DOH to send additional healthcare workers to Ilocos Norte amid high COVID-19 cases

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 22, 2021   •   271

The Department of Health (DOH) said it will send additional healthcare workers to Ilocos Norte amid the high number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases.

“We will address that, we will send neighboring healthcare workers to help as we have done in Cebu, as we have done in Davao, as we have done in many other areas who experienced a surge. We complemented as we have done in National Capital Region (NCR) we got healthcare workers in Mindanao and in the Visayas, facilities to complement the very limited healthcare workers,” according to DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III.

Healthcare workers in Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center, including the Ilocos Norte Medical Society, are seeking a ‘time out’ due to the surge of cases.

Due to the increased COVID-19 cases, Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Marcos Manotoc on Wednesday (July 21) announced that several areas in the province will be placed under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

These areas include the City of Batac and the Municipalities of Bangui, Dingras, Dumalneg, Marcos, Pagudpud, Paoay, Pasuquin, and Solsona.

There will also be an implemented curfew from 9:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. AAC (with reports from Marvin Calas)

DOH says IATF yet to decide on quarantine classifications; asks public not to share unverified info

Robie de Guzman   •   July 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday night called on the public to refrain from sharing unverified information following the circulation of messages about possible lockdowns.

The DOH clarified that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has yet to decide on whether it will recommend stricter quarantine restrictions amid the threat of the more contagious COVID-19 variants.

“We would like to clarify that the IATF has yet to decide on the quarantine classification of Metro Manila and other areas,” the DOH said in a statement.

“We remind the public not to share unverified sources of information to avoid panic and confusion,” it added.

National Task Force against COVID-19 deputy chief implementer Vince Dizon earlier said the national government is open to proposals to implement a lockdown to curb the further spread of coronavirus disease.

The OCTA Research group earlier suggested the enforcement of a two-week “circuit breaker” lockdown in Metro Manila after its COVID-19 reproduction rate climbed to 1.33.

The national government is expected to announce the new quarantine classifications after the IATF meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte Wednesday.

Daily COVID-19 cases sa NCR, posibleng madoble kung hindi magpapatupad ng hard lockdown — OCTA

Robie de Guzman   •   July 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Naniniwala ang OCTA Research group na dapat magpatupad ang pamahalaan ng “circuit breaker” lockdown upang mapigil ang posibilidad ng lubhang pagkalat ng Delta COVID-19 variant sa bansa.

Ayon kay OCTA Research fellow Prof. Ranjit Rye, maaaring magpatupad ng dalawang linggong enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) o kaya ay modified ECQ upang hindi magaya ang Pilipinas sa sitwasyon sa mga kalapit bansa nang kumalat ang Delta variant.

“What we’re envisioning is something along MECQ, ECQ. They will depend on the government and the amount of precaution we need… It was a precautionary recommendation because of an impending, clear, and present danger post of Delta,” ani Rye.

Sa pagtaya ng grupo, kapag hindi naagapan ay maaaring makapagtala ng 1,500 hanggang 3,000 kaso ng COVID-19 kada araw sa National Capital Region sa susunod na dalawang linggo.

Ayon kay OCTA Research fellow Prof. David Guido, nasa 1.33 na ngayon ang COVID-19 reproduction number sa NCR.

Halos kapareho aniya ito ng reproduction rate nang magkaroon ng surge noong unang bahagi ng 2020.

“It looks like it is manageable this time but it may no longer be manageable if we wait too long, before we make a crucial decision in our pandemic management,” ani Guido.

“We are averaging 1,000 cases. Two weeks ago it was just 600, and we thought it was decreasing, but something is driving the pandemic and pushing the caseload higher,” dagdag pa niya.

Dapat ding iwasan na umabot pa ang bansa sa worst-case scenario at umabot sa critical level hanggang 100% full ang hospital capacity sa NCR sa buwan ng Agosto.

Kasabay ng mga paghihigpit ng quarantine classification ay ang tuloy tuloy at mas mabilis na COVID-19 vaccination sa bansa.

Inirerekomenda rin ng grupo na paikliin ang interval sa pagbibigay ng doses ng Sinovac at AstraZeneca vaccines.

“Ramp up vacination even while we’re on lockdown. We can still do it,” ani Rye.

“OCTA is exhorting government to focus on its plan, we believe its plan will work in which the NCR plus 10. I was told by Sec. (Carlito) Galvez some time in August, 2 million Moderna vaccines are coming through as a donation from the United States,” dagdag pa niya.

Samantala, inayunan naman ni Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Secretary Joey Concepcion ang panukalang ito ng OCTA.

“If the government, DOH Secretary Duque will push for a two-week hard lockdown, we will support it because we will prefer to solve the problem early and not wait for the problem to get bigger, then we will have to lockdown for months. That is the most catastrophic thing that could happen in our country if that happens in the 4th quarter,” ani Concepcion.

Una nang ipinahayag ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte sa kaniyang huling State of the Nation Address na kung kinakailangangan ay magpapatupad muli ng lockdown ang pamahalaan dahil sa banta ng Delta variant

Patuloy ang pakiusap ng mga awtoridad sa publiko na maging responsable, huwag magpakampante at magpabakuna na upang makaiwas sa mas mabagsik na Delta COVID-19 variant. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

Close to 3,000 contact tracers trained; 1,800 deployed — TESDA

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) has announced that the government has already trained close to 3,000 contact tracers and has deployed almost 1,800 of them.

During a virtual public briefing on Wednesday (July 28), TESDA Deputy Director-General Aniceto Bertiz said that aside from the programs allotted for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and individuals who lost their jobs to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, TESDA is also training individuals to become contact tracers.

“We were able to produce 2,978 contact tracers all over the country. Halos 1,800 of those are already hired sa mga local government unit (LGUs) (Almost 1,800 of those are already hired by local government units),” he said.

The TESDA official also said they continuously coordinating with LGUs and other industries for the new contact tracers to be hired especially amid the threat of the Delta variant.

Bertiz, meanwhile, said the free upskill training of TESDA will help in lowering the number of unemployed and underemployed Filipinos in the country.

Hinuhubog natin ang ating mga kababayan na magkaroon ng bagong kakayahan and at the same time, we are connecting them hanggang kabuhayan (We are honing our fellowmen to acquire new skills and at the same time, we are connecting them to have livelihood),” he said. -AAC

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