DOH monitors, allays fears over suspected MERS-Cov in Laguna

admin   •   February 21, 2019   •   3010

Transmission electron micrograph of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus |Credit: NIAID

The Department of Health (DOH) has allayed public fears following a report on a suspected case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection in Laguna.

A male patient suspected to have MERS-CoV infection was brought to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Muntinlupa on Wednesday morning.

A source told UNTV News and Rescue that the patient is an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) who arrived in the Philippines on February 14 from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

He was first rushed to the Laguna Doctors Hospital in Sta. Cruz, Lauguna on February 19 after complaining of cough and high fever. He was immediately transferred to the RITM for further analysis and observation.

MERS, also known as camel flu, is a viral respiratory infection caused by a novel CoronaVirus (CoV). Its symptoms may range from mild to severe fever, cough, chills, vomiting or diarrhea and shortness of breath. It was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012.

DOH said the situation is under control and that the patient has been placed on isolation and is being monitored closely.

DOH Media Relations Officer 3 Glen Ramos also told reporters that the case is yet to be confirmed as MERS-CoV, although the patient has manifested its symptoms.

“One cannot just say it is suspected MERS. Usual manifestations [of the disease] include meningo, high fever. The patient came from the Middle East that is why they say it’s MERS. But the RESU has not reported to us that it is suspected MERS,” Ramos explained.

The emergency room of the Laguna Doctors Hospital, where the patient was first rushed, has been closed temporarily for decontamination.

Medical personnel who had interaction with the patient were also required to stay in the hospital for now to undergo observation.

Ramos, however, clarified that the virus is not easily transmitted.

“There must be close contact for transmission, such as sex with an individual with MERS, also through body fluid,” Ramos explained.

The patient is currently undergoing medical examinations at the RITM and laboratory results may be out within two or three days.

Meanwhile, the RITM-DOH urged the public to refrain from disseminating unverified information about the said case where it can easily be taken out of context and add to the growing public concern.

In a statement posted on its twitter account, the agency also advised the public to wait for official announcements from the DOH.

“The patient suspected for MERS-CoV is still under investigation and testing. Results will be confirmed once the laboratory tests and procedures are finished. We encourage the public to wait for the official announcement from the Department of Health,” the statement read. – Robie de Guzman (with reports from Sherwin Culubong)

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Laguna to be placed under COVID-19 Alert Level 3 starting January 7

Robie de Guzman   •   January 6, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The province of Laguna has been escalated to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases, Malacañang announced.

In a statement, acting Presidential Spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Laguna’s alert level designation will take effect from January 7 until January 15.

Nograles said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases approved the recommendation late Wednesday night.

Laguna joins neighboring provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, and Rizal under Alert Level 3.

The National Capital Region is also under the same alert level due to the sharp increase in COVID-19 cases.

Under Alert Level 3, several business establishments will allowed to operate at 30% indoor capacity for fully vaccinated individuals, and 50% outdoor capacity, provided that all personnel are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Contact sports, face-to-face classes, amusement parks, funfairs, casinos are among the establishments and activities are not allowed under Alert Level 3.

The Philippines on Wednesday logged 10,775 new COVID-19 cases, nearly double from Tuesday’s figures. Authorities have warned about the possibility of a local transmission of the Omicron variant due to the steep increase in cases.

PNP-IAS clears 10 cops in death of minor in Laguna drug ops

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine National Police-Internal Affairs Service (PNP-IAS) has cleared 10 policemen of wrongdoing in the anti-drug operation that resulted in the death of a minor in Laguna.

According to PNP Chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar, the investigation belies allegations that the incident was a case of human rights abuse and extra-judicial killing.

Sa paglabas ng imbestigasyon na ito ng IAS, muling napatunayan na walang katotohanan ang mga paratang na may drug-related operations ang PNP na may bahid ng pang-aabuso gaya ng gustong palabasin ng iba (With the release of the IAS’s investigation, it again proves that there is no truth in the allegations that some  of PNP’s drug-related operations have traces of abuse as what others would like to imply),” he said.

Last June 16, operatives of the Laguna Police Intelligence Unit conducted an anti-illegal drug operation against notorious drug suspect, Antonio Dalit in Biñan City. Dalit and his 16-year-old companion, Jhondy Maglinte Helis engaged police operatives and were killed in a shootout.

Helis’ family claimed that Dalit and the teenager were executed by the PNP operatives. However, based on the IAS investigation, there is no indication that the two suspects were killed in cold blood and no witness surfaced to attest to the alleged execution. Helis’ family also refused to cooperate with the IAS investigation.

Eleazar assured that as chief of the national police, he would remain fair in handling cases involving PNP personnel. AAC

MECQ sa Metro Manila at Laguna, simula na bukas pero non-essential activities, limitado pa rin — Malakanyang

Robie de Guzman   •   August 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Simula sa Sabado, Agosto 21 ay ilalagay na sa modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) ang Metro Manila at Laguna.

Ngunit ayon sa Malakanyang, mananatili pa ring limitado ang non-essential trips at activities sa ilalim ng nasabing protocol.

Hindi pa rin papayagan ang indoor at al-fresco dine-in services, pati na ang personal care services gaya ng beauty salon, parlor, barbershop at nail spa.

Bawal pa ring magbukas ang entertainment venues gayundin ang outdoor at indoor sports courts at venues, indoor at outdoor tourist attractions, pati na ang venues para sa meetings, conferences at iba pa.

Mananatili ring virtual o online ang religious gatherings.

Sa Agosto 23 naman magsisimula ang pagpapatupad ng MECQ sa lalawigan ng Bataan.

Kasabay nito, inaatasan ang mga lokal na pamahalaan sa mga lugar na ito na paigtingin pa ang kanilang vaccination efforts, gayundin ang prevent-detect-isolate-treat-reintegrate o PDITR strategies at ang pagpapatupad ng minimum public health standards.

Limitado ang onsite operations para sa mga manggagawa at dapat ding magpatupad ng istriktong granular lockdowns sa Metro Manila, Laguna at Bataan kung kinakailangan.

Bagaman pinahihintulutan naman ang necrological services, burol, inurnment at funerals sa non-COVID-19 deaths, limitado lamang ito sa immediate family members.

Ayon kay Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, kinakailangang maging madiskarte ang lahat upang mapigilan ang pagkakaroon ng COVID-19 outbreak.

“Ang mga miyembro ng IATF ay nagdesisyon na kinakailangan nating ng panibagong istratehiya at paraan para magawa ang ating trabaho para makontrol ang lalo pang pagkalat ng COVID-19 ng mga variants. tandaan na ang community quarantine ay hindi nag-iisang solusyon sa pandemiya,” ani Roque.

Samantala, batay naman sa napagkasunduan ng Metro Manila Council, pananatilihin ang unified curfew sa lahat ng lungsod at munisipalid sa rehiyon mula alas-otso ng gabi hanggang alas-kwatro ng madaling araw.

Papayagan na rin ang outdoor exercises subalit maaari lamang itong gawin mula alas-sais lamang hanggang alas-nuwebe ng umaga.

Paalala ng Palasyo, limitado pa rin ang paglabas ng bahay at ang pagbiyahe lamang para sa mga pangunahing pangangailangan, serbisyo at trabaho sa mga pinahihintulutang industriya ang papayagan sa MECQ areas. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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