Hong Kong might ban face masks in bid to curb violence

UNTV News   •   October 3, 2019   •   542

Anti-government activists hold an anti-China poster as they march through the streets in protest on China’s National Day in Hong Kong, China, 01 October 2019.  EPA-EFE/FAZRY ISMAIL

Hong Kong is set to enact an emergency law to ban face masks at rallies, media reported on Thursday (October 3), as authorities grapple with nearly four months of anti-government protests.

Many demonstrators wear face masks to hide their identities and shield themselves from tear gas. Some predicted the law would anger protesters even more, while others worried about being arrested.

The unrest, which began over opposition to a now-withdrawn extradition bill that would have allowed people to be sent to mainland China for trial, shows no sign of letting up. Demonstrators, angry over the shooting of an 18-year-old this week by police, clashed with authorities into the early hours of Thursday. Demonstrators threw petrol bombs and police responded with tear gas.

Police have also urged the government to impose curfews to help curb the escalating violence in the Chinese-ruled city, where officers have become a target of protesters amid accusations of excessive force. (REUTERS)

(Production: Yuddy Cahya, Joyce Zhou, Yiming Woo)

Swab results of close contacts of Pinay with UK COVID-19 variant, to be out soon

Marje Pelayo   •   January 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) said it has already tested the close contacts of the Filipina domestic helper who tested positive for the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) variant in Hong Kong.

The results of the genome sequencing on her samples will be out this week.

Meanwhile, the government was able to trace all of her contacts and they are all under quarantine and being monitored.

“Lahat po sila mino-monitor. Nakakuha na rin po tayo sa kanila ng (All of them are being monitored. We also collected from them) specimens for RT-PCR at the same time for the whole genome sequencing,” explained Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

“So pinoproseso na po ngayon ang kanilang mga samples at maaaring bukas o sa Huwebes ay lumabas na po ang mga resulta nito (Their samples are now being processed and perhaps tomorrow or Thursday, the results will be out),” she added.

So far, the Philippines has yet to detect the new variant inside its borders. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Case of new COVID-19 variant detected in HK is a Filipina from Cagayan Valley — DOH

Marje Pelayo   •   January 7, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday (January 6) released additional information about the carrier of a new COVID-19 variant detected in Hong Kong.

According to a report provided by the Hong Kong International Health Regulations National Focal Point in collaboration with the country’s Center for Health Development, the case is a 30-year-old Filipino from Cagayan Valley.

The report said the Filipina left the region on December 17, 2020 and upon arrival in Metro Manila on December 18, underwent quarantine as per workplace protocol. The following day she was tested using RT-PCR which yielded negative result.

She left for Hong Kong on December 22 and underwent quarantine after arrival. After 10 days on January 2, she underwent RT-PCR testing again which tested positive and detected with the new COVID-19 variant from the UK.

Hong Kong authorities said she remains in isolation and in stable condition.

Contact tracing is underway here in the Philippines, the DOH said, as the flight manifest has been obtained while the agency is awaiting the result of contact tracing being done by their counterparts in Hong Kong.

“There is also ongoing contact tracing by the concerned epidemiology and surveillance units in Cagayan Valley Region and NCR,” the DOH concluded.

No photo description available.

Hong Kong to take off masks in public, reopen cinemas starting August 28

Marje Pelayo   •   August 26, 2020

Starting August 28, the government of Hong Kong will ease several social distancing measures in relation to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), according to Secretary for Food & Health, Professor Sophia Chan.

“Under the new normal, it is almost not possible for us to wait until there are no more local cases before relaxing the social distancing measures,” the official said in a media briefing on Tuesday (August 25).

Chan said unless there are drastic changes to the epidemic situation, the government would issue new directions before Friday specifically the following:

(1) Extend the dine-in services allowed to 9 pm; 

(2) Allow re-opening of scheduled premises including cinemas, beauty parlours and also some outdoor sports premises for activities involving little physical contact; and 

(3) Allow people not to wear masks in country parks and while doing exercise.

Prof. Chan reminded the public, however, that while the number of daily new cases has been gradually declining, the epidemic situation still has not completely stabilized.

Thus, she advised Hong Kong nationals not to be complacent and maintain good personal and environmental hygiene.

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