,439.
Meanwhile, 9,407 individuals have recovered from the virus. This brings the total number of recoveries since the pandemic began to 1,270, 243.
The coronavirus-related deaths also rose to 23,538 with 153 new fatalities.
The DOH noted that the current active cases is only 4.4% of the total positive cases recorded since the pandemic.
Based on the latest report, all DOH laboratories are fully operational since June 17, 2021 and only six laboratories have not yet forwarded their respective data to the agency’s COVID-19 Document Repository System (CDRS).
These six laboratories comprise about 3.5% of the overall samples tested and 3.9% of the total number of COVID positive individuals.
MANILA, Philippines — An infectious disease specialist and government adviser still recommends the use of face shields even in open-air settings due to the continuous threat of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and its highly contagious variants.
Dr. Edsel Salvana of the Department of Health (DOH) Technical Advisory Group said on Friday that he would still insist on the use of a face shield as it offers a layer of protection against COVID-19 variants, particularly the Delta and Alpha variants.
Citing several studies, Salvana said the Delta variant, which first emerged in India, is up to four times more transmissible than the original coronavirus and the Alpha variant.
“Sa pag-aaral, ang Delta variant is 60 percent more transmissible than Alpha, ano ba yung Alpha? Ang Alpha yun yung UK variant, which is already 60 percent more transmissible than the original virus. So 60 percent plus 60 percent pa so halos four times po ang pwedeng maging increased transmissibility nito,” he said during the Laging Handa public briefing.
He added that preliminary data also show that the Delta variant is about 40 percent more contagious even in outdoor settings.
“So para sa akin, kahit pa sabihin nila na hindi na required ang face shield lalo na with the threat of this Delta variant, gagamit pa rin talaga ako ng face shield, I will recommend it because it is an extra layer of protection,” he said.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Thursday said the existing policy on the use of face shields against COVID-19 will remain in effect pending the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte on the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force to continue the use of face shields in enclosed or indoor spaces.
These spaces include hospitals, schools, workplaces, commercial establishments such as but not limited to food establishments, malls and public markets, public transport and terminals, and places of worship.
The task force met on Thursday afternoon to discuss the policy on the use of face shields after some senators shared their conversation with Duterte in Malacañang about the limited use of face shields.
Salvana said that should the president decide to remove or limit the use of face shields, he would still wear one as protection against coronavirus variants.
“Hindi ko pipilitin kung ayaw nyong gumamit ng face shield o kung tanggailn yung mandate but I still strongly recommend it lalo na with the threat of the variants. I, myself, when I’m interacting with other people, I will use this face shield po,” he said.
MANILA, Philippines – An infectious disease expert and government adviser has underscored the importance of strictly implementing the mandated testing and quarantine protocols to curb the spread of COVID-19 and its highly transmissible variants in the country.
Dr. Edsel Salvana of the Department of Health (DOH) Technical Advisory Group on Friday said existing protocol requiring returning travelers to the Philippines to undergo a 14-day quarantine period will help stop the entry of more contagious variants, particularly the Delta variant first detected in India.
He said the 14-day quarantine protocol should be coupled with the administration of the RT-PCR test on the seventh day of the quarantine to show an accurate result.
Of the 14 days, travelers are required to spend 10 days in a government facility while the remaining 4 days will be completed at home.
“Ito po ang pamamaraan na kahit may makalusot, kahit mag-false negative pa man yung test, hindi na nakakahawa by the time na matapos ang 14 days na to, mababa na po yung chance na meron pang natitirang virus kahit ma-miss ng tests natin,” Salvana said during the Laging Handa public briefing.
“According to the experts po ng Technical Advisory Group, tiningnan po namin yung datos sa Centers for Disease Control, ang pinaka-safe po talaga na minimum is 10 days facility-based quarantine, followed by 4 days quarantine at home. Hindi na po pwedeng iksian yun, unless ito ngayong pinag-uusapan if vaccinated na po yung traveler,” he added.
Salvana also stressed that the testing should be done on the seventh day because testing a traveler who is newly infected with COVID-19 upon his or her arrival in the Philippines will not show a COVID-19 positive result.
“Sa pag-aaral ng Centers for Disease Control, nakikita po nila na kapag ang isang tao ay nahawaan ng COVID on the day of travel tapos dumating po siya, kung tinest mo yun on arrival, ang tiyansa na mag-positive yung test na yun ay zero percent po kasi kakahawa lang niya,” he said.
“Tapos mananatili po siyang nakakahawa up to 10 days,” he added.
He, however, noted that the viral load on the said individual goes down to 2.4 percent by the 10th day, which lowers the chance of the person transmitting the virus to others.
“Para mawala lalo yung 2% na yun, ina-advise pa rin po natin yung 4 days na home quarantine para tuluyang ligtas po talaga,” he said.
He also said that while the country’s existing travel restrictions for travelers from India and other nations help in controlling the spread of the COVID-10 Delta variant, the stringent implementation of minimum public health standards, including quarantine protocols, is still necessary to break the chain of transmission.
The Philippines has so far recorded 13 cases of Delta variant, one of which has died.
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