PH authorities on alleged raid, confiscation of PPEs in hospitals: ‘Fake news!’

Robie de Guzman   •   April 2, 2020   •   1042

MANILA, Philippines – Authorities on Thursday denied information circulating online that the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) is raiding private hospitals and confiscating stocks of personal protective equipment amid novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.

May kumalat po na fake news that some hospitals were raided by government, specifically OCD, to confiscate their supplies and equipment para ipamigay sa ibang hospitals. Fake news po yan,” Mark Timbal, spokesperson of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (NDRRMC), said in a message to reporters.

The OCD is the implementing arm of the NDRRMC.

On Wednesday night, information about the supposed raid made rounds on social media. The confiscated medical supplies were allegedly being consolidated to be distributed to other health facilities with attributions to a senator.

In a social media post, the Medical City denied the occurrence of such an incident.

“There are news circulating that a raid of PPEs occurred in our premises on the evening of April 1. We deny this and encourage everyone to be careful in spreading unverified information,” the post read.

Senator Bong Go, whose name surfaced in social media posts in connection with the purported incident, denied the allegation.

“Claims circulating that I am involved in handling donations intended for the government are utterly false, deliberate disinformation, and black propaganda,” Go said in a statement.

He also denied having any hand in OCD operations after it was tasked by President Rodrigo Duterte to manage, consolidate and allocate all donations of medical supplies in relation to the government’s COVID-19 response.

“Nais ko po klaruhin na wala po akong kinalaman sa operasyon at mandato ng OCD. Wala rin pong kinalaman ang opisina ko sa distribution ng government resources,” Go said.

According to Timbal, the OCD, like what was done in previous disaster response operations, has been gathering resources through procurement and donations.

“In the case of the COVID-19 response, OCD procured PPEs and other medical supplies and received donations from various donors. These are then provided to various hospital recipients,” he said.

“We are very grateful po to all our donors and the member-agencies of the NDRRMC who provide logistical support for the transport of the various items that we are giving to hospitals across the country,” he added.

He also thanked the media for helping the agency in its fight against false information.

‘Auring’ affects around 50,000 families; leaves 1 dead, 4 missing – NDRRMC

Freema Gloria   •   February 24, 2021

A total of 49,947 families have been affected by the tropical storm Auring according to the updated report released by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

The CARAGA region was particularly the hardest hit as it recorded 47,791 affected families, one fatality due to drowning, four missing after a boat capsized in Surigao del Sur, and two injuries.

The council said 18,996 families or 69,682 individuals are currently sheltered in evacuation centers in Regions VI, VII, VIII, X, and CARAGA.

A total of 679 houses were destroyed in Regions VIII, X, XI, and CARAGA; 226 of them were totally wrecked and 453 were partially damaged.

Twelve roads and two bridges were affected in Regions V, VI, VIII, XI and Caraga.

The NDRRMC data showed that the affected areas incurred a total of P21,437,542  cost of damage in the agriculture sector and around P2.8 million in infrastructures.

The Department of Social and Welfare Development and the local government units in Regions X and CARAGA provided more than P3.2 million worth of assistance.

‘Auring’ affects over 53,000 people in Caraga, Regions 10 & 11 – NDRRMC

Robie de Guzman   •   February 22, 2021

Tropical Depression Auring has affected a total of 13,816 families or 53,236 persons in the regions of Caraga, Davao, and Northern Mindanao, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported Monday.

In its 8 a.m. situation report, the NDRRMC said that 12,825 families or 49,236 persons of the total affected individuals are currently staying in 308 evacuation centers while others sought shelter with their relatives.

A total of 16,059 families or 59,170 persons were pre-emptively evacuated in Regions 7, 8, 10, and Caraga.

A total of 179 houses were damaged in the provinces of Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur due to the impact of the storm, the agency said.

Five roads and one bridge were reported affected in Regions 8, 11 and Caraga. Two of the affected roads were already passable, the NDRRMC said.

Due to the inclement weather, a total of 40 domestic flights of the Philippine Airlines were cancelled from Friday, February 19 to Monday, February 22.

A total of 2,931 passengers, 857 rolling cargoes, and six vessels were also stranded in ports in Regions 7 and 8 after sea trips were suspended due to the storm.

The NDRRMC also noted that the province of Negros Oriental has suspended classes and work in government on Saturday and Sunday.

Tacloban City also announced the suspension of classes and work in government on Monday while the municipality of Calatrava in Romblon canceled work on Monday, the agency said.

MRT-3 depot personnel don full PPEs after 36 workers contract COVID-19

Marje Pelayo   •   January 29, 2021

MANILA, Philippines —The management of Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) has ordered its personnel to put on full personal protective equipment (PPE) with face masks and shields to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) within the depot. 

This, after 36 depot personnel and six workers of the train’s maintenance provider Sumitomo-MHI-TESP contracted COVID-19 prompting the management to place the entire depot under “enhanced access control”. 

All infected personnel were immediately isolated and placed under quarantine.

Under “enhanced access control,” only personnel who test negative in the RT-PCR swab testing will be allowed entry into the depot.

They are required to submit a health declaration form twice daily as part of the monitoring of their individual health conditions.

Also, regular temperature checking is imposed on all entering and exiting employees and those with temperature higher than 37.7 degrees Celsius will not be allowed inside.

All measures are aimed at protecting depot personnel as well as MRT-3 passengers from contracting COVID-19.

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