Italy lifts national travel ban as pandemic slows down
UNTV News • June 4, 2020 • 399
ITALY – People in Italy will be allowed to move freely within the country from Wednesday (June 3) as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic slows down.
From Wednesday, passengers don’t have to provide the “self-declaration” form anymore in which they are required to explain their trans-regional travel purposes in the country.
The travel restrictions are also eased for travelers from other European Union (EU) countries and Britain to enter the country without the 14-day quarantine.
On Wednesday, passenger flows increased apparently in Italy’s major railway stations, airports and ferry terminals, and highway traffic also saw a dramatic rise.
“I’ve been waiting for the reopening of region borders on June 3. I want to see my wife. We’ve not seen each other for three months,” said Giorgio, an Italian traveler.
In order to cope with the increase of passenger flows, the Italian State Railways has launched 80 long-distance high-speed trains and 38 inter-city regular trains nationwide, and requires travelers to take temperature tests before boarding.
“We have used trains with more seats, but people need to keep a safe distance on the trains. Through the striking reminders on the seats, passengers can tell which seats can be taken and which can not,” said Marco Mancini, spokesman for the Italian State Railways.
According to the current regulations of the Italian government, people must wear masks in closed public places or when they cannot maintain a safe distance.
In some Italian regions, people are also required to wear masks in open spaces. Meanwhile, people must take temperature tests in public places. (REUTERS)
Navotas City will be placed under a 14-day lockdown due to the rising cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Navotas City Mayor Toby Tiangco confirmed what has been floating on social media regarding the lockdown, although he added that he is still yet to sign the directive.
Based on the report of City Health officials on Sunday (July 12), there are 931 confirmed cases in the city.
Tiangco lamented that despite the rising cases, residents continue to leave their houses irresponsibly. He also said that several children are playing outside without wearing face masks.
Barangay NBBS Dagat-dagatan has the highest confirmed COVID-19 cases in the city.
Barangay Chairperson Zenaida Tibulan said most of the residents thought there is less danger when community quarantine eased.
“Lahat halos lumalabas na noong nagkaroon ng GCQ parang pakiramdam nila natapos na ang problema. Sobra lang mahirap talaga para masasabi nating ma-control ang mga tao at mga bata na lumabas (Almost everyone went outside when GCQ was implemented, they thought the problem is over. It is really difficult to control residents and children not to leave their houses),” she said.
Mayor Tiangco said he is still waiting for the augmentation force he requested from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to begin the implementation of the lockdown in the city. –AAC (with reports from Dante Amento).
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) on Monday said it has opened its convalescent plasma center in the Philippine capital to help in the fight against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The PRC said its convalescent plasma bank was opened at its National Blood Center in Port Area and has started operations Monday.
In a statement, PRC chairman Senator Richard Gordon said the facility aims to help COVID-19 patients after some medical experts attested to the therapy’s effectiveness.
“Pinilit naming magkaroon ng convalescent plasma center para mabigyan ng pag-asa ang mga kababayan natin na may COVID,” he said as he noted that 9 out 10 patients who underwent the therapy have recovered from the disease.
Convalescent plasma therapy involves the extraction of blood plasma from COVID-19 survivors to be transfused to a patient who is still battling the disease. Blood plasma is expected to contain antibodies which will help recipients fight off the infection.
Gordon said the center is open for COVID-19 survivors who wish to donate blood plasma to the PRC.
COVID-19 survivors between the ages of 18 and 65 would have to undergo physical and medical to see if they are qualified to donate blood plasma.
To date, the Philippines has recorded a total of 57,006 COVID-19 cases. Of these patients, 20,371 have recovered while 1,599 died from the disease.
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, often floated as a future Japanese premier, said on Monday (July 13) the Olympics must go ahead next year as a symbol of world unity in overcoming the novel coronavirus, even as her city grapples with stubborn spikes in cases.
The 2020 Olympics were scheduled to start this month but were postponed because of the coronavirus. Koike has pledged to win public support for the Games, although a media survey showed a majority think they should be cancelled or postponed again.
“I want to host them as a symbol of the world coming together to overcome this tough situation and of strengthened bonds among humankind,” Koike told Reuters in an online interview. She declined to specify a deadline for deciding if the Games could go ahead.
Tokyo’s jump in COVID-19 cases comes as Abe’s government prepares to launch a campaign to promote domestic tourism, but that has raised concern about spreading the virus outside the capital. (Reuters)
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