IATF OKs special flights for stranded OFWs in Middle East, other countries — Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   July 9, 2021   •   586

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government has allowed the conduct of special commercial flights to bring home overseas Filipino workers who were stranded in the Middle East and other countries covered by the country’s inbound travel ban, Malacañang said Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that under the policy approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force, special commercial flights will cover stranded OFWs in Oman, United Arab Emirates, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

These special commercial flights are, however, subject to guidelines, such as the creation of a Special Working Group to “determine the implementing protocols for the special commercial flights, in coordination with the concerned airlines.”

The Department of Health, the Bureau of Quarantine, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Transportation and its One-Stop-Shop, the Philippine Coast Guard, and the Department of Tourism shall form part of the special working group.

“The special commercial flights, which must have prior approval from the SWG, shall likewise be exclusive for Filipinos,” Roque reiterated.

“Also, the Guidelines on the implementation of exemptions for the Philippine government and non-Philippine government repatriation shall be followed,” he added.

The Philippines’ ban on flights from the above-mentioned countries is effective until July 15.

PH posts 18,659 new COVID-19 infections

Robie de Guzman   •   September 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines on Friday logged 18,659 new COVID-19 cases, pushing the nationwide tally of confirmed cases to 2,453,328 since the pandemic began.

In its latest bulletin, the Department of Health said the new single-day tally brought the number of active cases to 175,324.

Of these cases, 88.1 percent are mild, 2.84 percent are moderate, 6.9 percent are asymptomatic, 1.5 percent are severe, and 0.7 percent are in critical condition.

The DOH said only one accredited testing laboratory failed to submit data on time.

Meanwhile, total recoveries rose to 2,240,599 after 9,088 more patients recuperated from the viral respiratory disease.

The death toll remained at 37,405 as no new fatalities were reported.

The DOH also reported a positivity rate of 24.2 percent out of the 76,624 tests conducted on Sept. 22.

WHO vaccine trial staff, participants allowed to leave homes – IATF

Robie de Guzman   •   September 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Participants in the Solidarity Trial for COVID-19 vaccines led by the World Health Organization (WHO) will be allowed to leave their homes as they are now considered as healthcare workers, Malacañang said Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that the new policy include researchers, workers, members, and affiliate staff of the Solidarity Trial Vaccines Team.

“Pinayagan silang mag-interzonal at intrazonal movement regardless of community quarantine classifications and impositions of granular lockdowns,” Roque said during a televised briefing.

The trial’s target participants and eligible patients who reside in areas under granular lockdowns will also be allowed to leave their residences “strictly for purposes necessary for the clinical trial.”

However, they are not allowed to leave the area under granular lockdown, he added.

Roque said the policy was approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force during its meeting on Thursday.

COVID-19 vaccination bago ang pilot run ng in-person classes, hindi pa mauumpisahan

Robie de Guzman   •   September 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Hindi pa magagawa sa ngayon ang pagbabakuna sa mga bata laban sa sakit na COVID-19, ayon sa Malakanyang.

Ginawa ng palasyo ang pahayag kasunod ng panukala ng ilang eksperto na mabakunahan muna kontra COVID-19 ang mga estudyante bago ang pilot run ng limited face-to-face classes.

“Hindi pa po natin mababakunahan ang mga kabataan kasi ‘di pa po tayo nagsisimula. Ito naman po ay limited naman po na pilot involving only 100 public schools, tsaka 20 private schools at sa mga lugar na mababa naman po talaga ang kaso, sa mga MGCQ areas,” ani Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

Sa panayam sa UNTV Get It Straight with Daniel Razon nitong Biyernes, sinabi ni Dr. Rontgene Solante na dapat mabakunahan muna ang mga estudyante na magiging kabahagi sa dry run ng face-to-face classes dahil sa nagpapatuloy pa ring banta ng COVID-19.

Si Solante ay isang infectious disease expert at miyembro ng vaccine expert panel ng Department of Science and Technology.

“Mas maganda pa rin na mayroong bakuna ang bata at the same time, maganda rin ang environment in terms of the risk of transmission, doble ang magiging proteksyon niyan at less ang epekto ng transmission sa mga bata na they can also develop severe infection if they have comorbidities,” ani Solante.

Una nang inanunsiyo ng Department of Education na gagawin lamang ang limited in-person learning sa mga lugar na mababa ang kaso ng COVID-19 sa bansa.

Pili lang din ang mga paaralang maaaring lumahok sa programa at kailangang pasado ang mga pasilidad nito para sa kaligtasan ng mga bata at gurong kasama sa pilot run.

Kailangan ding may consent ng mga magulang ang paglahok ng kanilang mga anak sa dry run ng physical classes.

Samantala, sinabi rin ni Roque na wala pang desisyon si Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte sa panukala ng National Task Force against COVID-10 na umpisahan sa kalagitnaan ng Oktubre ang pagbabakuna sa mga batang may edad 12 hanggang 17.

Aniya, kailangan pang talakayin ang nasabing panukala sa mga pagpupulong ng Inter-Agency Task Force.

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