DSWD provides aid to locally-stranded individuals in Metro Manila

Robie de Guzman   •   June 23, 2020   •   283

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Tuesday assured it will continue to provide assistance to individuals who are stranded in Metro Manila due to coronavirus quarantine measures.

“DSWD will continue to coordinate with local government units and concerned agencies to determine and provide appropriate interventions and assistance to LSIs (locally-stranded individuals) in Metro Manila,” the agency said in a statement on Monday night.

The department said that on June 17, it provided financial assistance, through its Field Office National Capital Region (FO-NCR), to around 500 LSIs currently staying in Pier 4 in North Port, Manila.

Most of the LSIs who received aid under the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program were stranded workers, students and overseas Filipino workers (OFW) who were unable to return to their provinces amid the coronavirus crisis.

The DSWD also reported that LSIs temporarily staying in the facility of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City have also received financial aid on June 19.

Officers of the DSWD FO also went to the Philippine Coast Guard Gymnasium, Eva Macapagal Port Area in Manila to distribute Family Food Packs (FFPs), sleeping kits, and sanitation kits for OFWs stranded in Pier 15, South Port.

Earlier, the department also provided financial assistance and non-food items to LSIs staying at the Villamor Airbase Elementary School and at the Philippine State College of Aeronautics in Pasay City.

MIAA sets up tents for LSIs at NAIA Terminal 3

Marje Pelayo   •   July 10, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) has set up makeshift tents at the social hall of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 to provide comfort and convenience to locally-stranded individuals (LSIs) currently lodged at the airport waiting for their flights.

The 28 tents are the initial set from 100 tents that MIAA plans to set up for LSIs at the airport under the guidance of the Department of Transportation (DOTr).

Additional tents are expected to be established soon.

Apart from temporary shelters, MIAA also provided a dedicated shower area at the airport’s parking lot, for the exclusive use of LSIs.

Bolsonaro vetos law on obligatory face masks in Brazil

UNTV News   •   July 10, 2020

Digital: PART MUST COURTESY BRAZIL PRESIDENCY.

President Jair Bolsonaro on Friday (July 3) vetoed parts of a law that would have made wearing a face mask obligatory in enclosed spaces where large groups gather, as swathes of Brazil struggle to tame new infections of the coronavirus.

“Today there were various vetoes for legislation that spoke of the obligatory use of face masks, including inside the home. I vetoed (them). No one is going to enter a home and give a fine. I could also have got a fine because I am now without a mask,” he said.

Bolsonaro has regularly flouted social distancing guidelines advised by most health experts, shaking hands and embracing supporters. He has said publicly that his past as an athlete makes him immune to the worst symptoms of the virus.

He has also been widely criticised by health experts for downplaying the severity of the virus which he has dismissed as just “a little flu.” Bolsonaro has pressured governors and mayors for months to reverse lockdown measures and reopen the economy.

Bolsonaro’s veto comes as Brazil nears 1.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases on Friday. The virus continues to ravage Latin America’s largest country even as cities reopen bars, restaurants and gyms sparking fears infections will keep rising.

Brazil has the world’s second largest outbreak after the United States and the virus has killed over 60,000 people in the country.

In Rio alone, more than 6,600 people have died of COVID-19 in the past four months. Only 14 countries in the world have a death toll higher than the city. Intensive care units in public hospitals are at 70% capacity.

Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest and worst-hit city, is expected to open bars and restaurants next week. (Reuters)

(Production: Sergio Queiroz, Leonardo Benassatto, Pablo Garcia, Leandra Camera, Paul Vieira)

WHO sets up panel to review handling of COVID-19 pandemic

UNTV News   •   July 10, 2020

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday (July 9) it was setting up an independent panel to review its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the response by governments.

The announcement follows strong criticism by United States President Donald Trump’s administration, which accused the WHO of being “China-centric,” and the U.S.’s formal notification on Tuesday that it was withdrawing from the U.N. agency in a year’s time.

Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark and former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf have agreed to head the panel and chose its members, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual meeting with representatives of the agency’s 194 member states, which was webcast.

Tedros noted that in May, WHO’s member states adopted unanimously a resolution put forward by the European Union calling for an evaluation of the global response to the pandemic.

More than 12 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 548,429​ have died, according to a Reuters tally. (Reuters)

(Production: Yiming Woo)

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