DOH suspects eggs served at Imelda’s birthday behind food poisoning

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 4, 2019   •   2433

The pre-packed lunch consisting of rice with chicken adobo and egg that is suspected to have caused the poisoning of over guests at former first lady Imelda Marcos’s birthday celebration on July 2, 2019

Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III said the egg served during former first lady Imelda Marcos’s birthday celebration may have caused the food poisoning of over 200 guests.

“It could have come from the eggs, because the most common report is that the eggs tasted rotten, if not spoiled. It could be contamination already,” according to Duque.

Victims said they have eaten rice with chicken adobo and egg. One of the guests, Alice Cañarez, recalled that the said food was served first.

“Marami pong nag-donate ng pagkain. Although iyong talagang naunang kainin ng mga tao ay iyong cater po na naka-packed lunch, (Many have donated food. Although the first one served was the packed lunch),” she said.

The health department is currently examining the food and water served during the birthday celebration.

They will also monitor the situation of the victims even after their discharge from the hospital. Duque said they will monitor the victims’ oral re-hydration until they fully recover.

Meanwhile in a statement, former Senator Bongbong Marcos apologized for the incident and assured they will provide assistance to the victims of food poisoning.

“Kami po ay nakikipag-ugnayan sa mga maaapektuhan at patuloy na umaasikaso sa kanila. Ako po ay humihingi ng pahumanhin at lubos na pag-unawa sa nangyaring ito. Makakaasa po kayo sa aming tulong hanggang sa ang lahat ay tuluyang gumaling, (We are coordinating with the affected individuals and continuing to assist them. I apologize and ask for your understanding. We assure to provide assistance until everyone fully recover)” he said.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

PH may possibly ‘flatten the curve’ if MECQ extends for two more weeks – Experts

Marje Pelayo   •   August 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) believes that the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) needs to be extended for two more weeks for the government to assess its effectiveness in containing the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) transmission.

According to DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, it is still early to conclude if quarantine restrictions could be lifted or extended in areas under MECQ as they have many factors to consider before they can decide on what could happen after the two-week MECQ. 

“Hindi natin masasabi pa sa ngayon kung ano na talaga ang nangyayari [We cannot tell what will happen as of yet],” Vergeire said.

“We will see the effect maybe three weeks to one month kasi may 14 days incubation period. May nadagdag ba? Nakahinga ba ang ating health system dito sa two weeks na nakapag- recalibrate tayo [We will see the effect maybe three weeks to one month given the 14-days incubation period. Did the number increase? Was our health system able to breathe in these two weeks that we were able to recalibrate]?” she added. 

Vergeire said, for now, they cannot really tell if the National Capital Region (NCR) can be reverted to general community quarantine (GCQ).

Meanwhile, experts are still studying the rate of COVID-19 cases in the country and the current capacity of hospitals. 

Usec. Vergeire also noted the importance of active participation of local government units (LGU) to curb the spread of COVID-19 in communities, especially in clustered barangays in the NCR.

“Hirap pa tayo magbigay sa ngayon [We cannot conclude yet at the moment]. It is not just the cases that we are looking for during assessment. Tingnan din natin capacity ng health system [We should also look at the capacity of our health system],” Vergeire noted.

The UP OCTA Research group, on the other hand, said their case projection has slowed down because of the government-imposed MECQ. 

From 200,000, their case projection lowered to about 170,000 to 190,000 cases.

According to Dr. Guido David, the COVID-19 R-Naught or rate of transmission has dropped since the implementation of MECQ when most of the people are confined in their homes.

The group believes that if the MECQ is further extended, the Philippines might achieve the flattening of the curve. 

“It’s very possible even by end of August pwede nang ma- flatten ang curve, pero [the curve can be flattened but] like I said, flattening of the curve at the end hindi ibig sabihin katapusan na ito [doesn’t mean it’s over],” David said.

Hopefully, kapag nag- flatten ang curve maybe we can already sustain it kapag nag- GCQ na tayo [Hopefully, when the curve is finally flattened, we can already sustain it once we shift to GCQ],” he added.

Dr. David noted that although the community quarantine has been an enormous help in containing the virus, the most important still is the overall effort and collaboration of the public and those who enforce the minimum health protocols, especially the wearing of face masks. 

The DOH, meanwhile, advised the public particularly those with elderly family members and immunocompromised individuals to always wear masks even inside the house and maintain social distancing to curb COVID-19 transmission. –MNP (with details from Aiko Miguel)

DOH explains COVID-19 recoveries are symptoms-based, not test-based

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 31, 2020

All the mild and asymptomatic cases that had undergone quarantine for 14 days have been considered recovered after not exhibiting any symptoms of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), according to the Department of Health (DOH).

The DOH said this policy is the global standard where symptoms-based is used and not test-based in declaring a recovered COVID-19 patient.

Kapag asymptomatic po siya after 14 days without symptoms, they can already be tagged as recovered pwede na po siyang mag- trabaho (If he is asymptomatic after 14 days without symptoms, he can already be tagged as recovered and resume work), according to DOH Usec. Rosario Vergeire.

Still, Vergeire said that it is important that a recovered individual should have an assessment from a physician confirming his recovery.

The number of daily recoveries went up to over 38,000 on Thursday (July 30), with a total of 65,054 recovered cases. The daily number of cases, meanwhile, went over 3,000.

The DOH said the ‘mass recoveries’ and surge of cases is due to the ‘reconciliation efforts’ of the department to consolidate its data with the data of local government units (LGUs) through Oplan Recovery.

Oplan Recovery is the DOH’s initiative to monitor the status of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country. –AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

COVID-19 cases in Phl hit 80,000 mark

Maris Federez   •   July 27, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Sunday, July 26, reported that the number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the country has reached 80,448.

The health department added that “a total of 2,110 confirmed cases are reported based on the total tests done by 66 out of 90 current operational labs.”

The DOH also confirmed 382 recoveries, bringing the total number to 26,110.

The recorded COVID-19 death toll, meanwhile, has reached 1,932 with an additional 39 fatalities.

The department noted that 74 duplicates were removed from the total case count.

DOH Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire has earlier said that although the country has recorded an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, the case doubling time has slowed down.

“Ang nakikita po nating dahilan dito ay dahil sa continuously improving na case treatment and management protocols ng ating bansa sa pag-handle ng mga COVID-19 patients,” Vergeire said.

Meanwhile, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that the possibility of Metro Manila reverting to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) will likely happen if the total number of COVID-19 cases reaches 85,000 in July as projected by the University of the Philippines (UP) OCTA Research.

He added, however, that this could be avoided if the public will not ignore the minimum health standards now that many has been allowed to go out. — /mbmf

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