DOH, DFA eye travel ban on India

Marje Pelayo   •   April 27, 2021   •   425

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) are looking at the possibility of implementing a travel ban to and from India due to the massive surge of COVID-19 cases in the country.

On Monday (April 26), Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID variants is closely monitoring the Sars-CoV-2 variant that was first detected in India.

Said variant has a high transmissibility rate, Vergeire added.

“Dito po sa atin sa Pilipinas, we reviewed all our records, pinaaral din natin sa Philippine Genome Center. We have not detected yet this kind of variant across the 5,000 na na-sequence na po natin na mga specimen dito sa ating bansa,” she said.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III noted India’s lax quarantine restrictions that led to the spike in COVID-19 cases in the country.

On Monday, India set a global record for a daily rise in COVID-19 cases with more than 335,000 new cases and deaths of over 195,000.

“Ang mahalagang dapat matutuhan sa India, hindi dapat tayo nagluluwag basta-basta. Dapat ‘yan kina-calibrate natin, yung ating pandemic response. Kasi nangyari sa kanila, nagpabaya, they let their guard down,” Duque said.

For his part, Duque said he favors extending the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in Metro Manila for at least two weeks citing the low improvement in the country’s health care capacity as COVID-19 cases in the country reaches the one million mark.

Longer curfew hours in NCR amid COVID-19 Delta variant threat — MMDA

Maris Federez   •   July 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Metro Manila Council shall impose longer curfew hours anew from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. starting Sunday (July 25) in the National Capital Region (NCR).

This was announced by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) after the capital region was once again placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions.

As provided for in MMDA Resolution No. 21-13, the 17 Metro Manila mayors have agreed to adjust the curfew hours from the previous 12 midnight to 4 in the morning.

This is due to the increase in the number of COVID 19 cases in Metro Manila and to control the further transmission of the Delta variant, the MMDA said.

“While the Metro Manila Council recognizes the imperative to gradually and cautiously open the economy in order to increase business activities, reduce unemployment and underemployment, and promote economic growth, it is equally mindful of the paramount interests of life and health and the strict implementation of the prevent, detect, isolate, treat, and reintegrate strategies,” the resolution stated.

MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos further said that the COVID-19 Delta variant is highly contagious with an R Naught (R0) or reproduction rate of 5 to 8 “that may potentially trigger an exponential surge and local transmission in densely populated areas like the NCR.”

“We need to limit the movement of the public through the imposition of longer curfew hours. Since the Delta variant spreads exponentially, we should not let our guards down and implement necessary restrictions to contain the virus,” Abalos added.

On July 23, Metro Manila was placed under general community quarantine with heightened restrictions until July 31.

DILG hindi pabor sa reproduksyon ng COVID-19 vaccination card

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 23, 2021

Nagbabala ang Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) sa publiko kaugnay ng pagpapagawa ng COVID-19 vaccination card na yari sa isang uri ng plastic card na polyvinyl chloride o PVC.

Ayon kay DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, mahalaga ang vaccination card at ang mga impormasyong nakapaloob dito.

Kaya’t tanging orihinal na kopya lang nito ang dapat gamitin alinsunod na rin sa pamantayan ng Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).

“Madaming paggagamitan iyong vaccination card sa ating mga kababayan para makagalaw, para makapagtrabaho, para makapagbyahe. So, given this situation, kailangan po ay orihinal ang ipakita natin sa mga entry points or kaya naman sa mga mall kung tayo ay senior citizen,” ayon kay Malaya.

Paliwanag pa ng DILG, hindi na orihinal ang kopya nito kung isasaliam sa reproduksyon gaya ng paglalagay ng impormasyon sa PVC card, pagkuha ng litrato, xerox o photocopy at pagpapa-scan nito.

May banta rin sa data privacy o personal na impormasyon ng isang indibiduwal ang pagbibigay ng kopya ng vaccination card sa ibang tao o kumpanya.

Kaya payo ni Malaya, huwag sayangin ang oras, hirap at pera sa pagpapagawa ng PVC vaccination card.

Maari namang protektahan na lang ang orihinal na bakuna card sa pamamagitan ng ilang paraan upang hindi ito masira o mawala kung ito ay dadalahin.

“Kung tayo ay concerned doon sa ating vaccination card, ayaw natin itong masira o mabasa, eh di ipa-laminate na lang. Marami pong paraan para maprotektahan natin ang ating vaccination card without reproducing it or tampering with the original,” ayon kay Malaya.

Maaari namang manghingi ang isang indibidwal lalo pa ang mga pupunta sa ibang bansa ng vaccination certificate sa Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) na maaring magsilbing patunay na ang isang tao ay bakunado na.

Metro Manila LGUs, naghahanda na sa posibleng paglobo ng COVID-19 cases dahil sa Delta variant

Robie de Guzman   •   July 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Naglagay na ng dagdag na isolation facilities ang iba’t ibang local government units (LGU) sa Metro Manila bilang paghahanda sa posibleng pagdami ng COVID-19 cases bunsod ng Delta variant.

Ayon kay Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos, 83 isolation facilities na ang inihahanda sa iba’t ibang lungsod sa Metro Manila at maging sa mga hotel.

Ani Abalos, kailangang maihanda ang mas maraming facility beds para maiwasan na ang nangyaring siksikan sa mga ospital nang magkaroon ng surge ng COVID-19 cases sa unang bahagi ng taon.

“We’ve had this experience before eh remember nung South African and UK variant nung tumaas in just two weeks, kumalat kaagad. Yun talaga, nagsiksikan ang mga ospital, nagsiksikan ang isolation, pero in a way kinaya naman. Talagang naghanap tayo ng mga hotels,” ang pahayag ni Abalos.

Una nang nanawagan ang Department of Health (DOH) at ilang eksperto sa mga lokal na pamahalaan na higpitan pa ang pagpapatupad ng health protocols at contact tracing upang maagapan ang pagkalat ng Delta variant lalo na sa Metro Manila.

Hinimok din ng DOH ang publiko na patuloy na sundin ang mga polisiya sa pagsusuot ng face mask at face shield at social distancing at iwasan ang mass gathering.

Samantala, inihayag naman ni Department of Interior and Local Government spokesperson Jonathan Malaya na pinag-iisipan na ng Metro Manila mayors na ipagbawal ang home quarantine upang maiwasan ang hawahan ng COVID-19 sa isang pamilya.

“Home quarantine is no longer recommended especially dun sa mga areas na may Delta variant. Pag kayo ay nakahalubilo, kailangan dalhin kayo sa facility,” ani Malaya.

Pinaiigting na rin ang operasyon ng One Hospital Command Center upang agad matugunan ang mga kababayang mangangailangan ng atensiyong medical sa gitna ng pandemya. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent JP Nunez)

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