Omicron variant, ‘mild’ kumpara sa Delta variant pero hindi dapat balewalain – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   January 11, 2022   •   190

MANILA, Philippines – Nanawagan ang Department of Health (DOH) sa publiko na manatiling alerto huwag balewalain ang pagkalat ng Omicron at Delta variants sa Pilipinas.

Ayon kay Infectious Disease Expert at DOH Technical Advisory Group member, Dr. Edsel Salvaña, hindi dapat ikonsiderang mild disease lang ang maidudulot ng Omicron variant kahit hindi ito kasing agresibo ng Delta.

“We’re not calling Omicron mild. It is milder than Delta. Delta is 3 times more likely to land you in hospital compared to omicron but omicron can still land you in hospital,” ani Salvaña.

Paliwanag ng eksperto, mas mabilis kumalat o makahawa ang Omicron kumpara sa Delta variant batay sa incubation period nito. May 30 mutations rin ang Omicron sa spike protein kumpara sa orihinal na coronavirus at maaaring makapasok sa selyula ng tao.

“For Omicron, it’s about 3 days and if you consider that people are already contagious 1-2 days before they are symptomatic, for Omicron you are almost contagious just a little over 24 hours, so it is very, very difficult to contain something like that,” paliwanag ni Salvaña.

Ayon naman kay DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, kaunti lang ang naitatalang severe cases ng COVID-19 sa Metro Manila sa kabila ng pagtaas ng mga kaso.

Ito ay dahil aniya sa malawak na vaccination coverage at hindi dahil sa pagiging mild ng Omicron kumpara sa Delta.

“Even though it’s mild kapag tumama sa vulnerable na populasyon maaari pa rin silang magkaroon ng severe infections kaya kailangan lang po talagang na maintindihan natin that the vaccines have protected us and it is showing us that it can protect us,” dagdag pa ni Vergeire.

Samanjtala, ayon naman kay IATF Data Analytics Expert Group member Dr. John Wong, dapat mapaatas ang vaccination coverage ng Visayas at Mindanao region para hindi malala ang maging epekto ng Omicron sa kanila.

Katunayan aniya nasa 35% pa lang vaccination rate sa mga nasa labas ng Metro Manila kung ikukumpara sa 75% na vaccination rate sa rehiyon

“Before the surge arises in other areas we have to vaccinate them at a very high level,” ani Wong.

Maliban sa Omicron ay patuloy ring kumakalat sa bansa ang Delta variant, kaya panawagan ng DOH sa publiko na patuloy na sumunod sa health protocols at magpaturok ng bakuna o booster ang eligible population. (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

 

“No vax, no ride” policy sa NCR, epektibo lang sa ilalim ng COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Malakanyang

Robie de Guzman   •   January 27, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Nilinaw ng Malakanyang na iiral lamang ang “no vaccination, no ride” policy sa mga pampublikong transportasyon sa National Capital Region (NCR) kapag nakataas ang COVID-19 Alert Level 3.

Ginawa ni Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles ang pahayag kasunod ng pagkwestiyon ng Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) sa polisiya na anila’y isang uri ng diskriminasyon.

Ayon kay TUCP spokesperson Alan Tanjusay, labag ang polisiya sa Republic Act 11525 na nagbabawal sa mandatory requirement ng vaccination card sa trabaho, empleyo, at sa mga transaksyon sa government offices, at serbisyo gaya ng public transportation.

Ito ay anti-poor at dapat maging patas ang gobyerno sa pagpapatupad ng polisiyang ito dahil kahit iyong mga ordinaryong rank and file na manggagawa ay mulat doon sa batas, mulat doon sa karapatan lalong lalo na ang freedom of choice. Mayroon silang karapatan kung ano ang mas makakabuti sa kanilang kalusugan para sa kanilang katawan,” ani Tanjusay.

Ngunit ayon kay Nograles, nakabatay sa mga ordinansa ng mga lokal na pamahalaan sa NCR ang pagpapatupad ng “no vaccination, no ride” policy ng Department of Transportation.

Ganito rin ang pahayag ni DOTr Undesecretary Artemio Tuazon at iginiit na malinaw naman ang panuntunan ng polisiya na hindi na ito ipatutupad kapag ibinaba sa Alert Level 2 ang NCR.

“Ang no vax, no ride policy under Department Order 2022-01 ay valid lang po sa loob ng NCR. Linawin ko lang po yun, yun po ay para sa NCR, dito lang po. At valid lang po yun, habang ang NCR ay nasa Alert Level 3, or mas mataas,” ani Tuazon.

“Kapag bumaba po ang ating alert level dito, masususpinde na po yung polisiya,” dagdag pa niya.

Nasa ilalim ng Alert Level 3 ang NCR hanggang sa Enero 31.

Sa weekend, inaasahang iaanunsyo ng Inter-Agency Task Force ang alert level status na paiiralin sa NCR para sa buwan ng Pebrero.

Palace says PH economic growth proof of strength, resilience amid challenges

Robie de Guzman   •   January 27, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang views the growth of the Philippine economy as evidence of the country’s strength and resilience despite the challenges it is facing brought about by the coronavirus pandemic and natural disasters such as typhoons, acting presidential spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) reported that the Philippine gross domestic product (GDP) posted a growth of 7.7 percent in the fourth quarter, resulting in 5.6 percent full-year growth in 2021.

It slightly exceeded the target range of 5 percent to 5.5 percent set by the Development Budget Coordination Committee last year. This is also faster compared to the third quarter, which was revised to 6.9 percent from 7.1 percent, and higher than expected by the government and the private sector.

“We commend our Economic Team for deftly managing the economy through these turbulent times, and thank our people for their sacrifices, hard work, and faith in the leadership of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during this challenging period,” Nograles said in a statement.

The Palace official said the administration will continue to pursue policies and reforms as we rebuild a stronger economy to provide Filipinos a “safe, healthy and comfortable life.”

To realize this, Nograles called for the passage of the amendments to the Public Service Act, which, he said, would open key sectors to foreign investments, subject to safeguards

The Palace also expressed support for the passage of the proposed Livestock Development and Competitiveness Bill to improve the competitiveness of the livestock, poultry, and dairy sectors.

Nograles also said that the Philippine Innovation Act should be implemented to improve people’s productivity.

 

Palace welcomes survey showing drop in COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among Filipinos

Robie de Guzman   •   January 27, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Thursday welcomed a survey that showed a drop in COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among Filipinos.

In a statement, acting presidential spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the latest survey results mean that the government’s pandemic response is “a step towards the right direction” to restore normalcy.

Nograles issued the statement in response to the survey released Wednesday by the Independent pandemic monitoring OCTA Research team, which stated that 98 percent of Filipinos who have already completed their primary vaccine series did not contract COVID-19.

OCTA’s fourth quarter Tugon ng Masa survey conducted last December 7 to 12, also showed that the vaccine hesitancy among adult Filipinos dropped nationwide after five percent of respondents said they are not willing to get vaccinated against the coronavirus disease.

This is a significant decline from the 22 percent vaccine hesitancy recorded by OCTA during its survey conducted in the third quarter of 2021, from September 11 to 16.

OCTA conducted the poll using face-to-face interviews with a sample size of 1,200 adult respondents.

“We are encouraged by the latest results of the OCTA Research December 2021 Tugon ng Masa National Survey, which highlight two important points: first, COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among adult Filipinos dropped to 5%; and second, only 2% of adult Filipinos contracted COVID-19 after being fully vaccinated,” Nograles said.

“This is incontrovertible evidence that COVID-19 vaccines protect us, our loved ones, and our communities from the virus. It also emphasizes that vaccination is a step towards the right direction in our efforts to restore normalcy,” he added.

Nograles said that as of January 26, 2022, a total of 125,089,118 vaccine doses have been administered in the Philippines with more than 58.1-M Filipinos now fully vaccinated.

“Having said this, we will continue to explore different methods to make vaccines more accessible to our people – such as the Resbakuna sa Botika Drive and the We Vax as One Mobile Vaccination Drive for Transport Workers—as part of our goal to inoculate 90 million Filipinos by the end of the term of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte,” he added.

 

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