DOH tracing, checking co-travelers of PH’s first 2 cases of variant first detected in India

Robie de Guzman   •   May 14, 2021   •   86

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday said it is currently tracing the 41 individuals who were onboard the same flights as the two overseas Filipino workers who were found with the B.1.617 coronavirus variant that was first detected in India.

In an online press briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the first case, a 37-year old male who arrived from Oman, had six close contacts on his flight.

The second case, a 58-year old male who traveled from the United Arab Emirates, had 35 close contacts.

Citing protocols in a plane setting, Vergeire explained that close contacts refer to persons located four sets on the front, at the back, and the sides of a COVID-19 case.

“We are tracing all of them and trying to check all of their statuses,” Vergeire said.

The health official assured the public that all these passengers underwent protocols, such as quarantine and testing upon their arrival in the country.

“Ito pong lahat ng taong ito ay na-subject sa ating protocols pagdating dito, so they were either tested on the fifth or the sixth day and they have completed yung quarantine nila at the national and at the local government level,” she said.

“The protocols were followed and hopefully hindi naman po tayo nagkaroon ng breaches in protocols para masabi natin na merong danger para sa ating mga kababayan,” she added.

The DOH earlier said that the two cases with B.1.617 variant have already been tagged as recovered.

There were no listed other close contacts aside from their co-travellers as they were immediately subjected to quarantine when they arrived in the country.

DOH: Over 2.1 million persons in PH now fully vaccinated vs COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   June 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — A total of 2,153,942 people have completed their COVID-19 vaccine doses, the Department of Health (DOH) reported on Monday.

Based on the vaccine statistics released by the government, a total of 8,407,342 doses have already been administered in the country as of June 20. Of this figure, 6,253,400 have received their first dose.

The agency said that in the A1 or first priority group, a total of 1,569,561 have received their first shot while 1,067,630 have completed 2 doses.

In the A2 or the second priority group, a total of 2,001,758 were given the first dose. On the other hand, 553,527 received their second dose.

In the A3 sector, 2,088,000 received their first jab while 524,699 were fully vaccinated.

In the A4 group, 526,896 got their first jab and 8,086 received their second dose.

Around 67,185 persons under the A5 group were given the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The DOH also said that the total COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the 16th week of the national vaccination reached a record high of 1,461,666 doses.

It also noted that the average daily administered doses in the last seven days were 208,809.

“The government is urging eligible populations belonging to priority groups A1 to A5 to register with their local government units, get vaccinated, and complete the required number of doses as scheduled,” the DOH said.

“Regardless of vaccination status, everyone is urged to continue practicing the minimum public health standards as you may still get infected with COVID-19 and infect other people,” it added.

The national government is eyeing to vaccinate up to 70 million people this year to attain population protection against COVID-19.

Phl logs over 1.3M COVID-19 cases with 5,803 new infections

Maris Federez   •   June 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) reported 5,803 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, bringing the Philippines’ total number of cases to 1,359,015.

The DOH said the new infections pushed the number of active cases to 57,679 – of which 91.9% were mild, 3.7% were asymptomatic, 1.8% were severe, and 1.3% were in critical condition.

Total recoveries also climbed to 1,277,715 after 7,652 recuperated from the viral disease.

The number of fatalities, on the other hand, increased to 23,621 following the death of 84 patients.

The department said that after final validation, eight duplicates were removed from the total case count, and 115 cases that were previously tagged as recoveries were reclassified as deaths.

The department further said that two laboratories were not able to submit their data to the COVID-19 Document Repository System. —/mbmf

DOH to meet with Cebu execs on COVID-19 protocols for arriving overseas Filipinos

Robie de Guzman   •   June 18, 2021


MANILA, Philippines – Officials from the Department of Health (DOH) and the province of Cebu will hold a dialogue to resolve differing COVID-19 protocols for arriving passengers, a health official said Friday.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the meeting will be held after the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) stressed that its directives on the COVID-19 testing and quarantining of incoming passengers must be strictly implemented.

 “Ibig sabihin, kung ano man po yung protocols ng IATF, yun po ang ipatutupad natin sa lahat ng ating borders across the country, that is very clear,” Vergeire said in a press briefing.

“With regard to the meeting with Cebu officials, yes, we will be going there. Ito po naman ay isang bagay na gusto natin ding gawin para magkaroon na ng kalinawan sa discrepancy sa protocols,” she added.

Vergeire did not say who will be attending and when the meeting will be held.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier directed the provincial government of Cebu to adhere to the COVID-19 testing and quarantine protocols set by the national government for returning overseas Filipinos.

Cebu had been administering RT-PCR tests on returning nationals upon their arrival at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport.

This is contrary to the IATF protocols, which require arriving Filipinos to take an RT-PCR test on the seventh day of their arrival.

“Everything can be managed through this discussion,” Vergeire said. “We will be hearing them and they will be hearing us and hopefully, by the end of that day, resolved na po yung matter.”

The DOH earlier said that based on scientific evidence, the viral load in an individual infected with COVID-19 is still high on the seventh or eighth day, and that there is a high percentage that a person who might have the disease will turn positive during this period.


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