FDA allows pharmacies to produce alcohol-based hand sanitizers amid shortage

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 26, 2020   •   1015

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has allowed pharmacies to produce their own alcohol-based hand sanitizers to cope with the supply shortage.

According to the FDA, there has been an increase in the demand for alcohol-based products amid the increasing threat of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.

Based on FDA Circular No. 2020-11, licensed drug stores, hospital pharmacies, institutional pharmacies, and other stakeholders will be allowed to produce their own alcohol-based hand sanitizers for consumer and health care personnel use.

The FDA also provided several guidelines to ensure pharmacies will produce safe, effective, and acceptable quality alcohol-based products for public use.

Several of the guidelines include: the compounding should be done by a duly registered and licensed pharmacist. They would also have to follow strict hygiene and personal protective equipment requirements.

The location for the compounding, including all the equipment should also be properly sanitized and maintained.

“This Circular is hereby issued as an interim guideline for the pharmacy compounding of alcohol-based hand sanitizers in response to the need for increased production of these products in the Philippines,” the circular reads. AAC

IATF approves mandatory 5th-day testing for inbound travelers

Marje Pelayo   •   January 27, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) issued a resolution on Wednesday (January 27) allowing the mandatory 5th-day test for inbound travelers. 

This means all travelers arriving in the Philippines must wait for five days in isolation before they are tested for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in line with the recommendation by the Department of Health (DOH).

The DOH believes such a measure is more effective in detecting and determining if a traveler is a COVID-19 carrier or not.

“For efficiency, for government and also to be more rational in doing things, atin pong ginawa ito. Pero kung sila ay may nararamdaman na o di kaya ay may high suspicion. Meron siyang sakit na ito, siya po ay kailangang i-test,” said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

DOH said it is important for each traveller to be isolated to prevent potential transmission of the virus while they are waiting for their turn to be tested.

“Pero ang kailangan natin maintindihan, iyong ating prinsipyo na isolation first, as long as we isolate them even though they are positive we are assured na naco-confine lang doon sa kwartong yun ang sakit at hindi po makakapanghawa kaya isa rin po iyan na nakalagay sa ating resolution na kailangan walang cohorting,” Vergeire said.

Once they are tested negative, they will be endorsed to their respective local government units and serve the 14-day mandatory quarantine period in their areas of destination.

The new testing and quarantine protocols aim at preventing further spread of the more contagious UK variant and possible entry of other variants of COVID-19 into the country.

Meanwhile, based on DOH’s update over 600 individuals who have close contacts with the 13 UK variant positive cases in the Cordillera Administrative Region have been identified.

Also, the DOH has identified a number of returning overseas Filipino workers who arrived in the region and has been waiting for the result of their tests whether they are positive or negative of COVID-19.

“Contacts na nakita na po nila. First, second and third-generation contacts,” Vergeire said,

“Also, nakapagusap na rin po sila. They have reviewed itong triaging system ng CAR. Nakakita na rin sila ng 8 na OFWs na bumalik po sa bansa at pumasok po dito sa lugar na ito,” she added.

Still, the DOH maintained that it is early to declare the situation in the region as community transmission. MNP (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

WHO studies long-term effect of COVID-19

Marje Pelayo   •   January 27, 2021

The World Health Organization (WHO) has found evidence of lingering symptoms in COVID-19 patients who have recovered from the disease.

The agency calls it “long COVID” – a condition where survivors of the disease experience long-term health issues like extreme fatigue, persistent cough and exercise intolerance.

According to the international body, they will be conducting a series of consultations about this condition.

“In February 2021, WHO will organize a series of consultations to reach consensus on a description of this condition and its subtypes, and case definitions,” WHO said in a statement.

Meantime, the health agency advised patients who recovered from COVID-19 to have some follow up check ups with their health care provider to monitor their conditions.

DFA Consular Office in Malolos to resume operations on Jan. 28

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 27, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Consular Office in Malolos, Bulacan will resume its operations on January 28 after its temporary suspension for disinfection.

In an advisory, the DFA said the consular office will also undergo implementation of other preventive measures to manage risks against COVID-19. Individuals with appointments were advised to secure another appointment by emailing malolos.gc@gmail.com with the following information:

– Name
– Date of Birth
– Original appointment date and time
– Preferred date and time of new appointment
The preferred new appointment may be on any working day (Monday to Friday) from 28 January to 28 February 2021 during the CO’s regular operation hours (9:00 AM to 4:00 PM).

Meanwhile, applicants who will be needing emergency or urgent consular services may contact CO Malolos at malolos.gc@gmail.com. AAC

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