Davao City reverted to GCQ until Nov. 30 – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   November 20, 2020   •   800

MANILA, Philippines – Davao City has reverted to general community quarantine (GCQ) following the increase of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the city, Malacañang announced Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Davao City will be under GCQ beginning Friday, November 20 until November 30.

A one hospital command center will also be established in the city to ensure an “efficient referral system” as private hospitals are mandated to increase their ward bed occupancy up to 30%.

“Further, efforts will be made to address the shortage of nurses in health facilities and to provide additional high-oxygen cannulae, Favipiravir (Avigan), Remdesivir, medical equipment, among others,” Roque said in a statement.

“Accommodation establishments will be tapped to serve as quarantine facilities for health workers as well as the isolation of positive cases of COVID-19,” he added.

Law enforcement agencies are likewise directed to assist in the enforcement of granular lockdowns upon affected communities or clusters, and if necessary, deploy personnel in the city.

Melquiades Feliciano, deputy chief implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 for the cities and Bacolod and Cebu, has been assigned to head the teams to be deployed in Davao City to assist in the response activities.

Data from the Department of Health Region 11 showed that as of Nov. 19, Davao City has recorded 5,520 COVID-19 cases, 1,874 of which are active.

The regional Inter-Agency Task Force earlier declared Davao City as a restricted local government unit which limits the movement and entry of travelers who will be visiting the city by either air, land, or sea to curb the rising coronavirus infections.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte issued Executive Order (EO) No. 63 which details the requirements and the list of authorized persons outside residence allowed entry to the city. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lucille Lloren)

Davao City boosts tracing; probes possible link of first COVID-19 variant case

Robie de Guzman   •   February 18, 2021

The city government of Davao on Thursday said it has stepped up the investigation and contact tracing on the possible source of the city’s first known case of the B.1.1.7 variant of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) first detected in the United Kingdom.

This is after the city reported a case of a 10-year old male who tested positive for the new variant last week.

Dr. Ashley Lopez, the acting chief of the City Health Office, said the case was among the sixth batch of samples sequenced by the Philippine Genome Center on February 8, in which 3 of the 19 new cases of the B.1.1.7 in the country were traced in Davao Region.

Two of the cases are from Davao de Oro and the other one is from Davao City.

Lopez said the health office immediately investigated the case and conducted tracing for the patient’s close contacts.

“The boy was immediately isolated after he tested positive on January 18. He was isolated for 10 days because he was asymptomatic,” he said.

“After 10 days the boy was sent home and continued quarantine for four more days,” he added.

The child has fully recovered on February 1 but remains in quarantine at home, according to Lopez.

The patient’s grandmother, whom he had contact with during the holidays, recently completed a 21-day quarantine. His parents have already taken RT-PCR tests and both have yielded negative results.

The city health official said there is no clear evidence yet on how the boy contracted the B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant.

“The family has no history of travel even in the past year and has no known contact with a suspected UK variant or foreigner. We can’t find a history of exposure to a probable UK variant,” Lopez said based on their assessment.

He said there is no evidence of community transmission of the coronavirus variant in the city.

Davao City identifies 7 vaccination sites for COVID-19 immunization program

Robie de Guzman   •   February 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The city government of Davao has identified seven vaccination sites for the expected rollout of the COVID-19 immunization plan this month.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Davao City Health Office (CHO) head Dr. Ashley Lopez said that aside from the A. Mabini Elementary School in Bangkal, they have already identified additional vaccination sites for the city.

These are the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), University of Southeastern Philippines, Ateneo de Davao University-Matina Campus, and three branches of the University of Mindanao namely Guianga, IIang, and Bolton campuses.

Lopez said each vaccination site will have three teams comprised of 18 members.

A separate composite team will also be an deployed to the site to monitor any adverse effect on recipients following the immunization.

“We have already organized our vaccination teams composed of at least six members per team made up of a supervisor which is a physician, registration, and screening also a physician or a nurse or a midwife, one counselor, one vaccinator and two staff that is responsible for recording and documentation,” he said.

“For monitoring, we have the paramedic nurse and midwife and surveillance officer [that] we will put up in the vaccination site, composed of three teams, that’s about six staff that will be responsible for the composite team,” he added.

Security personnel will be also deployed to maintain peace and order in the vaccination areas, Lopez said.

“For our queuing and crowd control, we have tapped local officials from the barangay captains, security personnel from PNP and barangay tanods, which is more or less 20 designates for a particular vaccination site,” he added.

The city health office also instructed district health offices in Davao City to identify at least one vaccination site within their area of responsibility.

“Aside from these seven approved vaccination sites in Davao City, we will going to add up additional at least 13 to 14 more vaccination sites from the district health offices,” he said.

Davao City earlier conducted simulation exercises in preparation for the arrival, transport, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in the city.

IATF allows arcades, cinemas and other businesses to reopen in GCQ areas – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   February 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The government’s task force for COVID-19 response has allowed the reopening of more businesses in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ), Malacañang announced Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has approved the reopening and further expansion of the following businesses/industries:

  • Driving schools
  • Traditional cinemas
  • Video and interactive-game arcades
  • Libraries 
  • Archives
  • Museums and cultural centers

The conduct of meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions, and limited social events at credited establishments of the Department of Tourism have also been allowed.

The IATF approved the new policy during its 99th meeting on Thursday, February 11, as authorities sought to boost the country’s economy battered by the pandemic.

“Also approved is the reopening of limited tourist attractions, such as parks, theme parks, natural sites and historical landmarks,” Roque said.

He stressed that the reopening and further expansion of businesses/industries “shall be subject to the issuance of the implementing guidelines which will provide for the operational capacity, and oversight of the appropriate regulatory agency and the concerned local government units where these businesses/industries are located.”

“These businesses/industries shall comply with the strict observance of minimum public health standards set by the Department of Health,” Roque added.

Metro Manila is under GCQ for the month of February, as well as the Cordillera Administrative Region, Batangas, Tacloban City, Davao City, Davao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, and Iligan City.

The rest of the country is under modified GCQ, the loosest quarantine restriction level.

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