IATF to meet Thursday to discuss face shield policy – Nograles

Robie de Guzman   •   June 17, 2021   •   496

MANILA, Philippines – The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) is set to meet on Thursday afternoon to discuss the government’s response to COVID-19 pandemic.

In a message, IATF co-chairperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said among the topics that will be tackled in the meeting is the use of face shields.

“May IATF kami mamaya. Pag-uusapan namin,” he said.

The policy on face shield wearing made headlines anew after Senate President Vicente Sotto III and other lawmakers shared with the public their conversation with President Rodrigo Duterte in Malacañang on Wednesday about the limited use of face shield.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque later confirmed the lawmakers’ statements that the president did say that face shields should only be worn in hospitals.

Roque said the president’s decision becomes a policy but there is a possibility that the IATF will appeal if the face shield rule will be loosened.

Nograles assured they will immediately announce if there are any changes in health protocols.

“If there is any announcement sa bagong protocol, ilalabas namin,” he said.

Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega earlier said that shields may be removed when outdoors.

Under existing protocols, face shields are required to be worn in the following areas:

  • Enclosed public spaces
  • Schools
  • Workplaces
  • Commercial establishments
  • Public transport and terminals
  • Places of worship

Face shields should also be worn in other areas where one-meter physical distancing is not possible and there is a gathering of more than 10 people at the same venue at the same time.

OCTA Research fellow and Biological Sciences Professor Nicanor Austriaco also said that face shields offer a certain degree of protection against COVID-19 especially in areas with high infection rate.

“Especially now in those areas undergoing surge, I recommend in high-risk areas whether there is surge, the 9% may be important. But here in Metro Manila, for example, when you are outside and there is no-one around you, I think it is reasonable to say that lowering the risk by 9% maybe something we’re able to tolerate in order to mitigate some of the burden that we have for the Filipino people,” he said.

The Department of Health earlier rejected proposals to drop the use of face shields, as the country’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage remains low.

Longer curfew hours in NCR amid COVID-19 Delta variant threat — MMDA

Maris Federez   •   July 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Metro Manila Council shall impose longer curfew hours anew from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. starting Sunday (July 25) in the National Capital Region (NCR).

This was announced by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) after the capital region was once again placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) with heightened restrictions.

As provided for in MMDA Resolution No. 21-13, the 17 Metro Manila mayors have agreed to adjust the curfew hours from the previous 12 midnight to 4 in the morning.

This is due to the increase in the number of COVID 19 cases in Metro Manila and to control the further transmission of the Delta variant, the MMDA said.

“While the Metro Manila Council recognizes the imperative to gradually and cautiously open the economy in order to increase business activities, reduce unemployment and underemployment, and promote economic growth, it is equally mindful of the paramount interests of life and health and the strict implementation of the prevent, detect, isolate, treat, and reintegrate strategies,” the resolution stated.

MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos further said that the COVID-19 Delta variant is highly contagious with an R Naught (R0) or reproduction rate of 5 to 8 “that may potentially trigger an exponential surge and local transmission in densely populated areas like the NCR.”

“We need to limit the movement of the public through the imposition of longer curfew hours. Since the Delta variant spreads exponentially, we should not let our guards down and implement necessary restrictions to contain the virus,” Abalos added.

On July 23, Metro Manila was placed under general community quarantine with heightened restrictions until July 31.

DILG hindi pabor sa reproduksyon ng COVID-19 vaccination card

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 23, 2021

Nagbabala ang Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) sa publiko kaugnay ng pagpapagawa ng COVID-19 vaccination card na yari sa isang uri ng plastic card na polyvinyl chloride o PVC.

Ayon kay DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, mahalaga ang vaccination card at ang mga impormasyong nakapaloob dito.

Kaya’t tanging orihinal na kopya lang nito ang dapat gamitin alinsunod na rin sa pamantayan ng Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).

“Madaming paggagamitan iyong vaccination card sa ating mga kababayan para makagalaw, para makapagtrabaho, para makapagbyahe. So, given this situation, kailangan po ay orihinal ang ipakita natin sa mga entry points or kaya naman sa mga mall kung tayo ay senior citizen,” ayon kay Malaya.

Paliwanag pa ng DILG, hindi na orihinal ang kopya nito kung isasaliam sa reproduksyon gaya ng paglalagay ng impormasyon sa PVC card, pagkuha ng litrato, xerox o photocopy at pagpapa-scan nito.

May banta rin sa data privacy o personal na impormasyon ng isang indibiduwal ang pagbibigay ng kopya ng vaccination card sa ibang tao o kumpanya.

Kaya payo ni Malaya, huwag sayangin ang oras, hirap at pera sa pagpapagawa ng PVC vaccination card.

Maari namang protektahan na lang ang orihinal na bakuna card sa pamamagitan ng ilang paraan upang hindi ito masira o mawala kung ito ay dadalahin.

“Kung tayo ay concerned doon sa ating vaccination card, ayaw natin itong masira o mabasa, eh di ipa-laminate na lang. Marami pong paraan para maprotektahan natin ang ating vaccination card without reproducing it or tampering with the original,” ayon kay Malaya.

Maaari namang manghingi ang isang indibidwal lalo pa ang mga pupunta sa ibang bansa ng vaccination certificate sa Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) na maaring magsilbing patunay na ang isang tao ay bakunado na.

Metro Manila LGUs, naghahanda na sa posibleng paglobo ng COVID-19 cases dahil sa Delta variant

Robie de Guzman   •   July 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Naglagay na ng dagdag na isolation facilities ang iba’t ibang local government units (LGU) sa Metro Manila bilang paghahanda sa posibleng pagdami ng COVID-19 cases bunsod ng Delta variant.

Ayon kay Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos, 83 isolation facilities na ang inihahanda sa iba’t ibang lungsod sa Metro Manila at maging sa mga hotel.

Ani Abalos, kailangang maihanda ang mas maraming facility beds para maiwasan na ang nangyaring siksikan sa mga ospital nang magkaroon ng surge ng COVID-19 cases sa unang bahagi ng taon.

“We’ve had this experience before eh remember nung South African and UK variant nung tumaas in just two weeks, kumalat kaagad. Yun talaga, nagsiksikan ang mga ospital, nagsiksikan ang isolation, pero in a way kinaya naman. Talagang naghanap tayo ng mga hotels,” ang pahayag ni Abalos.

Una nang nanawagan ang Department of Health (DOH) at ilang eksperto sa mga lokal na pamahalaan na higpitan pa ang pagpapatupad ng health protocols at contact tracing upang maagapan ang pagkalat ng Delta variant lalo na sa Metro Manila.

Hinimok din ng DOH ang publiko na patuloy na sundin ang mga polisiya sa pagsusuot ng face mask at face shield at social distancing at iwasan ang mass gathering.

Samantala, inihayag naman ni Department of Interior and Local Government spokesperson Jonathan Malaya na pinag-iisipan na ng Metro Manila mayors na ipagbawal ang home quarantine upang maiwasan ang hawahan ng COVID-19 sa isang pamilya.

“Home quarantine is no longer recommended especially dun sa mga areas na may Delta variant. Pag kayo ay nakahalubilo, kailangan dalhin kayo sa facility,” ani Malaya.

Pinaiigting na rin ang operasyon ng One Hospital Command Center upang agad matugunan ang mga kababayang mangangailangan ng atensiyong medical sa gitna ng pandemya. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent JP Nunez)

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