MANILA, Philippines – Four more areas in Eastern Visayas are potentially the next hot spots for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), according to the Department of Health (DOH).
These areas include Ormoc City which has 38 COVID-19 cases; Southern Leyte with 33 cases; Samar with 61 confirmed cases; and Leyte with the highest number of cases at 133.
Based on DOH records, the spike in the number of COVID-19 cases recorded the highest in June.
“Hindi pa po ganun karami ang mga kaso sa mga nasabing lugar ngunit nakikita natin na mas mabilis tumataas kumpara sa ibang lugar,” noted DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.
[Cases are manageable in the said areas but the number of infection is rapidly increasing as compared to other areas.]
To curb the spread of COVID-19, Vergeire said a strict and proper monitoring of cases in areas with high risk of infection like Central Visayas is necessary.
“[We’ve sent equipment] to ramp up the testing capacity of Cebu province and required the strict implementation of our public health standards with the help of the local government and the national task force in these emerging hotspots,” Vergeire said.
She noted several factors that contribute to the increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country.
“Atin pong ine-expect na tataas pa rin ang kaso habang unti-unti nating binubuksan ang ating ekonomiya, bahagyang niluluwagan ang community restrictions at patuloy na tumataas ang ating testing capacity,” the official said.
[We expect that cases to further spike while we gradually open our economy and restrictions are being relaxed and our testing capacity is improving.]
Nonetheless, the DOH observed that case trends in the National Capital Region (NCR) and nearby areas in stabilizing except in Cebu City and other parts of Central Visayas; thus the national government is putting more effort into the said areas. MNP (with details from Aiko Miguel)
MANILA, Philippines – A 36-year-old male patient in Tacloban City is now under observation for potential signs of novel coronavirus, the Department of Health (DOH) revealed Friday (January 24).
The patient, who traveled from Wuhan, China, showed symptoms of nCov upon his arrival in the Philippines on January 17.
Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo, however, clarified that it is still too early to conclude that the man is infected with novel coronavirus.
The DOH is keeping a list of all individuals from China who sought medical tests relative to the outbreak of novel coronavirus.
Among them is a two-year-old toddler from Aklan.
The DOH clarified, however, that the toddler showed symptoms not worse than an ordinary flu.
Meanwhile, the DOH said they are expecting the release of the confirmatory test on the patients’ blood samples by next week.
The samples are now being tested at the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory in Melbourne, Australia, including that of the 6-year-old Chinese boy in Cebu who was first to be observed for nCoV infection.
At present, the World Health Organization (WHO) is not yet considering the situation a global health emergency.
Also, the Philippines is still technically free of novel coronavirus pending the confirmatory tests from Australia.
Nonetheless, Health offices across the country remain on alert against possible entry of the nCoV given the Philippines’ proximity to China.
Authorities are warning the public to refrain from travelling to China and always wear masks especially airport personnel as they are the first to have contact with arriving passengers from other countries. MNP (with details from Aiko Miguel)
BATANGAS, Philippines – Apart from physical struggles, evacuees fight emotional and mental stress while the state of Taal Volcano remains unstable.
Authorities cannot confirm yet as to when the affected residents will remain in temporary shelters.
While some may still have a home to return to, most displaced residents may have to start from nothing considering the damage the volcano has caused in their properties.
During these times the victims must receive a stress debriefing.
Experts say such service is very important especially for children.
“Pwede iyon mag-develop ng anxiety disorder – hindi makakatulog, palaging nininerbyos, nagna-nightmares, ang hirap kaya niyan (They could develop anxiety disorder – difficulty sleeping, panic attacks, nightmares, such are very difficult conditions),” explained from Dela Salle University psychiatrist, Dr. Raineir Umali.
“The strong social support is very important because when you are connected with people, makakausap yung mga tao na magsasabi sa iyo (people open up to you and the would tell you) how they are able to cope or how they will be able to help you,” noted Dr. Shiela Viesca.
“The notion also that the government is there to assist that there are certain communities and groups who are willing to help (alleviates the pain of) any calamity or disaster,” she added.
Several volunteer groups offered free sessions for the affected residents.
Members of the Alitagtag Main College Department launched ‘Aklathanan’ at the Alitagtag Covered Court in Batangas.
One of the organizers, Nikko Pagsuyoin, posted a picture of when they gathered all the children and engaged them in a storytelling session and coloring activities.
Meanwhile, the 1st Batangas Provincial Mobile Force Company taught children how to dance at an evacuation center in Sto. Tomas, Batangas.
In another picture, volunteers engaged the evacuees into a Zumba session at Tejero Elementary School in General Trias, Cavite.
Several entertainment acts also performed like ventriloquist Arnold Allanigue who toured the evacuation centers in Alfonso Municipality in Cavite and in Bauan in Batangas.
Meanwhile, the Mozart’s Guild of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines – Batangas served to the delight of the victims temporarily housed in their campus. – MNP (with details from Harlene Delgado)
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