From greeting cards to abaca face masks, local company joins COVID-19 fight

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 12, 2020   •   501

In response to the limited supply of personal protective equipment (PPEs), a local company in Misamis Oriental decided to make face masks out of abaca.

The transition has not been easy, according to Neil Rafisura, president of Salay Handmade Products Industry, Inc.

It takes numerous and tedious process in order to create a face mask out of abaca. This is a challenge for Neil especially with the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

They are used to creating greeting cards and other similar products. It never crossed their minds before that their company would make any PPEs such as face masks. However, that did not stop them from helping the country’s frontliners in their fight against the COVID-19 virus.

“At first it’s very challenging because ang skills namin ay hindi ready (our skills were not ready), it involved a lot of sewing but then there are a few workers who know how to sew, so tinawag ko sila at nag-experiment kami, (so I called them and we did an experiment),” he said.

Based on initial research abaca face masks are seven times better than cloth face masks. Even though it will not surpass surgical and N95 face masks yet, Neil is optimistic that the abaca face masks would help frontliners and even ordinary citizens against the virus.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Region 10 said this is a great start for further research. They are also encouraging experts to look into the potential of abaca face massks.

“We are calling researchers kung gusto niyo mag-research about mask (if you want to research about mask) why not study with abaca face mask kasi mayroon na siyang initial study baka maging potential talaga at effective na face mask itong abaca, (because there is already an initial study and abaca face mask might have a potential and might be more effective)” according to DOST-10 Science Research Specialist 1 Julie Ann Baculio.

The abaca face masks is environmental-friendly, reusable and can be hand-washed. It is sold for P90 apiece. AAC (with reports from Weng Fernandez)

DND main office in Camp Aquinaldo on 3-day lockdown

Marje Pelayo   •   July 15, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The main office of the Department of National Defense (DND) in Camp Aguinaldo has been placed under lockdown after one of its personnel contracted coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In an advisory, the agency said the office premises will undergo disinfection on the duration of the lockdown. 

The agency will reopen on Friday (July 17).

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana himself earlier announced that one of the staff was tested positive for COVID-19, which prompted the official to volunteer for self-quarantine.

Based on the result of his COVID-19 released today, Lorenzana said he is negative of the disease. MNP (with details from Lea Ylagan)

Drive-thru COVID-19 testing center opens in Manila

Robie de Guzman   •   July 15, 2020

The Manila City government on Wednesday opened its own drive-thru novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing center in a bid to boost its mass testing capacity amid rising cases of infection.

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said the testing center is open to all residents and non-residents who wish to avail of the service free of charge.

The facility is open from Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Domagoso said they only need to bring a government-issued ID to get tested in the drive-thru testing facility located in front of the Andres Bonifacio Monument along P. Burgos Street.

Blood samples collected from those who were tested will then be processed by the city government’s newly-purchased serology testing machines which have a combined capacity of 89,600 tests per month.

These machines also have an accuracy rate of 99.6 percent.

However, those who will yield positive results will still have to undergo confirmatory swab testing. – RRD (details from Correspondent Vincent Arboleda)

Ilang gov’t office sa QC, isinara matapos makapagtala ng kaso ng COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   July 15, 2020

Isinara ang ilang tanggapan ng pamahalaan sa Quezon City para sa pagsasagawa ng disinfection sa buong gusali ng mga ito.

Kabilang sa mga isinarang government offices ay ang Department of National Defense (DND), Civil Service Commission (CSC), at ang Quezon City Legislative Building matapos makapagtala ng mga kaso ng novel coronavirus disease ang ilang empleyado ng mga ito.

Simula tanghali ng Miyerkules, naka-lockdown na ang punong tanggapan ng DND sa Camp Aguinaldo para sa gagawing paglilinis sa buong gusali at paligid nito. Sa Biyernes na ito inaasahang muling magbubukas sa publiko.

Una nang sinabi noong Martes ni Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana na isa sa kanyang mga tauhan ang nagpositibo sa coronavirus. Sumailalim na aniya siya sa swab test at home quarantine.

Ngayong araw naman ay sinabi ni Lorenzana na negatibo siya sa virus batay sa lumabas na resulta ng pagsusuri.

Samantala, hanggang Biyernes naman mananatiling sarado ang central office ng CSC para sa disinfection kasunod ng pagpapakita ng sintomas ng sakit ng isa sa mga empleyado nito.

Batay sa abiso ng CSC, online muna ang gagawin nitong transaksyon sa publiko habang pinapayuhan namang maghintay ng anunsyo para sa bagong schedule ang mga may nakatakda na sanang appointment sa kagawaran ngayong linggo.

Hanggang sa araw naman ng Linggo mananatiling sarado ang Legislative Building ng Quezon City matapos mag-positibo sa coronavirus ang tatlong konsehal at ilang office staff.

Kasabay ng gagawing disinfection at sanitation sa buong gusali, magsasagawa rin ng contact tracing ang QC Empidemiology and Surveillance Unit sa mga nakasalamuha ng mga nagpositibo sa nakakahawang sakit. – RRD (mula sa ulat nina Correspondents Harlene Delgado at Lea Ylagan)


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