Duque takes responsibility over compensation mess

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 5, 2020   •   189

Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III said he is taking the responsibility for the delayed compensation for health workers hit by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In a tweet, the Duque said it is still his responsibility as the secretary of health to make sure compensations are properly distributed.

The Health Secretary initially put the blame of delayed compensation for the COVID-19 hit health workers on his subordinates, during his talk with President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday morning (June 5).

“Nakakahiya talaga sir, namatayan na nga, nagpawardi-wardi iyong mga tao ko na parang walang sense of urgency. Ang sama-sama po ng loob ko Mr. President (It is a shame, sir, that people are dying and yet my subordinates were dilly-dallying as if they have no sense of urgency. I am really disappointed, Mr. President),” he said.

The DOH already released a joint administrative order to implement the provision of the Bayanihan Law to provide P100,000 benefits to health workers who were badly hit by COVID-19, while P1 million will be given to the families of health workers who already passed away due to the virus.

Duterte has given the DOH until June 9 to provide the financial assistance to the health workers hit with COVID-19. AAC (with report from Aiko Miguel)

DOH warns against buying and selling of blood plasma

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 13, 2020

The Department of Health (DOH) warned the public against buying and selling of blood plasma taken from coronavirus disease (COVID-19) survivors.

DOH Spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire said there is a high health risk in buying blood plasma from unverified sellers.

May mga sakit na maaaring maisalin galing diyan sa mga dugo na binebenta natin (Blood that are sold could contain diseases that can be transmitted). Ito po ang mga (these are) transmissible infections through the blood. This is very risky kasi magkakasakit ang pagbibigyan natin ng mga dugong ito (because it could sicken the recipient), ” she said.

The DOH has received reports of recovered COVID-19 patients selling blood plasma at P80,000 per bag in Cebu City. Vergeire said there is no guarantee the blood plasma underwent proper evaluation to ensure that it is safe for blood transfusion.

Vergeire said blood plasma from COVID-19 survivors contains antibodies that can help fight the infection as well as boost the immune system of COVID-19 patients. However, COVID-19 survivors need to undergo proper screening in qualified hospitals and blood centers that are conducting convalescent plasma therapy.

Kaya nga ayaw natin na pinagbebenta o ayaw nating pinababayaran ang dugo. Gusto natin na inii-screen muna natin ang mga pasyente bago sila makapagbigay ng dugo para maiwasan ang mga ganitong risks (That is why we do not want these blood plasma to be sold. We want to screen the patients first before donation to avoid risks),” she said.

The Health Department also discourages COVID-19 survivors from selling their blood plasma and donate them instead. A website called, plasmangpagasa.com, has been launched for COVID-19 survivors to register and donate their blood.

Meanwhile, DOH Region 7 has begun their investigation on the sale of blood plasma in their area. AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

DOH fails to report Sunday’s update on COVID-19 cases; cites ‘significant volume of data’

Maris Federez   •   July 12, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health failed to announce the department’s latest tally of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases on Sunday (July 12).

In a statement released late Sunday night, the health department said it will give the update on Monday morning instead, as it cites “significant volume of data” that they still need to process.

The statement said, “due to the significant volume of data gathered today as part of DOH’s efforts to harmonize data with the cities of NCR and the different regions, the DOH Data Team is still currently in the process of validating today’s numbers.”

“We also note that because of the volume of data being validated, based on initial findings we are seeing an increase in today’s number of reported cases, recoveries, and deaths,” it added.

The DOH said a “comprehensive report” on COVID-19 data for July 12 will be released at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, July 13.

Even with the delay in the update, the department said that it wants to be certain that the information they release is accurate.

“We recognize the importance of providing real-time information. However, in providing this information, we also make sure that said information is accurate,” the statement said.

As of July 11, the country has recorded 54,222 confirmed cases with 14,037 recoveries and 1,372 deaths.  — /mbmf

DOH warns public on possible airborne transmission of COVID-19

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 10, 2020

The Department of Health (DOH) has warned the public on the possible airborne transmission of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Despite the lack of further studies, the Health Department said they are not dismissing the possibility that COVID-19 might spread in the air. They reminded the public to always adhere to the health and safety protocols.

Patuloy po tayong natututo tungkol sa SARS-CoV-2 at COVID-19. Kabilang na nga po dito ang mode of transmission o paraan ng pagkalat ng COVID-19 (We are continuously learning about SARS-CoV2 and COVID-19. This includes the mode of transmission of COVID-19). It’s an evolving science and new evidence continues to roll out,” according to DOH Spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire.

More than 200 scientists urged the World Health Organization (WHO) to acknowledge the possibility of airborne transmission. According to a study, “viruses are released during exhalation, talking and coughing in microdroplets small enough to remain aloft in the air.”

The WHO previously dismissed the possibility of airborne transmission but said they will release a scientific brief summary regarding the collected data on the modes of transmission of COVID-19

“This is a respiratory pathogen and so it is important that what we know is it fits into the guidance that we have, which is why a comprehensive package of interventions is required to be able to stop transmission,” according to WHO Technical Lead on COVID-19 Pandemic Maria Van Kerkhove.

Meanwhile, the DOH said they will also review and verify the evidence and studies about COVID-19 in order to provide appropriate information and advisories to the public.AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

REACH US

The Philippine Broadcast Hub

UNTV, 915 Barangay Philam,

EDSA, Quezon City M.M. 1104

(+632) 8396-8688 (Tel)

info@untv-newsandrescue.com (General inquiries)

ABOUT UNTV

UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.