Odds of containing coronavirus ‘not in our favour,’ expert warns

UNTV News   •   February 6, 2020   •   376

The spread of the novel coronavirus in Asian megacities outside of mainland China may be impossible to contain, a leading epidemiologist at the University of Hong Kong told Reuters on Wednesday (February 5).

Professor Gabriel Leung, a founding director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Control, said there was an increased prevalence in large Asian cities of local cases, involving people who had never been to mainland China before getting ill.

“The big question, which will be settled within the next week or two, is whether these local transmission stains are sustained,” Leung said. “It’s very difficult to stop the establishment of local sustained transmission”.

Scientists believe such transmissions could lead to self-sustaining outbreaks in cities around the world.

“With a lot of hard work and most of all luck, we may be able to get ourselves out of this,” Leung said, referring to recent efforts by governments in the region to reduce population mobility.” But the likelihood is not in our favour.” (Reuters)

(Production: Aleksander Solum)

Philippines gets another 3M doses of Sinovac vaccines

Marje Pelayo   •   September 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Another three million doses of CoronaVac from China arrived in the Philippines on Sunday (September 19) bringing the total number of COVID-19 vaccines delivered to the country to 62,359,810 since February.

NTF chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr. and Police Major Marvin Oloab witnessed the arrival of the vaccines at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) past 6:00 p.m. via a commercial Philippine Airlines flight.

Galvez said the newest vaccine shipment will be distributed to Regions 3, 4-A, 7, 11 and the National Capital Region (NCR).

Galvez admitted that the national government is facing challenges in vaccinating the senior citizens due to the surge in COVID-19 cases.

“Talagang ayaw lumabas ng mga matatanda para magpabakuna dahil takot pa rin ngayon dahil tumaas ang kaso,” he said.

“Palagay ko, kapag bumaba na ang kaso natin later on [at] iyong mga nabakunahan na mga senior [ay] lumabas na, palagay ko, magkakaroon ng incentives for all our seniors to go out,” Galvez added.

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PPA warns of delays in cargo shipments as China ports partially close due to COVID-19

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has warned Philippine-based importers and exporters to make the necessary operational adjustments as several ports in China will partially close due to COVID-19.

On Wednesday (August 18), the PPA said early preparation is key to reduce the negative impact of the delays in their overall daily operations.

The PPA reported that several ports including Ningbo Port, the world’s third-largest container port, continue to shut their terminals for the 7th straight day due to the virus, particularly the Delta variant.

“We need to prepare. Eventually, the delays in cargo shipments will catch up with us due to the congestion being experienced in these transshipment ports,” PPA General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago said.

The Philippine major port gateways, meanwhile, are currently operating under optimum conditions and way below the threshold level of utilization set at 75%.

The PPA also assured that the Manila International Container Terminal and the Manila South Harbor, which handle 85% of the country’s foreign trade volume, are operating under normal conditions.

“PPA assures the shippers that Philippine ports, can handle the bulk of the delayed shipments when conditions at the transshipment ports start to normalize,” Santiago said. AAC

PH receives additional 1M Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine shots

Robie de Guzman   •   July 30, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines on Friday received another batch of COVID-19 vaccines made by Chinese firm Sinovac Biotech, the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 said.

The shipment containing 1 million doses arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport at past 7:30 a.m. via a Cebu Pacific flight.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and representatives from the NTF welcomed the arrival of the new vaccine supply.

Duque said 60 to 70 percent of this shipment will be deployed to the NCR Plus, while the rest will be dispatched to cities tagged as high risk areas.

The latest batch was part of the 26 million COVID-19 vaccine doses, called CoronaVac, purchased by the Philippine government.

This brings to 19.5 million the total number of Sinovac vaccines delivered to the country so far, including the 1 million doses donated by the government of China.

As of July 30, the Philippines has received a total of 33,860,700 doses of COVID-19 vaccines from six different manufacturers.

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