Gov’t details priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination program

Aileen Cerrudo   •   February 5, 2021   •   433

MANILA, Philippines— Malacañang has released the government’s list of priority groups for its coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination program.

The Interim National Immunization Technical Advisory Group (iNITAG) adopted the priority population groups which include medical front liners on the top of the list, followed by senior citizens, and persons with comorbidities.

A1: Frontline workers in health facilities both national and local, private and public, health professionals and non-professionals like students, nursing aides, janitors, barangay health workers, etc.
A2: Senior citizens aged 60 years old and above
A3: Persons with comorbidities not otherwise included in the preceding categories
A4: Frontline personnel in essential sectors including uniformed personnel and those in working sectors identified by the IATF as essential during ECQ
A5: Indigent population not otherwise included in the preceding categories
B1: Teachers, Social Workers
B2: Other Government Workers
B3: Other essential workers
B4: Socio-demographic groups at significantly higher risk other than senior citizens and indigenous people
B5: Overseas Filipino Workers
B6: Other Remaining Workforce
C: Rest of the Filipino population not otherwise included in the above groups

For the first tranche of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine for healthcare workers will also be distributed to a) COVID-19 dedicated hospitals, b) COVID-19 referral hospitals, c) Department of Health-owned hospitals, d) Local government unit hospitals, e) Hospitals for uniformed services/personnel, and f) Private hospitals. AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Philippines records 11,429 new COVID-19 cases

Robie de Guzman   •   April 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines on Thursday reported 11,429 new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections, pushing the total caseload to 904,285, the Department of Health (DOH) said.

In its latest bulletin, the DOH said the daily tally brought the country’s active cases to 183,527.

Ngayong 4 PM, Abril 15, 2021, ang Department of Health ay nakapagtala ng 11,429 na karagdagang kaso ng COVID-19….

Posted by Department of Health (Philippines) on Thursday, April 15, 2021

The DOH, however, noted that the case count does not include data from seven laboratories that failed to submit their reports on time.

The agency also reported that total recoveries increased to 705,164 after 856 more patients recuperated from the illness.

The death toll rose to 15,594 with 148 new fatalities.

Shift to GCQ not just yet, says DTI

Marje Pelayo   •   April 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — With the current number of COVID-19 infections in the country, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez believes it is not yet time to shift into a more relaxed quarantine restriction.

During Thursday’s (April 15) Laging Handa briefing, Lopez said reverting back to a more relaxed general community quarantine (GCQ) will depend on the utilization rate of major hospitals in the country.

“Kapag further bumaba ang COVID cases at bumaba ang utilization rate, maraming bakante, ibig sabihin pwede tayong magluwag ulit to GCQ,” he said.

In March, World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe expressed concern over alleged COVID-19 clustering in workplaces.

Lopez said the recent spike in the country’s COVID-19 cases shouldn’t be blamed on the return of workers because the clusters of cases in workplaces was only about 20 percent since the reopening of the economy.

“Base sa datos, ang contribution ng mga cases —  mga clusters ng ilan sa workplaces — ay around 20% lamang,” Lopez said.  “Isa nga sa observation bago nagtaas muli ang cases ay ang pagdami ng non-essential activities and gatherings.”

For this reason, the official said that when the country reverts to GCQ, he would not recommend the easing of restrictions on non-essential gatherings.

“I would think that once we move to GCQ, isa pa rin ‘yan sa ipagpapatuloy munang ipagbawal – mga gatherings na non-essential,” he said.

PACC receives 8,000 complaints on cash aid distribution

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Around 8,000 complaints on cash aid distribution have been received by the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC).

The PACC, on Thursday (April 15), said during the rollout of the cash aid distribution the agency already received around 8,000 complaints.

PAAC Chairman Greco Belgica said the agency is already coordinating with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to discuss the said reports.

Nakakalungkot, we have just received 8,000 reports tungkol dito. Sina-summarize namin ang reports para sa gagawing meeting with the DILG, para maaksyunan, ma-imbestigahan, makasuhan (It is saddening, we have just received 8,000 reports regarding this matter. We are summarizing the reports for our meeting with the DILG for immediate action, investigation, and for the immediate filing of cases),” he said.

Belgica reiterated the need to increase monitoring during the distribution process in order to avoid any form of anomalies.

Titingnan po namin ang sistemang gagamitin nila bukod sa mga complaints. Monitoring has to be strengthened para maiwasan ang mga ganito (We will look into the system used by the [DILG] aside from the complaints received. Monitoring has to be strengthened to avoid these issues),” he said.

The PACC officials expressed alarm on the number of complaints. He noted that during the previous cash aid distribution, the PACC received around 9,000 complaints. During the recent cash distribution, the agency already received 8,000 complaints.

Belgica advises officials not to take the money especially when families affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic are finding it difficult to get by.

Kaunti na lang po iyan para po sa kanila, para po sa kanilang pamilya para mabuhay. Ibigay na po natin sa kanila iyan dahil kung pinakialaman po natin iyan (The cash aid is not much, it is for the public and their families in order to survive. Give it to them because if you took advantage and we will find out [about it]) we will make sure you will be accountable to it,” he warned. AAC

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