DOH asks public not to discriminate vs COVID-19 patients

Marje Pelayo   •   April 6, 2020   •   913

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Sunday (April 5) asked the public not to mistreat or discriminate against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients.

Such behavior would definitely have an impact on the country’s efforts in fighting the disease.

“Nalulungkot po kami kapag nakakarinig ng mga kwento ng ating mga positive cases, kasama na rin ang ating exposed healthcare workers, na nakakaranas ng diskriminasyon at stigma, [It saddens us to hear stories of positive cases including exposed healthcare workers who experienced discrimination and stigma],” DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said at a briefing on Sunday.

“Gusto ko lamang pong sabihin sa lahat,  pakiusap (na) huwag mamahiya ng mga taong may COVID-19, [I ask everybody to please, do not shame patients with COVID-19],” she added.

The official said the ‘stigma’ against COVID-19 positive patients may lead to other positive patients to conceal their condition which consequently could compromise the national government’s efforts to address their condition.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) has urged the local governments to formulate measures that would penalize any act of discrimination and harassment against frontliners and COVID-19 positive patients.

IATF-EID spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles warned that acts of discrimination such as coercion, slander and physical injuries shall be dealt with under the law as well as dishonoring of contractual obligations like contracts of lease or employment of COVID-19 patients.

UP Diliman academic oval closed from Jan. 23 to Feb.4

Marje Pelayo   •   January 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Joggers may need to find another place to stretch their legs as the University of the Philippines (UP) in Diliman is temporarily closing its academic oval.

In light of the UK Covid-19 variant and the increasing number of cases in the country, the state university will not allow any visitor to the so-called ‘sunken garden’ from January 23 to February 4, 2021.

The University asks for the public’s understanding and cooperation as this measure is purely for safety reasons.

Image may contain: text that says 'Hello there! We know that you've heard COVID-19 has variants now. And lately, the number of cases infected with the virus has gone up again. For health and safety reasons, UP Diliman decided to temporarily close the Academic Oval to the public on Saturday, January 23 until Thursday, February 4, 2021. The Academic Oval will be opened on Friday, February 5, 2021. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation, as always! And please, stay safe. See you soon! UPD-Anouncement-2021-s.4 f OfficialUPDiliman @Official_UPD @officialupdiliman upd.edu.ph'

Davao City sets fine vs individuals with fake, tampered COVID-19 test results

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 22, 2021

DAVAO, Philippines—Davao City has signed an ordinance imposing fine on individuals using fake or tampered COVID-19 test results.

This was after numerous falsified COVID-19 test results were reported in various airports in Davao City, including Francisco Bangoy International Airport.

The new ordinance states that persons with falsified or tampered test results will face a P5,000 fine.

“Test result and other health verification documents includes, but not limited to, the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction(RT-PCR) test, rapid antigen test, other serologic tests, or any other similar tests that may be used in the future,” the statement reads.

Meanwhile, persons or establishments who shall fabricate any false or tampered result, or shall present themselves as testing centers, without proper authority from the Department of Health will also be penalized with the administrative fee of 5,000 pesos.

Since November 2020, twenty-eight (28) individuals have been caught presenting falsified RT-PCR test results upon their arrival in Davao City airports. AAC

IATF amends protocols, exempts some foreigners from travel ban

Robie de Guzman   •   January 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has amended its earlier resolution to exempt some foreigners from a travel ban imposed by the Philippines against the new coronavirus variant, the Malacañang said Friday.

“The IATF amended its earlier resolution, IATF Resolution No 92, on all foreign travelers covered by travel restrictions because of the new COVID-19 variants by specifying those exempted, such as foreign nationals with valid visas, which include personnel of accredited international organizations, and spouse and minor children of Filipino citizens traveling with them,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.

“Those who arrive for medical and emergency cases, including their medical escorts, if any, are now subject to applicable testing and quarantine protocols as prescribed by the Department of Health (DOH),” he added.

The country’s travel restriction, which will last until January 31, covers travelers from the following countries:

  • United Kingdom
  • Denmark
  • Ireland
  • Japan
  • Australia
  • Israel
  • The Netherlands
  • China (including Hong Kong)
  • Switzerland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Lebanon
  • Singapore
  • Sweden
  • South Korea
  • South Africa
  • Canada
  • Spain
  • United States
  • Portugal
  • India
  • Finland
  • Norway
  • Jordan
  • Brazil
  • Austria
  • Pakistan
  • Jamaica
  • Luxembourg
  • Oman
  • UAE
  • Hungary

Meanwhile, from the strict observation of an absolute 14-day facility-based quarantine period for Filipino citizens coming from areas where travel restrictions are in place, Roque said the IATF amended this to prescribed testing and quarantine protocols.

“Further, Filipino citizens arriving for highly exceptional and/or medical reasons and local diplomats are now subject to applicable quarantine protocols as prescribed by the DOH,” he added.

On testing and quarantine protocols for passengers coming from, or transiting through, countries where travel restrictions are in place due to new COVID-19 variants, Roque said that these incoming passengers shall be tested upon arrival and shall be quarantined until the result of the subsequent test administered on the fifth day is released.

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