COVID-19 epidemic in Japan raises public concern about upcoming Olympics
UNTV News • March 2, 2020 • 766
The COVID-19 outbreak in Japan has triggered division in public opinion over whether the 2020 Olympics which is scheduled to be held in July could or should go ahead.
So far, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Japan, including foreigners, has risen to more than 960, with over 700 of them stemming from the virus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined in the port city of Yokohama.
The preparations for the event have already been delayed due to scandals and repeated venue changes. And now threats to the Olympics are getting more real as the coronavirus outbreak spreads in Japan.
“Though I hope it will subside by July, I’m not sure to what degree will it subside,” a pedestrian told CGTN reporter.
“When the coronavirus was first reported, I thought it might not continue for that long as the Olympics will be held in summer. But if it lingers on, that would be bad. However, I don’t think the government is considering postponing or letting other countries hold the Olympics,” said a pedestrian.
“The athletes are from different countries and regions around the world. If they are infected, they may make it spread in the country. So I wonder whether it’s possible not to host the Olympics,” another pedestrian said.
However, others are more optimistic and say the public is now taking more reasonable precautions
“I think it is quite safe to hold the Olympics here. I am from the Netherlands and when I look at the normal flu, for example, far more people get normal flu than the coronavirus. And there are more casualties than the coronavirus as well. So at the moment, I am not concerned that the coronavirus will stop the Olympics,” said a foreigner.
Meanwhile, there are worries that some countries or athletes may decide it’s not worth the risk to come to Japan.
“In a word, we should take all possibilities into consideration and take measures. If all efforts fail, then we should think about postponing or canceling the Olympic Games. But first, I believe it is essential to fulfilling what we can do,” said a pedestrian.
“I think we should see how things develop by the end of March or April. If we see it subside, we should prepare clear data and disclose it to the world,” another man said.
Although Tokyo residents are still split over the issue, most say the Games would boost morale and possibly the country’s economy. ( CCTV / CGTN VIA REUTERS CONNECT)
MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) is now requiring facility-based isolation for confirmed asymptomatic and mild coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases through IATF Resolution 74.
The new policy however, exempts patients who are considered vulnerable or having comorbidities and their home meets the conditions specified in the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Joint Administrative Order 2020-0001.
Likewise, another exception is when the Ligtas COVID-19 Centers within the region are fully occupied and the local government unit does not have sufficient isolation facilities.
MANILA, Philippines — Iloilo City has been placed under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) effective September 25 until October 9 due to the increasing number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the city.
According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque the new measure is based on the issued Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Resolution 74 which also requires facility-based isolation for confirmed asymptomatic and mild COVID-19 cases.
However, the resolution exempts patients who are considered vulnerable or having comorbidities as confirmed by the local health officer.
Another exception would be when the Ligtas COVID-19 Centers within the region are fully occupied and the local government unit does not have sufficient isolation facilities.
On Tuesday (September 22), 33 employees of the Iloilo City Hall tested positive for COVID-19 prompting the three-day temporary closure of the establishment beginning Wednesday (September 23) as declared by Mayor Jerry Treñas in Executive Order No. 215-A.
Prior to that, 13 barangays in the city were placed under total lockdown due to the increase in community transmission of COVID-19.
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Thursday said it will do away with deadlines and instead continue to hire contact tracers until their target of at least 50,000 is reached.
In a statement, DILG spokesperson Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said the agency’s provincial and city field offices will continue to accept applications until the slots allocated to them have been filled up.
The department earlier announced that the submission of applications for contact tracers is only until Sept. 23.
“What’s important to us is to fill up the slots and recruit the most number of Contact Tracers as provided in the Bayanihan 2 law so those who meet the deadline will immediately be processed but we will continue to accept applications until we have met our targets,” he said.
Malaya said that some 10,000 individuals have already applied in Metro Manila but many have incomplete documents so they are giving more time for them to complete the requirements on a first come, first served basis.
“As soon as they are deemed qualified by the selection board, they will be hired, trained, and deployed to the various LGUs,” he added.
The DILG official said the first batch of DILG-hired contact tracers will be deployed to the local government units by first week of October.
The department earlier said that local and overseas Filipino workers whose service have been recently terminated or their employment contracts were not renewed amid the pandemic will be given priority in the hiring process.
To qualify, the applicant must have a Bachelor’s degree or college level in an allied medical course or criminology course.
Aspirants must also be skilled in data gathering and have assisted in research and documentation; able to interview COVID-19 cases and close contacts in order to gather data; possess the ability to advocate public health education messages; and have investigative capability.
“While our first preference is college graduates or college level of allied medical courses or criminology, we are also open to graduates or college level of any course. So, we urge them to apply and help the country defeat COVID-19,” he said. Malaya said applicants are required to submit an application letter, Personal Data Sheet, National Bureau of Investigation clearance, diploma or transcript of record, and drug test result to the nearest DILG provincial or city field office.
Contact tracers will earn a minimum of P18,784 per month in a contract of service status.
Their responsibilities include conducting interviews, profiling, and perform an initial public health risk assessment of COVID-19 cases and their identified close contacts; refer the close contacts to isolation facilities; conduct enhanced contact tracing in collaboration with other agencies and private sectors; conduct daily monitoring of close and general contacts for at least 14 days, and perform such other tasks in relation to the COVID response.
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