DOH: Hospitals in CALABARZON on code blue alert due to Taal eruption

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 13, 2020   •   856

Hospitals in CALABARZON region are in code blue alert due to the Taal volcano eruption, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

“Aside from those na naka-duty (Aside from those [health personnel] on duty) 50% of those who are not on duty are now deployed and are working,” according to Health Department Spokesperson Usec. Eric Domingo.

The health department already distributed N95 masks, eye drops, water disinfectants, and medicines in the CALABARZON region.

They also advised the public to remain in their homes and stay updated with the latest health advisories about the Taal eruption.

Domingo said they will remain on high alert for a possible increase in lung and eye disease cases caused by the exposure to volcanic ash.

One of the possible lung diseases include silicosis which cannot be easily detected by doctors. Domingo said inhalation of ashfall can cause inflammation and scarring of the lungs.

“Iyong kasing ibang ash particles mayroong silicon kapag na-inhale mo siya papunta sa lungs mo pwede siyang mag-deposit doon at pwedeng mag- accumulate (Some ash particles contains silicon. When inhaled, can accumulate in the lungs),” he said.

He also reminded the public to wear N95 masks, for those in severely affected areas, and surgical masks for those in Metro Manila. —AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

From danger zone to moderate, DOH sees downward trend of COVID-19 cases

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 28, 2020

The number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the country is now at a downward trend, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

DOH Spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire said that, for the past six days, the number of new COVID-19 cases that they have been recording has been under 3,000.

We look at the trends noong ating mga averages per week. Makikita natin bumababa, nakikita natin bumababa tayo ng around 1,000 to 1,200 cases na comparing to the previous (We look at the trends in our average record per week. We see a decline in number around 1,000 to 1,200 cases compared to the previous records), she said.

This is also an indication that COVID-19 transmission in the country, especially in the National Capital Region (NCR), has dropped from the danger zone to moderate. From the 81% Critical Care Utilization Rate in the NCR last August, it went down to 60%.

The Critical Care Utilization Rate refers to the availability of ICU beds in COVID-19 wards, ventilator facilities, and other hospital needs for COVID-19 patients.

Health Undersecretary and Treatment Czar Dr. Leopoldo Vega said the decrease in the number of cases can help in recalibrating the strategies and responses of local government units in addressing the pandemic. This includes a boost in contract tracing and isolation of COVID-19 patients.

Ang malaking bahagi talaga sa pagsugpo ng COVID-19 ay iyong public health measure. At nakikita mo naman lalo na sa Metro Manila na kapag ang LGU ay aggressive sa testing, isolation at tracing ng mga positive sa COVID-19 ay malaki ng pagbabago (The huge part in fighting COVID-19 is public health measure. As you can see, especially in Metro Manila, if an LGU is aggressive in testing, isolation and tracing of COVID-19 positive it makes a huge difference),he said.

However, the DOH official said there are still areas where COVID-19 cases remain high and that the public should stay vigilant in abiding by the health and safety protocols.

Vergeire also said that despite the decline, the department still does not recommend to ease the quarantine restrictions in the country.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases should also consider other indicators such as the attack and growth curve before submitting their recommendation. AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

DOH to conduct nationwide measles campaign beginning October 26

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 21, 2020

The Department of Health (DOH) will conduct a nationwide measles and polio supplemental immunization campaign starting October 26.

DOH Secretary Secretary Francisco Duque said there is still a need to prevent possible measles outbreak especially while the country is facing the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

As of August 2020, there are around 3,500 reported measles cases with 36 deaths. Most of the cases are among children under five years old.

The nationwide Measles Rubella-Oral Polio Vaccine Supplemental Immunization campaign will be rolled out in two phases. The DOH will be conducting the campaign for children under five years old which is around 9.4 million children for the measles-rubella vaccine and 6.9 million children for the oral polio vaccine.

“Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, a high-quality immunization campaign is urgently needed to stop measles transmission and possible outbreaks. We encourage parents and caregivers to have their children immunized. The measles vaccine is safe, effective and free,” he said.

The DOH’s immunization campaign is supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). UNICEF Philippines Representative Oyunsaikhan Dendevnoro said there have been immunization challenges brought by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are at an especially challenging time when immunization for children is being threatened. All of us must do our part in ensuring children in our family are immunized, and that we provide the correct information to parents, community members and among our peers,” she said.

Meanwhile, Duque also assured that the health care workers who will participate in the campaign have been trained and will be provided with personal protective equipment.

The Phase 1 of the campaign will be conducted from 26 October to 25 November 2020 in Mindanao Regions, CAR, I, II, IV-B and V. Phase 2 will be conducted in February 2021 in Visayas Regions, NCR, III and IV-A. AAC

DOH records 3,311 additional confirmed COVID-19 patients

Maris Federez   •   September 21, 2020

Specimen collection for coronavirus testing

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) has issued a bulletin on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) showing that the total number of COVID-19 cases was at 286,743, as of 4PM on Sunday, September 20, 2020.

This, after health authorities reported that 3,311 newly-confirmed cases added to the list of COVID-19 patients.

The DOH also announced that there are 20,021 recoveries which comprised of 625 from routine reports and 19,396 time-based recoveries. This brings the total number of recoveries to 229,865.

The statement also reported that of the 3,311 reported cases, 2,774 (84%) occurred within the recent 14 days (September 7 – September 20, 2020). The top regions with cases in the recent two weeks were NCR with 1,182 (43%), Region 4A with 555 (20%) and Region 6 with 299 (11%) cases.

The department has also recorded 55 fatalities due to COVID-19. This is comprised of 33 in September (60%), 17 in August (31%) and 5 in July (9%).

The report also showed 29 duplicates that were removed from the total case count. Of these, 14 recovered cases and 1 death have been removed. One case, on the other hand, was reactivated after further validation.

The report further showed that 28 cases that were previously tagged as recovered have been reclassified to deaths (25) and active cases (3) after final validation. — /mbmf

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