MCGI-UNTV health facility opens for mild, probable COVID-19 cases

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 8, 2020   •   616

A quarantine facility in Bulacan has been inaugurated, with the help of Members Church of God International (MCGI) and UNTV, for probable and mild cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The MCGI-UNTV Health Facility has 32 individual isolation stations and has been endorsed to the local government of Malolos City.

It is facilitated by five full-time doctors, 22 nurses, and 11 non-medical personnel. It will also provide free service to COVID-19 patients.

Malolos City Mayor Gilbert Gatchalian lauded MCGI and UNTV for their efforts to support the provincial government of Bulacan to help fight the pandemic.

“I am so impressed. One of the best kasi aside from the individual rooms, having individual comfort rooms. Mayroon kayong mga pamamaraan para lalong mapanatiling ligtas hindi lang iyong patients sa loob kundi pati iyong community sa labas (One of the best because aside from the individual rooms, it has individual comfort rooms. You have ways to keep the patients safe, as well as the community outside), he said.

According to Development Manager Officer of Department of Health (DOH) Bulacan Province Dr. Jocelyn Joy Gomez, the design of the quarantine facility lowers the risk for COVID-19 transmission.

“The facility is very good. Based on the standard ng DOH, talaga siya’y nagko-comply especially ang mga separate rooms. Talagang iyong infection control, mami-minimize talaga through the negative pressure (Based on the standard of the DOH, the facility has complied especially with the separate rooms. The infection can be controlled and minimized through the negative pressure),” she said.

The World Health Organization Philippines Technical Support For Field Operation for COVID Response Kenneth Samaco also lauded the facility.

“Safety in terms of you not acquiring the virus within the facility and safety as well in terms of like nake-cater iyong needs po ng mga tao (it can cater to the needs of the individual), he said.

The WHO representative commends the facility which uses modern technology such as the negative room pressure with air filtering system which ensures clean air for breathing.

“I would like to give my commendation po for a very job well-done. I mean, you went beyond what is required and you provided what the community really needs,” Samaco added. -AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr., Mon Jocson)

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Local airlines to increase number of flights this holiday season

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Local airlines are preparing to add more flights as more passengers are expected to travel this holiday season just as quarantine restrictions ease.

Philippine Airlines (PAL) spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said the easing of quarantine restrictions can help the airline industry recover from the effects of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“The good news is the Balikbayan Program. This is the easing of travel requirements for balikbayans to entice them to return to the Philippines,” she said.

Villaluna said they are also coordinating with local government units to make sure the minimum health standards are still being implemented.

Local airlines have already partnered with private laboratories for more affordable and faster swab testing of passengers. For PAL and Air Asia, the RT-PCR testing in their accredited diagnostic lab costs P4,000.

Meanwhile, Cebu Pacific launched a “test before boarding” policy which requires passengers to undergo an antigen testing before boarding. The testing in Cebu Pacific is free from December 3 to December 14 but it is only exclusive to passengers en route to General Santos City.

“This is an initiative where we are closely working with the LGU in coming up with this process wherein passengers are required to take an antigen test no more than five hours before their departure time and then the results will come out in 30 minutes,” according to Candice Iyog, vice president for Marketing and Customer Experience of Cebu Pacific.

Local airlines advise passengers to refer to their respective websites for the essential requirements before boarding their flights. AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

Duterte to attend virtual UN General Assembly on COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   December 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte is set to participate in the 31st Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic from December 3 to 4, Malacañang said Thursday.

The Palace said Duterte is expected to deliver the Philippine Statement on December 3, where he will further amplify his call for global solidarity in addressing the challenges posed by the COVID-19.

The president is also expected to raise universal access to the anti-COVID-19 technologies, as well as the need for global efforts to ensure the availability of safe and effective vaccines to peoples of developing nations.

During the 75th UNGA session last September, Duterte also said that COVID-19 vaccines “must not be denied nor withheld,” and that “it should be made available to all, rich and poor nations alike, as a matter of policy.” – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Unemployment rate in October 2020 eases to 8.7% —PSA

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 3, 2020

The unemployment rate in October 2020 eases to 8.7%, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

From April 2020, with a 17.6% unemployment rate, the number of unemployed Filipinos continued to drop to 10% in July and 8.7% in October. This is equivalent to 3.8 million Filipinos, 15 years old and above, who are unemployed.

With several establishments reopening after strict lockdowns due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), several Filipinos were able to find jobs during the last quarter of the year.

Meanwhile, the underemployment rate also droppedd to 14.4% this October, compared to 17.3%t last July.

The PSA said the economy is gradually recovering as lockdowns continue to ease. -AAC

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