Mas maluwag na general community quarantine, umiiral sa Metro Manila —Malacañang

Marje Pelayo   •   October 19, 2020   •   374

MANILA, Philippines — Mas marami na ang maaaring lumabas ng bahay ngayon at pinalawig pa ang kapasidad ng pampublikong transportasyon sa kabila na nananatili ang banta ng coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Hinihikayat na rin ng pamahalaan ang pagsasagawa ng business activities upang maka-engganyo ng mas maraming customers bukod pa sa mas maraming negosyo ang pinahihintulutan nang magbukas.

“Tama po kayo, mas maluwag na general community quarantine ang pinaiiral ngayon sa Metro Manila,” sagot ni Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque sa mga mamahayag nitong Lunes (October 19).

Ang pagluwag ng quarantine restrictions ay upang makabawi ang ekonomiya sa bansa mula sa epekto ng pandemya.

Samantala, ayon sa kalihim, may mga sang-ayon sa mungkahi ng Metro Manila Mayors na palawigin na ang general community quarantine (GCQ) sa National Capital Region (NCR) hanggang buwan ng Disyembre.

Subalit, naka-depende pa rin ito sa desisyon ng policy-making body ng gobyerno laban sa COVID-19.

“Iyan po ang parang nabubuong concensus, pero siyempre po hindi ko po pwedeng pangunahan because it is a collegial decision,” pahayag ng opisyal.

“Pero ang nangyayari po kasi ngayon, bagaman naka-GCQ ang Metro Manila, nagkakaroon po tayo ng mas malawak na pagbubukas ng mga industriya,” dagdag nito.

Inaasahang bago magpalit ng buwan, isasapubliko ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte ang panibagong quarantine classification sa NCR para sa Nobyembre.

Giit ng opisyal, posible ang anumang quarantine classification sa NCR subalit mananatiling iisa ang posisyon ng pamahalaan – ang pahintulutang makapag-hanapbuhay na ang mga mamamayan habang ipinatutupad pa rin ang minimum health standards. MNP (sa ulat ni Rosalie Coz)

Metro Manila, Davao, Cebu top priority in COVID-19 vaccine deployment – Galvez

Robie de Guzman   •   November 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Areas with high cases of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) such as Metro Manila, Davao, and Cebu will be prioritized in the distribution of the vaccine once it becomes available, National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said.

Galvez said this is part of the government’s strategy for the conduct of COVID-19 mass immunization in adherence to the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to prioritize the poor and government frontliners in the vaccination.

During a meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) in Davao City on Monday, Galvez said they will employ two strategies in the distribution of the vaccine – geographical and sectoral.

Once the infected areas have been selected, vaccines will then be distributed to the target beneficiaries.

The vaccine czar expressed confidence that this strategies will help the country contain the spread of the virus and recover from economic losses due to the pandemic.

“And then from geographical magiging sectoral. Meaning, kung sino ‘yung priority natin ‘no, for example sa Manila, ‘yung urban poor uunahin po natin ‘yon; ‘yung mga vulnerable uunahin po natin doon; ‘yung mga sundalong naka-assign sa NCR uunahin po natin at saka po ‘yung mga essential workers,” Galvez said.

“Iyon po mayroon pong impact ‘yon kaagad sa ating economy at may impact kaagad na ma-contain po kaagad. So ang strategy po natin, Mr. President, po is geographical, priority ang NCR, priority ang Davao dahil ang Davao po ngayon umaakyat din, priority ‘yung Cebu, priority po ‘yung mga Bacolod, ‘yung mga tinamaan po ng mabibigat ng COVID,” he added.

Immunizing areas with high number of COVID-19 infections will help the government in its assessment on the efficacy of the vaccines, according to Galvez.

So far, several vaccine developers are set to conduct clinical trials in the Philippines. These include Sinovac, Hansen, Johnson & Johnson, Gamaleya, AstraZeneca, and CanSino.

Duterte earlier allowed the release of advance payment to companies developing potential COVID-19 vaccine to secure the country’s supply as recommended by Galvez.

With the president’s approval, the vaccine czar said the government can now proceed with Advance Market Commitment and start negotiating with big pharmaceutical companies such as China’s Sinovac, AstraZeneca, and Pfizer.

He added that the government can secure advance commitment with Astra Zeneca for 20 million doses this month.

Galvez earlier projected that the vaccine supply can be made available by the second quarter of 2021 once an agreement has been signed.

The Philippine government previously said it is looking at multilateral financing institutions such as the World Bank (WB) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to finance vaccine procurements.

Local banks such as the Land Bank of the Philippines and Development Bank of the Philippines are also possible sources of funds.

Palace views Filipinos’ willingness to get COVID-19 vaccine as trust in gov’t plan

Robie de Guzman   •   November 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Friday welcomed the result of the latest survey which showed a majority of Filipinos are willing to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

A Social Weather Station (SWS) survey conducted from Sept. 17-20 revealed that 66% of adult Filipinos are willing to get the COVID-19 vaccine if it is available now while 31% said they are not willing to get the vaccine.

“We view this as a positive development as this means that more Filipinos trust the current government’s vaccination program,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.

“We, however, hope there will be a significant increase in the number of Filipinos willing to get the COVID-19 vaccine as President Rodrigo Roa Duterte wants all Filipinos to get vaccines, with priority given to the poor, indigents and other vulnerable sectors,” he added.

Roque on Thursday announced that President Rodrigo Duterte has allowed the release of advance payments to COVID-19 vaccine developers to ensure that the Philippines will get a supply once these become available in the market.

Davao City reverted to GCQ until Nov. 30 – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   November 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Davao City has reverted to general community quarantine (GCQ) following the increase of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the city, Malacañang announced Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Davao City will be under GCQ beginning Friday, November 20 until November 30.

A one hospital command center will also be established in the city to ensure an “efficient referral system” as private hospitals are mandated to increase their ward bed occupancy up to 30%.

“Further, efforts will be made to address the shortage of nurses in health facilities and to provide additional high-oxygen cannulae, Favipiravir (Avigan), Remdesivir, medical equipment, among others,” Roque said in a statement.

“Accommodation establishments will be tapped to serve as quarantine facilities for health workers as well as the isolation of positive cases of COVID-19,” he added.

Law enforcement agencies are likewise directed to assist in the enforcement of granular lockdowns upon affected communities or clusters, and if necessary, deploy personnel in the city.

Melquiades Feliciano, deputy chief implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 for the cities and Bacolod and Cebu, has been assigned to head the teams to be deployed in Davao City to assist in the response activities.

Data from the Department of Health Region 11 showed that as of Nov. 19, Davao City has recorded 5,520 COVID-19 cases, 1,874 of which are active.

The regional Inter-Agency Task Force earlier declared Davao City as a restricted local government unit which limits the movement and entry of travelers who will be visiting the city by either air, land, or sea to curb the rising coronavirus infections.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte issued Executive Order (EO) No. 63 which details the requirements and the list of authorized persons outside residence allowed entry to the city. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lucille Lloren)

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