DOH-Calabarzon to appeal decision to put Cavite, Rizal provinces under GCQ starting May 16
Robie de Guzman • May 12, 2020 • 2579
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) Region 4A will appeal the decision of the government to place Cavite and Rizal provinces under a relaxed general community quarantine (GCQ) starting May 16 amid the continuing threat of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
DOH-4A regional director Eduardo Janairo said they will ask the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) to reconsider its recommendation, which was approved by President Rodrigo Duterte, to lift the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Cavite and Rizal provinces as these are among the areas in Calabarzon region that have recorded high COVID-19 infections.
“Gagawa kami ng appeal para ma-consider yung dapat i-consider sa Calabarzon kasi ang alam ko mas alam namin ito kesa sa kanila,” Janairo said.
Among the areas in Calabarzon region, only the Laguna province will be placed under a modified ECQ starting May 16 as stated in the resolution released by the IATF on Tuesday.
The IATF Resolution No. 35 states that a modified ECQ will be imposed on Metro Manila, Laguna and Cebu City until May 31.
Latest data from the DOH-4A showed that Rizal province has 343 confirmed infections and 45 fatalities – the highest recorded in the region.
Laguna has 333 confirmed cases with 30 deaths and 171 recovered patients while Cavite reported 234 positive cases with 25 deaths.
“Hindi kami makapagsang-ayon doon dahil mali yun eh. Ang data nila with the local at saka national at dito sa region malaki ang discrepancy eh,” Janairo said.
The health official said he will also ask the IATF to consider the proximity and safety of Rizal and Cavite provinces to Metro Manila, which is the epicenter of COVID-19 in the country.
The IATF said provinces, cities, and municipalities characterized as low, moderate, and high-risk may appeal their quarantine classification to the task force’s screening and validation committee not later than May 13. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Sherwin Culubong)
MANILA, Philippines — The first batch of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine, China-based Sinovac Biotech’s CoronaVac, finally arrived at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City on Sunday afternoon (February 28).
In a small ceremony, key government officials led by President Rodrigo Duterte welcomed the arrival of 600,000 doses of donated vaccines from Beijing.
“I convey my sincere gratitude to the Chinese people and the government of China for this gesture of friendship and solidarity,” President Rodrigo Duterte said at the ceremony.
The president reiterated that “vaccines should be treated as a global public good and be made available to all.”
“I’m confident more batches of vaccine will be available with great dispatch until every Filipino will be given the chance to get vaccinated,” he said.
Meanwhile, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the arrival of Sinovac vaccine — the first COVID-19 vaccine to reach the Philippines — has sparked hope that the pandemic is nearing its end.
“That plane is carrying hope that we can finally return to our lives and light for our very dark journey,” Roque said.
“Masayang masaya po, buong Pilipinas po nagdiriwang, patapos na po ang pandemya, nariyan na ang bakuna,” Roque said.
“Makakabalik na tayo sa ating mga [dating buhay]. Nagsimula na po tayo, tuloy-tuloy na po tayo,” he added.
Health workers in the National Capital Region are expected to get their first dose of COVID-19 vaccines by March 1. —/mbmf
MANILA, Philippines—The United Kingdom (UK) government has declined the offer of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to deploy more nurses to the UK in exchange for vaccines.
UK Ambassador to the Philippines Daniel Pruce said the recruitment of nurses and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines are two separate issues.
“We’ve got no plans to link vaccines with those conversations around the recruitment of nurses. You know those two strands of conversation I think continue but as I’ve said again we have no plans to link those two issues,” he said during a virtual conference.
DOLE Silvestre Bello III proposed forming an agreement with the UK to lift the deployment cap of healthcare workers, provided the UK would allocate vaccines for them. Bello also made the same proposal with Germany.
DOLE Information and Publication Service (IPS) Director Rolly Francia clarified the proposal was to make sure the nurses are safe when deployed abroad and not for the country to have additional supply of COVID-19 vaccines. This was after the proposal drew ire for making nurses look like ‘commodities’ to be exchanged for vaccines.
“What Secretary Bello wants is to ensure that the nurse gets vaccinated if ever the request for an exemption in the cap would be granted by the President,” Francia said.
Nevertheless, Ambassador Pruce said he will meet with Bello in the coming weeks to further discuss the issue. AAC(with reports from Janice Ingente)
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