Europe COVID-19 cases close to a million, coming weeks “critical” — WHO

UNTV News   •   April 16, 2020   •   721

Europe is currently in eye of the storm of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the number of cases nearing a million, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) European regional director said on Thursday (April 16).

Speaking in an online media briefing, the WHO’s Hans Kluge said this meant that about 50% of the global burden of COVID-19 was in Europe. More than 84,000 people in Europe had died in the epidemic, he said.

He called for “solidarity between countries”, adding: “It is the time to step up and display both responsive and responsible leadership to steer us through this storm.”

U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday (April 14) a halt in U.S. funding to the WHO, saying it had “failed in its basic duty” in allowing the pandemic to take hold.

Reported cases of the coronavirus crossed 2.05 million globally and more than 136,600 people have died, according to a Reuters tally as of 0200 GMT on Thursday. (Reuters)

(Production: Aiden Nulty)

Batanes records first community transmission of COVID-19

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 17, 2021

Batanes has recorded the province’s first community transmission of COVID-19.

In a post on Thursday (September 16), the provincial government of Batanes confirmed that the province has community transmission after four residents without a travel history, tested positive for COVID-19.

There are a total of 21 confirmed cases in the province, with 17 recovered cases and zero deaths. Meanwhile, there are nine suspected or probable cases recorded.

The local government said three of the active cases are now undergoing quarantine at Batanes General Hospital while the other patient is undergoing quarantine at the Department of Agriculture–Batanes Experiment Station.

Residents in the area are advised to remain vigilant by following health and safety protocols and that mass gatherings and non-essential travels are not allowed. Residents with comorbidity, minors, senior citizens and pregnant women are prohibited from leaving their homes. AAC

Philippines adds more countries to COVID-19 ‘red list’

Robie de Guzman   •   September 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government has updated its list of “red, yellow, and green” countries and territories, Malacañang said Friday.

In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has approved the revised list of areas that are classified as “red, yellow, and green.”

“This new classification shall take effect on September 19, 2021 until September 30, 2021,” Roque said.

Territories under the red list are considered as “high-risk.”

The red list will now include Grenada, Papua New Guinea, Serbia and Slovenia.

The government earlier said that inbound passengers, regardless of their vaccination status, coming from or have been to “red” nations are not allowed to enter the Philippines.

Filipinos returning to the Philippines through government-facilitated or non-government repatriation programs, as well as special commercial flights allowed under existing IATF resolutions are not covered by the travel restrictions.

Meanwhile, areas included in the “green” list are as follows:

  • American Samoa
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cameroon
  • Cayman Islands
  • Chad
  • China
  • Comoros
  • Republic of the Congo
  • Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea
  • Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
  • Gabon
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Madagascar
  • Mali
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Montserrat
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Niger
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Palau
  • Poland
  • Saba (Special Municipality of the Kingdom of Netherlands)
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon
  • Sierra Leone
  • Sint Eustatius
  • Taiwan
  • Algeria
  • Bhutan
  • Cook Islands
  • Eritrea
  • Kiribati
  • Marshall Islands
  • Nauru
  • Nicaragua
  • Niue
    North Korea
  • Saint Helena
  • Samoa
  • Solomon Islands
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Tajikstan
  • Tanzania
  • Tokelau
  • Tonga
  • Turkmenistan
  • Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu
  • Yemen

 

Green countries are those considered “low-risk” for COVID-19 based on disease incidence rate.

All other countries/territories/jurisdictions not mentioned are in the yellow list, Roque said.

Inbound passengers, regardless of their vaccination status, coming from or who have been to the “yellow” countries within 14 days prior to their arrival in the Philippines are required to undergo strict entry, testing and quarantine protocols.

Quezon City gov’t looking into possible causes of COVID-19 spread in 2 convents

Robie de Guzman   •   September 16, 2021

The Quezon City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU) is currently looking into the possible causes of COVID-19 outbreak in two convents in the city, the local government said Thursday.

In a statement, the city government said massive contact tracing efforts are underway to contain the further transmission of the virus.

A total of 114 individuals, including 64 nuns and 50 staff members, tested positive for COVID-19 at the Religious of the Virgin Mary (RVM) in Cubao.

At the Convent of the Holy Spirit, 22 individuals were confirmed to have caught the virus, including 13 nuns and 9 staff members.

The city government said both facilities have been placed under lockdown.

CESU chief Dr. Rolando Cruz said they became aware of the situation after the cases were recorded in the surveillance data reported by a testing laboratory.

“Hindi po tayo ang nag-swab sa kanila. Nagpa-test po sila sa iba at nang lumabas na ang resulta sa laboratory, na-record ito sa surveillance data,” he said in the same statement.

“Now, our team is conducting an investigation and intensive contact tracing to get more details about the matter,” he added.

Cruz said part of the ongoing investigation is to determine if any of the positive individuals had any close contact with anyone outside of their facility.

Initial investigation revealed that a nun at the Convent of Holy Spirit passed away due to COVID-19 in early September. A physical therapist in the facility was reportedly exposed to the patient.

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte earlier ordered the CESU to conduct active surveillance of closed settings in the city such as nursing homes and convents after 122 people, including 99 children, in an orphanage tested positive for COVID-19.

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