No end to UK lockdown but some measures will be eased, says Johnson

UNTV News   •   May 11, 2020   •   263

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday (May 10) the coronavirus lockdown will not end yet, urging people to “stay alert” to the risks as he outlined plans to begin slowly easing measures that have closed down much of the economy for nearly seven weeks.

While his government was giving directions for England, it wants the United Kingdom’s other constituent nations – Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – to take the same approach. But there were immediate divisions, with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon saying she was sticking with the existing “stay at home” message.

Johnson announced a limited easing of restrictions, including allowing people to exercise outside more often and encouraging those who cannot work from home to return to their jobs.

In his address, Johnson said people should continue to work from home if they could, but from Monday (May 11) those who cannot, such people working in construction and manufacturing, should be “actively encouraged to go to work”.

From Wednesday (May 13) , people will be allowed to take unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise, he said, and can sit in the sun in their local park, drive to other destinations, and play sports with members of their own household.

Until now, people have been expected to exercise outdoors once a day, do so locally, and – despite recent spells of warm weather – told not to go to parks to sit in the sun.

Social distancing rules must still be obeyed, Johnson said, adding that fines would be increased for those who break them.

He detailed an alert system ranging from level 1, where virus is no longer present, to level 5, the most critical, that will allow the government to flag risks in different parts of England and to decrease or increase restrictions where necessary.

Johnson said that by the earliest by June 1, the government might be in a position to begin the phased reopening of shops and to get primary pupils back into schools, in stages.

At the earliest by July, and if the infection rates support it, there could be the re-opening of at least some of the hospitality industry and other public places, provided they are safe and enforce social distancing, he added.

With both the death rate and hospital admissions falling, Johnson said it would be “madness” to allow a second spike in infections.

Changes will be closely monitored at a local, regional and national level and the government would “not hesitate to put on the brakes” if there are outbreaks, he said. (Reuters)

(Production: Kristian Brunse, Aiden Nulty)

Mega Quarantine Center for COVID-19 opens in Metro Manila

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 30, 2020

The biggest mega quarantine facility in Metro Manila at the Bagong Nayong Pilipino in Parañaque City opened on Tuesday (September 29).

According to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Solaire-PAGCOR Mega Quarantine Center can accommodate 525 bed capacity.

525-BED CAPACITY SOLAIRE-PAGCOR QUARANTINE CENTER OPENSPublic Works and Highways Secretary Mark A. Villar and…

Posted by Department of Public Works and Highways on Tuesday, September 29, 2020

The DPWH said they will continue to expand isolation capacity to address the dearth of facilities from over the past months especially with Metro Manila still recording the highest daily number of cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients.

Meanwhile, the DPWH is working on the implementation of a total of 603 isolation/quarantine facilities for COVID-19 patients/suspects nationwide with a total of 21,609-bed capacity, as well as 75 off-site dormitories for medical workers with 1,806-bed capacity. -AAC

8 out of 10 Filipinos follow COVID-19 health protocols—SWS Survey

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 30, 2020

Majority of Filipinos continue to follow minimum health standards for COVID-19 prevention, according to the recent survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS).

Based on the SWS September 17-20 National Mobile Phone Survey, 79 percent of adult Filipinos always use a face mask when going out of their houses, 67 percent always wash their hands several times a day, while 60 percent always keep physical distance when outside their homes, and 56 percent always use a face shield whenever riding public transportation or going to establishments.

“The proportion of those who always practice Covid-19 prevention measures rose slightly for using a face mask, from 76% in July 2020 to 79% in September 2020. It was at 77% in May 2020. It hardly changed for washing hands, moving from 65% in July 2020 to 67% in September 2020. It was at 68% in May 2020,” the SWS survey stated.

The mobile phone and computer-assisted telephone interview had 1,249 respondents across the country. AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Provincial buses sa PITX, hindi bumiyahe sa kabila ng pagbubukas ng mga ruta

Robie de Guzman   •   September 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Hindi pumasada ang ilang provincial bus units na naka-terminal sa Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) kahit binuksan na ng Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) ang 12 ruta para sa mga pampasaherong bus.

Ayon sa Provincial Bus Operators Association, nakikipag-pulong pa sila sa LTFRB at sa terminal operators dahil sa anila’y hindi pa malinaw na sistema, partikular na sa bayan ng Sta. Cruz, Laguna.

Ayon kay Alex Yague, ang pinuno ng grupo, nagbago ng mga kondisyon ang lokal na pamahalaan ng Sta. Cruz hinggil sa pagbiyahe ng mga pampasaherong bus kaya’t kailangan pa itong muling pag-usapan, partikular na ang isyu sa hatian ng 150 pasahero na papayagang pumasok sa loob ng isang araw.

Nais ring klaruhin ng provincial bus operators ang pag-oobliga sa kanilang mga unit na dumaan sa Skyway at NAIA Expressway upang makarating sa PITX.

Ayon kay Yague, panibagong gastusin ito para sa mga operator gayong limitado lang ang maaari nilang isakay na pasahero.

“As of today, hindi pa handa. Kapag na-klaro na yung tungkol sa pasahero, yung requirements ng travel pass at magkakaroon ng unawaan sa Central termjnal management within the next fee day, ma-iron out natin ang problema,” ang wika ni Yague.

Sa panig naman ng PITX, tiniyak ng pamunuan nito na handa ang terminal sakaling bumiyahe na ang provincial buses.

“Kami po ay handa, ready po kami tumanggap ngunit nakikipag-ugnayan pa rin tayo dito sa mga bus operators upang siguraduhin kung ano yung mga kinakailangan sa pagbiyahe dito,” ang pahayag ni Jayson Salvador, ang manager ng PITX.

Sinabi rin ni Salvador na makikipag-ugnayan sila sa National Capital Region Police Office para sa pagtatalaga ng mga pulis sa terminal para sa mas madaling proseso ng pagkuha ng travel pass ng mga pasahero. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Joan Nano)

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