New COVID-19 cases in PH hits 1,509, total cases reached 362,243

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 21, 2020   •   207

The Philippines records a total of 1,509 new cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) with 362,243 total cases, the Department of Health (DOH) reported on Wednesday (October 21).

The DOH also recorded 60 deaths and 911 recoveries. The day’s recorded recoveries brought the total number to 311,506.

Based on DOH COVID-19 Case Bulletin no. 221, 90% of the total daily cases occurred within the recent 14 days, while the top regions in the recent two weeks are in the National Capital Region (NCR) with 320 cases, and Region 4A with 297 cases.

The DOH also added that 41 duplicates were removed from the total case count. Thirty-one recovered cases and three deaths have also been removed from the list.

The University of the Philippines Octa Research Team said there are still areas with high COVID-19 cases since October 11, based on their research. These areas include several areas in the National Capital Region (NCR), Pasig, Makati, Pasay, Mandaluyong, and Marikina.

Meanwhile, DOH Spokesperson Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire said 60-70% of the country’s population should be vaccinated against COVID-19 for herd immunity.

“It doesn’t stop there because we would need 60-70% of the population immunized so we can have herd immunity. So when we talk about P12.5 billion that is just covering our population,” she said. AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

Duterte approves pre-payment negotiation for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) confirmed on Monday (Nov. 23) that President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the Philippine government’s pre-payment negotiations for the COVID-19 vaccine with the United States (US) pharmaceutical company, Pfizer.

“I want to confirm that the president [has] already approved [this] pre-payment. If you look at our laws, may nakalagay diyan na iyang pre-payment ay papayagan kung mayroong (it is also stated in our laws that a pre-payment will be approved if there is a) directive of the president under this kind of situations that we have, like this public health emergency,” DOH spokesperson Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

Vergeire, however, clarified that they still cannot disclose any further details as they have a confidentiality disclosure agreement with Pfizer.

The department said Pfizer and Bio-N-Tech already submitted their application to the US-Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for emergency use authorization for the vaccines.

Once the authorization is approved, the US government will pay $1.95 billion for 100 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Authorities said that Pfizer’s Phase 3 clinical trials showed that the vaccine prevented mild and severe forms of COVID-19. It has also shown 95% efficacy and no sign of serious side effects -AAC (with details from Aiko Miguel)

DOH warns vs possible WILD disease outbreak due to consecutive typhoons

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) warned the public against the possible outbreak of waterborne and foodborne illnesses, influenza-like illnesses, leptospirosis and dengue (WILD) diseases after consecutive typhoons hit the country.

According to the Health Department, the widespread flooding and damage caused by the typhoons have brought health hazards to the public, especially the victims staying in evacuation centers.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III assured that the department and local government units (LGUs) are prepared to prevent any possible outbreaks. He also added that the DOH has released guidelines to its regional offices for contingency measures.

“We are very wary of possible outbreak of communicable, waterborne and vector-borne diseases after disasters, lalo pa ngayong may pandemiya na maaring magdulot ng (especially during this pandemic which can cause) complex situation,” he said in a statement.

Duque also cited the importance of practicing minimum health and safety protocols in evacuation centers. AAC

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No COVID-19 cases recorded among evacuees – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   November 18, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday said it has not yet recorded a single case of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) among individuals temporarily staying in evacuation centers in areas ravaged by recent typhoons.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the information was based on data of DOH’s Health Emergency Management Bureau.

“As of this moment, sa pakikipag-ugnayan ng ahensya ng DOH, wala pa po sa mga evacuees natin ang nagpositibo sa COVID 19,” Vergeire said.

In the latest situation report of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, a total of 55,921 families are staying in evacuation centers in Regions I, II, III, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, V, the National Capital Region, and the Cordillera Administrative Region.

The DOH said they have been conducting COVID-19 testing using antigen test kits but those exhibiting symptoms of the viral respiratory disease will be given priority.

Vergeire said this is in accordance of protocols and recommendations issued by the Health Technology Assessment Council and the World Health Organization.

“So ibig sabihin, kung ang isang pasyente ay may sintomas, mas accurate ang magiging resulta niya within the first five days because of that high viral load. So, dito po sa ating mga evacuation centers, ang atin po ipa-prioritize sa paggamit ng antigen test would be those with symptoms,” she said.

“So, kapag na-extract na po sila ng safety officers natin, iti-test sila for this antigen. Sila po ay i-isolate din of course, because they are symptomatic,” she added.

The DOH also reiterated its reminder to local government units to ensure that health safety protocols are strictly observed in evacuation centers, and to put the elderly and other persons vulnerable to COVID-19 in separate quarters.

The agency also deployed teams to evacuation sites to conduct disease surveillance, sanitation, and hygiene promotion.

“Lumapit po kayo sa mga nakatalagang safety and health officers sa evacuation center kung kayo po ay nakakaramdam na ng mga sintomas para mabigyan kayo ng karampatang lunas at gamot,” Vergeire said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Marvin Calas)

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