HK closely monitors COVID situation in PH; to accept vax records starting Sept. 1

Marje Pelayo   •   August 31, 2021   •   542

The government of Hong Kong announced on Monday that it will accept vaccination records of inbound travelers coming from the Philippines effective September 1.

In a press release, the Hong Kong government said it has updated its list of places with recognized vaccination records adding the Philippines and Indonesia.

“Hong Kong residents who hold vaccination records affirmed by the relevant authorities of these two countries can board a flight for Hong Kong from Group A specified places,” it said.

As for foreign domestic helpers (FDHs), they need to go through standard health procedures upon arrival.

“Foreign domestic helpers holding vaccination records that have been affirmed by the relevant authorities of Indonesia or the Philippines must follow the quarantine arrangements as announced by the Government on August 26, including undergoing 21-day compulsory quarantine in a designated quarantine facility. As for other Hong Kong residents, they can undergo compulsory quarantine in regular designated quarantine hotels,” said Hong Kong’s Secretary of Labor and Welfare Dr Law Chi-kwong.

The updated policy applies to countries considered as ‘Group A’ places in Hong Kong’s travel list.

Hong Kong labels countries/territories with ‘high risks’ of COVID-19 infection as Group A places.

These are Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, France, Greece, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Malaysia, Nepal, the Netherlands, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Dr Law Chi-kwong added that while the Hong Kong government recognizes the high demand for foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) in the country, they have to impose strict measures because of the COVID-19 variants, particularly the Delta that has been spreading very rapidly.

“We have to ensure that we will not be allowing the virus to infiltrate into our community. Thus, we on one hand have to strike the balance between the demand of the families needing to employ FDHs and, on the other hand, we have to reduce the risk of having the virus coming into our community. Thus, we have to do it steadily and step by step,” he said.

Nevertheless, he said, in case the number of COVID positive cases spikes, they have existing mechanism to stop flights coming to Hong Kong.

Hong Kong has recently issued a two-week temporary ban on flights from Philippine Airlines after three of its passengers tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival at the airport.

“We have to monitor it closely,” Dr Law added.

“It depends on the progress, the risk we are facing and the whole situation at these places of origin for FDHs. You would probably be aware that in the Philippines, the number of cases has been increasing very rapidly recently. So, we have to basically monitor the situation day after day,” he said.

Phl logs lowest new COVID-19 cases since July 2020 at 665

Maris Federez   •   November 30, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) recorded 665 new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases Monday (November 29), the lowest single-day count since July 2020.

This brings the country’s tally since the onset of the pandemic to 2,832,375.

Meanwhile, active infections continued to dip to 16,289.

Of these cases, 48.1 percent are mild, 23.82 percent are moderate, 15.6 percent are severe, 6.6 percent are in critical condition and 6.0 percent have no symptoms.

Meanwhile, total recoveries rose to 2,767,585 after 993 more patients recuperated from the disease.

On the other hand, COVID-related deaths climbed to 48,501 with 141 new fatalities.

The DOH noted in its report that all accredited testing laboratories in the country were operational on November 27 but five laboratories failed to submit data on time.

Meanwhile, the Johns Hopkins University reported that the overall global COVID-19 caseload has reached 261,519,267; while the deaths have surged to 5,199,920.

The US, the report said, is the worst-hit country with the world`s highest number of cases and deaths at 48,229,273 and 776,639, respectively.

 

NCR to remain under COVID-19 Alert Level 2 until Dec. 15

Maris Federez   •   November 29, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) approved on Monday (November 29) the recommendation to still place the National Capital Region under COVID-19 Alert Level 2.

In an advisory released Monday night, acting presidential spokesperson, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said that the following areas have also been placed under Alert Level 2:

  • Cordillera Administrative Region: Benguet, Abra, Kalinga, Baguio City, Mountain Province, and Ifugao;
  • Region I: Dagupan City, Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, La Union, and Pangasinan;
  • Region II: Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, and City of Santiago;
  • Region III: Angeles City, Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Olongapo City, Pampanga, Zambales, and Tarlac;
  • Region IV-A: Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon, and Lucena City;
  • Region IV-B: Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Puerto Princesa City, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan;
  • Region V: Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Masbate, and Naga City;
  • Region VI: Aklan, Antique, Bacolod City, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, Iloilo City, and Negros Occidental;
  • Region VII: Bohol, Cebu, Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City, Negros Oriental, and Siquijor;
  • Region VIII: Biliran, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Northern Samar, Ormoc City, Southern Leyte, Tacloban City, and Western Samar;
  • Region IX: City of Isabela, Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, and Zamboanga Sibugay;
  • Region X: Bukidnon, Cagayan de Oro City, Camiguin, Iligan City, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental, and Misamis Oriental;
  • Region XI: Davao City, Davao del Norte, Davao de Oro, Davao del Sur, Davao Occidental, and Davao Oriental;
  • Region XII: General Santos City, North Cotabato, Sarangani, South Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat;
  • Region XIII (Caraga) Butuan City, Surigao del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Sur, Dinagat Islands, and Agusan del Norte; and
  • The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao: Basilan, Cotabato City, Tawi-Tawi, Sulu, Lanao del Sur, and Maguindanao.

The province of Apayao, however, shall be placed under Alert Level 3.

Nograles added that the said Alert Level shall be effective from December 1 to 15, 2021.

Border checkpoints, muling ipatutupad sakaling itaas ang alert level sa Metro Manila – PNP

Robie de Guzman   •   November 29, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Handa ang Philippine National Police (PNP) na muling ipatupad ang border checkpoints sakaling itaas ang alert level sa Metro Manila kasunod ng banta ng Omicrcon COVID-19 variant.

Ayon kay PNP chief Police General Dionardo Carlos, ilalagay ang checkpoins papasok at palabas ng Metro Manila upang malimitahan ang galaw ng publiko at mapigilan ang posibleng pagkalat ng bagong variant.

“As long as it will be of help maprevent natin ang variant natin ito, Kasama po kami ng buong gobyerno para pangalagaan po ang ating mamamayan para hindi na kumalat itong ating hindi nakikitang kalaban na COVID-19 virus,” ani Carlos.

Handa rin aniya ang PNP na muling ipatupad ang paggamit ng face shield kung ipag-uutos ito ng Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).

“We will always abide with the IATF kung yan ay makatutulong para maiwasan ang pagkalat ng COVID-19 virus, we will leave it up to the experts. Kaya nga po palagi kaming nagbabantay sa lumalabas na resolusyon ng IATF at nandyan naman po yan e, ang aming mga face shield ay inilagay lang muna namin sa tabi pero andyan pa din po anytime,” ani Carlos.

Sa kasalukuyan ay nasa Alert Level 2 ang Metro Manila sa gitna na rin ng patuloy na pagbaba ng COVID-19 infections.

Tiniyak rin ng PNP na paiigtingin ng Aviation Security Group sa pagbabantay sa mga paliparan sa bansa sakaling muling ipagbawal ang pagbiyahe ng mga eroplano sa iba’t ibang lugar.

Pina-alalahanan rin ni Carlos ang mga pulis na mag-doble ingat upang huwag mahawa ng viral respiratory disease. (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

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