Davao City to re-impose curfew hours starting Oct. 15

Robie de Guzman   •   October 13, 2020   •   221

The Davao City government has announced it will re-impose curfew hours amid the continuing threat of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In an advisory, the city government said curfew hours from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. will be re-implemented starting Oct. 15 until Dec. 31, 2020 as part of its efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte said the measure is based on interviews with patients infected with COVID-19.

“Base ni siya sa mga interviews sa confirmed COVID-19 patients, nakita nato ang mga lihok and we deemed it na kinahanglan na iregulate ang mga activities nga ginabuhat sa mga tao nga dili essential,” she said on Monday’s broadcast of the Davao City Disaster Radio.

(This is based on interviews of confirmed COVID-19 patients. We have seen their movement and deemed it necessary to regulate the non-essential activities of the people.)

Mayor Sara noted that the surge in the number of coronavirus cases continued after the relaxation of movement restrictions under the current Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) and the lifting of the curfew hours in July.

She stressed the need to control the cases in the city because of the critical status of the number of beds dedicated to COVID-19 patients in the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC).

Duterte also said the re-implementation of the curfew aims to pre-empt the possible increase of cases due to after-work non-essential activities ahead of the holiday season.

In an Executive Order No. 55 issued on Monday, Duterte said the following are exempted from the curfew hours:

  • All government workers who are on duty during curfew hours;
  • All private offices and establishments employees who time in and time out of work within the curfew hours, this shall mean to include their travel to and from their residence;
  • All medical doctors and veterinarians who need to work;
  • Workers of public utility companies (energy, water, internet, etc.) conducting construction, maintenance, or emergency activities

The following are also exempted from the curfew:

  • Subsistence and business fishing activities, their vessels are subject to lawful inspection by the Maritime Police, Task Force Davao, Navy or Coast Guard, if there is a reasonable belief that there is an illegal activity or unlawful materials in the vessel;
  • Individuals attending the wake of a family member;
  • All medical, emergency, and disaster cases.

Individuals who are inspected on the streets or stopped in checkpoints are required to present an employee’s ID of an establishment operating within the curfew hours.

Mayor Sara stressed that the curfew shall cover only individuals but offices, establishments, places of worship, and other institutions are encouraged to adjust their operating hours.

Duterte also tasked the City Transport and Traffic Management Office (CTTMO) to monitor and provide transportation augmentation for passengers who will be stranded during the curfew hours.

Buying liquors and other intoxicating drinks is also banned from 7 pm to 5 am every day. Drinking in public places such as roads, alleys, open spaces, and other similar places is prohibited every day at any given time.

Also, all videoke and karaoke sessions inside private property shall be prohibited from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily.

All public venues and establishments that do not have a business permit to operate as a videoke, karaoke, or sing-along place are prohibited to operate their equipment 24 hours a day.

The city government warned to impose sanctions against those who will violate the rules.

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DOH reiterates warning vs use of misting, fog machines as disinfectants

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 28, 2020

Misting and fog machines are still not recommended by the Department of Health (DOH) to be used as disinfectants to protect individuals from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The health department said there is no concrete evidence proving the effectiveness of such machines in killing the virus. Instead, these machines pose risks in further spreading the virus in the environment.

“The routine application of disinfectants to environmental surfaced by spraying or fogging in indoor spaces also known as fumigation or misting is not recommended for COVIID-19,” according to DOH Spokesperson Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire.

The World Health Organization (WHO) released a report in May stating that misting machines used as a disinfectant might result in skin irritation and difficulty in breathing. Fogging, meanwhile, may have negative environmental effects.

Iyan po iyong kasama sa sinasabing rekomendasyon ng WHO that it may cause harm, cause more harm than good (That is included in WHO’s recommendation), Vergeire said.

The health department reminded households to use the right amount of disinfectant directly on objects or any household items.

The DOH added it is better to wipe the surface with disinfectant instead of just spraying them. AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

Ombudsman suspends 5 DOH officials for delay in release of frontliner benefits

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 28, 2020

The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered a preventive suspension against five Department of Health (DOH) officials for the alleged delays in the release of frontliner benefits.

Ombudsman Samuel Martires signed the order on Tuesday (October 27) to preventively suspend for six months Health Undersecretary Roger Tong-an; Kenneth Ronquillo, Maylene Beltran, Laureano Cruz and Esperanza Carating.

The order is to prevent the officials from potentially tampering with documents or evidence while an investigation on the health department is ongoing.

The investigation was opened in June to look into the alleged delay in the procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and other medical gears, alleged lapses that led to the rising number of health workers infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), inaction to the release of financial benefits for fallen medical workers, as well as confusing and delayed reports of COVID-19 cases in the country.

The DOH previously welcomed the said investigation and assured they will fully cooperate with the appropriate authorities. AAC

WHO solidarity trial in PH to begin in December—DOH

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 27, 2020

The solidarity trial of the World Health Organization (WHO) for potential vaccines against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the Philippines and other countries will begin in December.

Department of Health (DOH) Spokesperson Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire said 150 to 200 will participate in the trial in 12 sites in the country.

Sa November kasi parang maguumpisa sa isang site and mag-follow na po iyong iba’t ibang clinical trials in the other countries including the Philippines by December of 2020 (The trial will begin in November in one site and it will be followed by other clinical trials in other countries including the Philippines by December of 2020), she said.

The Health Department also announced Interferon will no longer be a part of WHO’s solidarity trial. Vergeire reported the said drug did not reduce the mortality rate of COVID-19 patients.

Iyong gamot hindi na-reach objective (The medicine did not reach its objective),” she said.

The WHO has previously discontinued the use of hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir treatment after seeing no signs of effectiveness in treating COVID-19 patients.

Meanwhile, the WHO added two drugs for the therapeutics solidarity trial, which include Acalabrutinib that is used for the chemotherapeutic regimen of patients. AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)


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