Mayor Sara Duterte cancels Araw ng Dabaw events amid novel coronavirus scare

Robie de Guzman   •   February 10, 2020   •   427

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte

MANILA, Philippines – Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte on Monday announced that major events lined up for the celebration of 83rd ‘Araw ng Dabaw’ will be canceled amid the threat of novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (2019-nCoV-ARD).

In a social media post, Duterte said the move follows the February 7 advisory of the Department of Health against public gatherings.

“Thus, it is with a heavy heart that I have decided to cancel the following events of the 83rd Araw ng Dabaw celebration: Pasiugdang Pagsaulog, Reyna Dabawenya, Ginoong Davao, Sayaw Pinoy, Kalingawan sa Sta. Ana, Hudyaka, Mutya ng Dabaw, Pasidungog, Araw ng Empleyado, Kanta Bidabawenyo, Parada Dabawenyo, and the Datu Bago Awards,” she said.

Araw ng Dabaw is an annual city-wide celebration held in March. It usually draws a large crowd of locals and foreign tourists.

The mayor said that all preparations made for this year’s celebration will be executed in 2021.

She also said that beginning on Tuesday, February 11, all welcome and send-off groups at airports, seaports, bus terminals, and other transportation hubs are permanently banned “not only because of the virus but for reasons of safety and security.”

She added that only employees, workers, drivers, and passengers are allowed in these places.

“The novel coronavirus situation remains very fluid and there is still no answer when it will be stabilized or its spread across the globe be fully controlled,” Duterte said.

“We have seen an increasing number of people getting the infection worldwide. Our health care facilities in Davao City have limitations and we cannot possibly carry hundreds of sick individuals all at the same time,” she added.

As of Monday, February 10, Chinese public health authorities reported that the number of deaths due to the novel coronavirus has climbed to more than 900 in mainland China with 40,171 confirmed infections.

Duterte also directed the Department of Trade and Industry “to ensure that the price freeze memorandum of the DOH, the price tag, suggested retail price and other pertinent regulations on all goods and commodities are strictly implemented.”

“Business permits of stores caught selling overpriced items and hoarding food and other supplies shall be canceled and their establishment padlocked,” she said.

She called on the public to seek immediate medical assistance and refrain from going in and out of Davao City if they have sore throat, cough, fever, and other flu-like symptoms.

“Schools, offices and business establishments are advised to come up with guidelines to ensure that students and employees who are sick are not allowed entry to the school or workplace,” she said.

“While we have a health issue at hand, please DO NOT PANIC. Instead, report to the authorities and seek immediate and appropriate medical help,” she added.

COVID-19 community quarantine: Davao City implements new curfew hours, 24-hour liquor ban

Robie de Guzman   •   April 7, 2020

The city government of Davao began on Tuesday, April 7 the implementation of new curfew hours amid the enforcement of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) against the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Under the Executive Order (EO) 23-A, which was issued on Monday, April 6, Davao residents with food and medicine (FM) passes can no longer go out after 6 p.m. after the government revised the curfew hours.

The new curfew hours will be from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. The previous curfew in the city was from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Within the curfew hours, people cannot go out of their houses, except in cases of emergencies or if going to work in the exempted sectors or frontline offices.

People exempted from the curfew are those employed in government offices related to security, health, social services, sanitation, and disaster, 24-hour groceries/convenience stores, wet markets/palengkes, food commissaries, food processing or manufacturing, food delivery services, hospitals, medical laboratories, pharmacies, drugstores, other health services/personnel, doctor’s and dentist’s clinics, gas stations, funeral parlors, and mass media outlets.

Mayor Sara Duterte, in a recent Davao City Disaster Radio announcement, said that the adjusted curfew hours would mean the Food and Medicine Pass issued to residents can only be used before the new curfew hours start.

“You can only use the FM Pass from 6:01 pm to 5:59 am,” Duterte said.

She said individuals dealing with emergency cases will still be allowed to go outside their houses when the curfew starts.

“You don’t need a pass when there is an emergency,” she said.

She said that the 12-hour curfew will last until there is a state of public emergency.

The mayor also announced earlier that under the EO, a 24-hour liquor ban will be imposed. Under this measure, the selling, serving, and consumption of liquor or any alcoholic or intoxicating beverages in public areas are prohibited.

The city previously implements a 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. liquor ban.

Davao City is under enhanced community quarantine starting April 4.

Teenage boy dies in London after testing positive for coronavirus

UNTV News   •   April 1, 2020

A 13-year-old boy in London who tested positive for coronavirus has died, a hospital said on Tuesday (March 31).

“Sadly, a 13-year old boy who tested positive for COVID-19 has passed away, and our thoughts and condolences are with the family at this time,” King’s College Hospital said in a statement.

“The death has been referred to the coroner and no further comment will be made.”

The number of deaths from coronavirus in the United Kingdom rose by 27% as the UK government said 1,789 people have died in hospitals as of 1600 GMT on Monday, an increase of 381 from Sunday, the largest rise in absolute terms yet. (Reuters)

(Production: Gerry Mey, Michael Fiorentino)

Ukraine dusts off Soviet-era ventilator designs to help fight coronavirus

UNTV News   •   March 30, 2020

Ukraine is dusting off Soviet-era ventilator designs that lay forgotten in a mothballed military factory for years in a bid to ramp up domestic production of equipment that could help in the fight against the coronavirus.

In response to an urgent appeal by hospitals to President Volodymyr Zelenskiy for ventilators, some of the country’s wealthiest men chipped in to buy machines from abroad.

But representatives of state defense conglomerate Ukroboronprom, which runs the state-run Burevisnyk plant in Kiev, are leading an initiative for Ukraine to boost domestic output based on technology developed there long ago.

Deputy Director General of Ukroboronprom, Mustafa Nayyem, told Reuters that a computer with the relevant technical information had disappeared and the engineers that designed the ventilators were retired or dead.

Eventually, officials tracked down a man who knew where printouts for the designs were kept in the factory on yellowing paper. He was working in a local supermarket.

The plant is in no fit state to restart production, so Ukroboronprom will share the technology with interested private companies and has offered to help certify a new product quickly and provide production facilities, Nayyem said.

“We will give everyone access to this documentation because we understand that the crisis is now,” Nayyem said.

Some 20 years ago around 6,000 people worked at the Burevisnyk factory, producing hardware including radar systems for submarines. It also had a sideline making ventilators once used to treat Soviet soldiers in Afghanistan.

Falling demand since the end of the Soviet Union and a lack of state funding has pushed the plant into bankruptcy.

A handful of employees remain, including its acting director and security guards. The power and heating were cut off five years ago. The plaster on the walls is cracked and old machinery lies covered in dust.

Its last big government order for ventilators came in 2008, the plant’s Acting Director Vitaly Khodzitsky told Reuters. The plant used a bank loan to produce them, but the government money did not arrive and the plant never recouped its costs.

For a population of about 40 million people, Deputy Health Minister Viktor Lyashko said there were about 1,117 ventilators ready for coronavirus patients.

Governments around the world are scrambling to procure more of the breathing devices that can blow air and oxygen into the lungs. They are crucial for the care of people with lung failure, which can be one of the complications suffered by patients with severe COVID-19, the disease coronavirus causes.

The number of coronavirus cases has reached 480 in Ukraine, with eleven deaths. The country is one of Europe’s poorest and health spending per capita is a fraction of its western peers. (Reuters)

(Production: Sergiy Karazy, Margaryta Chornokondratenko, Natalia Zinets)

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