Not surprising to see Djokovic test positive for COVID-19, says Murray

UNTV News   •   June 24, 2020   •   882

Andy Murray on Tuesday (June 23) criticized world number one Novak Djokovic for organizing the Adria Tour exhibition tournament in the Balkan region after the Serbian and three other players tested positive for COVID-19.

Grigor Dimitrov, Borna Coric, and Viktor Troicki also returned positive tests after playing in the tournament where players were seen hugging at the net, playing basketball, posing for pictures, and attending press conferences together.

Murray said he hoped the players and their family members who tested positive recovered soon and added that the tournament should not have gone ahead in hindsight.

“Obviously it’s not surprising how many players have tested positive when you see the scenes and the images and the videos from the tournament and the players party with no social distancing in place,” Murray said.

“I’ve seen some people say this puts the U.S. Open in doubt but the measures and the protocols they have in place are completely different from what was going on in Serbia and Croatia.

“For a start, there will be no fans and the players will now know we can all be affected by this, it doesn’t matter who you are, we need to respect the rules.”

Murray enjoyed a winning return to action as he beat Liam Broady in the ‘Battle of the Brits’ charity tournament at the national tennis centre in west London.

The twice Wimbledon champion and former world number one eased to a 6-2 6-2 victory over the British number six in his first competitive match since the Davis Cup Finals in November.

The week-long event, organised by Murray’s brother Jamie while professional tennis remains suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is being played behind closed doors with strict health protocols in place.

The ATP Tour was halted in early March as nations closed borders and imposed lockdowns to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Last week the ATP and the women’s WTA issued revised calendars for the resumption of the circuit from August. (Reuters)

(Production: Tim Hart)

DOST to conduct clinical trials on ivermectin if DOH, FDA order so

Marje Pelayo   •   April 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is maintaining its position regarding calls for clinical trials on veterinary drug ivermectin as treatment for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Secretary Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said clinical trial projects will require six months and can extend to years.

He added that since there are almost 20 completed and 40 ongoing clinical trials around the world on ivermectin, it would be appropriate to await the results of these studies.

De la Peña noted, however, that they will heed the directive of the Department of Health (DOH) or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should they require the DOST to conduct a trial.

“Kung sasabihan kami ng ahensya tulad ng DOH or FDA na mag-conduct ng clinical trial ay aming susundin ang kanilang advise,” the official said during Monday (April 12) edition of Laging Handa Briefing.

According to the FDA, the registered ivermectin products in the country for human use are in topical formulations under prescription use only.

This is used for the treatment of external parasites such as head lice and skin conditions such as rosacea.

As for the results of the clinical trial, De la Peña said there is still no clear details as to whether or not ivermectin is effective against COVID-19.

“According to DOH walang maliwanag na iyon [ivermectin] ay nakakabuti sa [pasyente na may] COVID -19,” he said.

He also also suggested waiting for the published results of ongoing trials in other countries.

“Hintayin na lang na matapos kasi advance na ang data gathering nila,” De la Peña said.

PAL warns passengers vs. traveling with fake COVID-19 test results

Robie de Guzman   •   April 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) has reminded passengers to secure authentic COVID-19 test results from legitimate medical providers, warning that using fraudulent ones may land them in jail.

PAL issued the reminder after it prevented the boarding of at least 15 individuals who presented fake COVID-19 test results at airport check-in counters.

In a statement, PAL said the passengers caught with falsified test results in Manila were bound for Cotabato, Dipolog, and Zamboanga.

They have been turned over to the Philippine National Police (PNP), the airline company said.

Most of the apprehended passengers were referred for an inquest at the city prosecutor’s office, while others have been isolated at quarantine facilities pending their real swab test results.

“The police said they will be charged with falsification of public documents and violation of RA 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act,” the airline said.

“If found guilty, they may each face penalties of up to ₱50,000 or imprisonment for one to six months,” it added.

RT-PCR or antigen COVID-19 test results are required for travel to ensure that no virus transmission will occur in flights and in their destinations.

“Safe travel is always the paramount concern, and airlines and authorities are vigilant in not accepting travelers holding fake RT-PCR or Antigen test results, for everybody’s protection,” PAL said.

Gatchalian opposes calls for nationwide academic break amid pandemic

Robie de Guzman   •   April 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Monday expressed disagreement with proposals to implement a nationwide academic break amid the coronavirus pandemic, saying the decision for such measure should come from basic education and higher education institutions.

In a statement, Gatchalian said poor and vulnerable learners will only be left behind due to additional disruptions that the nationwide academic break will bring.

He also said that prolonged school closures may result in learning loss, widening inequalities, and increased exposure to violence, among others.

“I don’t agree with the call to implement a nationwide academic break. Iba-iba naman ang quarantine qualification at may mga lugar na walang lockdown. Mahirap naman pong mag-academic freeze sa isang lugar na walang kaso ng COVID-19. Kaya hindi pwede itong academic freeze para sa pangkalahatan dahil iba-iba ang sitwasyon,” said Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate committee on basic education.

“Sa basic education, isang taon nang hindi nagpupunta sa mga eskwelahan ang mga bata at kapag sila ay patuloy na bibigyan ng break at hindi sila mag-aaral, talagang makakalimutan na nila ang kanilang pinag-aralan,” he added.

The senator pointed out that in Isabela, which is currently under general community quarantine, the Department of Education (DepEd) suspended the distribution and retrieval of self-learning modules and other face-to-face activities after five DepEd personnel recently died due to COVID-19.

Teachers in the division, however, are expected to remotely continue their follow-ups and monitoring of learners, according to Gatchalian.

Meanwhile, some colleges and universities in the National Capital Region (NCR), Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, and Laguna – called ‘NCR Plus’ – already suspended classes or implemented academic ease measures due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases. These include the University of Santo Tomas, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, Cavite State University, and De La Salle University.

While the NCR Plus is now under modified enhanced community quarantine until the end of the month, Gatchalian pointed out that most of the country is under general community quarantine and modified general community quarantine, where the implementation of distance or flexible learning can still continue.

 

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