Hong Kong imposes 14-day travel ban vs. Philippines, India, Pakistan over mutant COVID strain

Marje Pelayo   •   April 19, 2021   •   458

MANILA, Philippines — The Hong Kong government issued a temporary travel ban on flights from neighboring India, Pakistan, and the Philippines after reports of the presence of a specific COVID-19 strain in these countries.

This, after the Hong Kong government implemented on April 14 the tightened flight-specific suspension mechanism along with the new place-specific flight suspension mechanism.

The 14-day travel ban, which will take effect Tuesday (April 20), applies to all people from the said countries which the Hong Kong government considered as ‘extremely high risk.’

“With confirmed cases involving the N501Y mutant strain detected for the first time in the community in Hong Kong, for prudence’s sake, the Government has applied the criteria of the newly implemented place-specific flight suspension mechanism retrospectively for 14 days on places where there had been imported cases confirmed by arrival tests that carried the N501Y mutant strain,” the Hong Kong government said.

“India, Pakistan, and the Philippines all had seven-day cumulative number of relevant cases that reached the relevant criteria in the past 14 days, and the Government will therefore invoke the place-specific flight suspension mechanism for these three places,” it added.

Those who came from the said countries but are already quarantined in Hong Kong must get tested on their 26th day in the city under emergency measures.

Those who have traveled to these three countries in the last 21 days as well as those who stayed for more than two hours on the day of boarding will not be allowed to enter Hong Kong.

Philippines’ Covid tally up by 6,959

Marje Pelayo   •   June 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) logged an additional 6,959 new cases to the country’s Covid-19 count and raising the tally to  1,353,220 on Saturday (June 19).

The latest figure pushes the total number of active cases to 59,439.

Meanwhile, 9,407 individuals have recovered from the virus. This brings the total number of recoveries since the pandemic began to 1,270, 243.

The coronavirus-related deaths also rose to  23,538 with  153 new fatalities.

The DOH noted that the current active cases is only 4.4% of the total positive cases recorded since the pandemic.

Based on the latest report, all DOH laboratories are fully operational since June 17, 2021 and only six laboratories have not yet forwarded their respective data to the agency’s COVID-19 Document Repository System (CDRS).

These six laboratories comprise about 3.5% of the overall samples tested and 3.9% of the total number of COVID positive individuals.

Ilang opisyal umaasang itutuloy ng susunod na administrasyon ang infra projects ng Duterte gov’t

Robie de Guzman   •   June 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Isina-isa ngayong Biyernes ng ilang ahensiya ng pamahalaan ang mga infrastructure project na napasimulan at natapos na ng administrasyong Duterte.

Sa presentasyon ng Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Transportation (DOTr), National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Flagship Programs and Projects and Bases and Conversion Development Authority (BCDA), ipinakita ang mga proyektong nakumpleto na sa ilalim ng “Build, Build, Build” program ng pamahalaan.

Pangunahin dito ang pagpapaganda sa Ninoy Aquino International Airport, na ayon kay Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, ay hindi na umano maaaring bansagan ngayong worst airport gaya ng mga nakalipas na panahon.

“Naalala’t naalala ninyo na noong pumasok ang Duterte administration ang bansag sa NAIA international airport is one of the worst international airport in the world,” ani Tugade.

“Mataas ang kaniyang klasipikasyon ngayon, nabibilang ang NAIA sa one of the most improved airport in the world,” dagdag pa niya.

Iniulat naman ng DPWH na aabot na sa 212 airport projects ang natapos sa ilalim ng administrasyong Duterte. Bukod pa ito sa 446 seaport projects, 10,376 flood mitigation structures, 26,493 kilometrong farm-to-market roads, at 5,555 na kilometro ng mga tulay.

Ayon kay DPWH Secretary Mark Villar, ang mga proyektong ito ay nakapabigay ng 6.5 milyong trabaho para sa mga manggagawang Pilipino sa nakalipas na limang taon.

“Nung nagsimula ang Duterte administration at ang Build Build Build Program nung 2016 to 2020 ang total acomplishment ay 2.536 Billion, halos x3 po ang acomplishment ng Duterte Administration, so masasabi ko po talaga na malayo po ang acomplishment sa term ni President duterte sa imprastraktura,” ani Villar.

At ngayong malapit nang matapos ang panunungkulan ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte, hiling ng mga miyembro ng kanyang gabinete na sana’y mapag-ibayo pa ang mga proyektong napasimulan at maiiwan upang mapakinabangan ng sambayanan.

“Hinihiling po namin kung sino man po ang magiging susunod na pangulo at susunod na administrasyon, I think it is incumbent upon the next administration to not only continue but to even fast track all the good works that have been done under the leadership of President Duterte,” ani Vince Dizon, ang pinuno ng BCDA. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent JP Nunez)

PNP to continue enforcing face shield rule until issuance of new guidelines – Eleazar

Robie de Guzman   •   June 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) will continue enforcing the protocol on the use of face shields as recommended by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID), police chief General Guillermo Eleazar said Friday.

In a statement, Eleazar said he has instructed police officers to continue enforcing the face shield policy but refrain from imposing any sanctions on violators.

He said those who would be found not wearing face shields will only be cautioned and reminded that there are still no existing guidelines that allow the non-wearing of face shields.

“The latest recommendation of the IATF to the President is to continue making mandatory the wearing of face shields in enclosed spaces, commercial areas, public transport, terminals and even places of worship,” he said.

“With this, we will continue to enforce the existing policy until the President decides on the matter and the IATF amends the guidelines,” he added.

The PNP chief said they will wait for the issuance of new guidelines based on the President’s decision.

“Kung may pagbabago man, hihintayin po ng PNP na maibaba ang amended guidelines para iyon ang aming ipatupad. Sa ngayon, status quo muna at susundin muna namin kung ano ang isinasaad ng guidelines para maiwasan ang pagkakaroon ng kalituhan ang publiko sa bagay na ito,” he said.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Thursday said the existing policy on the use of face shields against COVID-19 will remain in effect pending the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte on the recommendation of the IATF to continue the use of face shields in enclosed or indoor spaces.

The task force met on Thursday afternoon to discuss the policy on the use of face shields after some senators shared their conversation with Duterte in Malacañang about the limited use of face shield.

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