PCG in S. Mindanao orders intensified patrols vs. illegal entry of travelers from Indonesia

Marje Pelayo   •   July 22, 2021   •   192

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Southern Mindanao recently ordered its station, sub-stations, floating assets, and operational control (OPCON) units to carry out intensified monitoring and regular border patrols in the region to prevent illegal entry of people from Indonesia.

The directive comes after reports of surge in Delta variant cases wreaking havoc in the said Asian country.

Indonesia was recently included by the national government in the list of countries with travel restrictions.

It shares borders with the Philippines in Southern Mindanao and its proximity poses a huge risk of virus importation.

In view of this, PCG Commandant Admiral George Ursabia Jr. directed all Coast Guard districts and units nationwide to step up monitoring of all vessels with crew or passengers who may be carriers of the COVID-19 Delta variant, most especially borders near Indonesia and Malaysia in the Southern part of the Philippines.

Meanwhile, Captain Rejard Marfe, the acting commander of PCG District Southern Mindanao, also ordered all PCG units in the region to ensure that measures are in place, in coordination with local government units and other law enforcement agencies.

San Juan City reports 2 Delta variant cases

Robie de Guzman   •   July 27, 2021

The city government of San Juan on Tuesday confirmed two cases of the highly transmissible Delta COVID-19 variant in their area.

In a statement, San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora said that the two cases involved a 25-year old woman and a 9-year old boy.

Zamora said the 25-year old patient works in a call center in another city in Metro Manila. She tested positive for coronavirus on July 1.

The patient was asymptomatic and completed her quarantine on July 13.

The female patient is a colleague and had close contact with the father of the second case.

The 9-year old boy experienced fever as his parents also contracted the virus.

Zamora said the father manifested COVID-19 symptoms while his wife was asymptomatic.

“The family underwent quarantine at the Kalinga Center starting July 1 and were all released on July 15,” he said.

The mayor said the city government was only informed that the patients’ sequenced samples tested positive for the Delta variant on Monday, almost a week after they had completed their quarantine.

“We are taking all necessary precautions against the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant. All health and safety protocols are being strictly implemented while stringent contact tracing is being conducted to make sure we arrest the spread of the virus,” Zamora said.

The mayor reported that San Juan City has recorded a total of 110 COVID-19 cases.

Aside from San Juan City, the local governments of Quezon City and Davao City also confirmed the detection of Delta variant cases in their respective localities.

The Philippines has so far recorded 119 Delta variant cases, 12 of which remain active.

PNP asks for public cooperation as enforcement of longer curfew hours in Metro Manila begins

Robie de Guzman   •   July 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Guillermo Eleazar called on the public to cooperate with authorities in the implementation of longer curfew hours in Metro Manila.

Starting July 25, the curfew hours in Metro Manila have been reverted to 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. from the previous 12 midnight to 4 a.m.,

“Hindi na bago ang pagkakaroon ng mas mahabang curfew hours sa Metro Manila kaya inaasahan natin ang pagsunod ng ating mga kababayan sa patakarang ito,” Eleazar said in a statement.

“Sa ating mga kapulisan, inaasahan ko ang maayos na pagpapaliwanag at pakikitungo sa mga lalabag sa itinakdang curfew hours, at inaasahan ko din ang pagrespeto ng ating mga kababayan sa patakarang ito at pati na rin sa mga taong nagpapatupad nito,” he added.

Eleazar expressed hope that the policy would no longer result in apprehensions and other unnecessary confrontations between the violators and people enforcing the rule, including policemen and village officials

“Kung isasaisip natin ang kaligtasan natin at ng ating pamilya, naniniwala ako na hindi na tayo aabot sa sitahan at arestuhan pa sa pagpapatupad ng curfew hours sa Metro Manila o saan mang lugar na ipinapatupad ito,” the PNP chief said.

Metro Manila mayors earlier agreed to lengthen the curfew hours following the confirmation of local transmission of Delta variant in the country.

The enforcement of longer curfew hours is aimed at limiting the movement of the public.

The Philippines has so far confirmed 119 cases of Delta COVID-19 variant.

Quezon City detects Delta variant case

Robie de Guzman   •   July 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Quezon City government on Monday confirmed that a case of Delta COVID-19 variant has been detected in the city.

In a statement, the local government said the patient is a 34-year old returning overseas Filipino who arrived from Saudi Arabia on June 24.

He stayed in a hotel in Makati for 10 days before transferring to another hotel in Manila from July 4 to 11.

The patient experienced a slightly itchy throat on June 28 and was tested for COVID-19 on June 30.

He was tagged as recovered and allowed to go home to his family on July 11.

The city government said the result of his sequenced sample was relayed to Quezon City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (CESU) on Sunday evening, which prompted local authorities to re-test him and his close contacts on Monday.

He and his family have been under strict home quarantine, it added.

“He will undergo another swab test, along with his family, as part of our protocol even if he is considered a recovered patient. We are doing extensive contact tracing on his close contacts just to make sure,” CESU head Dr. Rolly Cruz said in the same statement.

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte has assured the residents that “extensive measures” have been put in place in preparation for the possible spread of the Delta variant.

“We continue to exert all effort to contain its possible spread. What is important is that we are intensifying testing and aggressive contact tracing,” Belmonte said.

Meanwhile, the city government said it is also closely coordinating with another local government unit regarding the possible local transmission of the Delta variant.

CESU said it learned that a male who resides in another city but works in a factory in Quezon City contracted the COVID-19 variant. His pregnant wife also tested positive for COVID-19.

“CESU has been conducting contact tracing and swabbing at his place of work since Saturday. There are no reported cases yet at his place of work but we are doing this as a preventive measure to make sure we contain any possible transmission this early,” Dr. Cruz said.

The said factory worker experienced shortness of breathing, colds, fever, and sore throat on July 4. He tested positive the following day.

“He was admitted to the Philippine General Hospital on July 5 and was discharged on July 18,” the city government said.

“His wife, who was asymptomatic, was tested on July 8 and turned out positive the next day. She tested positive again on July 17,” it added.

The couple is currently staying at a quarantine facility in another city until the end of the month, the city government further said.

The Philippines has so far recorded 119 Delta variant cases.

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