PH garment exporters group donates PPEs to PGH amid COVID-19 crisis

Robie de Guzman   •   April 22, 2020   •   688

MANILA, Philippines – A group of local garment exporters has turned over 10,000 personal protective equipment (PPE) coveralls to the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) for its health workers dealing with novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The locally-manufactured PPEs were donated to the PGH on Wednesday by the Confederation of Wearables Exporters of the Philippines (CONWEP).

This is the first batch of 300,000 PPE suits to be donated to the Department of Health for the use of its COVID-19 frontline workers.

CONWEP expressed confidence it will be able to help supply the much-needed medical-grade PPEs for the health workers in the country.

“At a single shift, 6 days a week, we should put that up to 7 days and double shift, we’re looking at one group producing already a 20,000 to 25,000 a day. And if you have about 4 of them, we can easily match, if we have four in the group producing equally the same, kaya namin y’ong 100,000 a day,” Maritess Jocson Agoncillo, CONWEP executive director, said.

The Department of Health (DOH) expressed gratitude for the donated PPEs.

Authorities earlier said more than 100,000 PPEs are needed daily for the use of medical frontliners. Based on its 90-day requirement, the country will need around 11 million protective gears to combat the COVID-19 crisis.

So far, the government has been able to get around one million PPEs, as it continues with the procurement process with the help of the private sector.

With the limited supply of PPEs in the country, PGH director Dr. Gerardo Legaspi called on other hospitals and healthcare workers to employ a system in using and conserving of the protective gear amid the fight against COVID-19.

“I think, the participation of the end-users, the hospital, the health care workers is also very important in ensuring that we optimize this very precious commodity,” he said.

The DOH, meanwhile, reminded healthcare workers of the protocols on the use and disposal of PPEs to prevent contamination.

“Paglabas, tatanggalin nila y’ong PPEs nila pero y’ong scrub suits underneath, hindi nila tinatanggal. So, lalabas sila. So, pagkaganoon ang nangyari, talagang sabi nila you will expect a contamination to happen,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

Inbound travelers positive for COVID-19 to undergo genome sequencing, DOH says

Robie de Guzman   •   January 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – All travelers who test positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) upon arrival in the Philippines will be subjected to genome sequencing to check for the presence of new variants, the Department of Health (DOH) said Friday.

The DOH announced the new directive after a 29-year old Filipino who traveled to Dubai in December tested positive for the more transmissible COVID-19 variant first reported in the United Kingdom.

“There was instruction already na lahat ng parating na pasahero basta’t positive atin na pong isu-isubject sa [genome] sequencing,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a virtual press briefing.

Genomic sequencing is a process that allows scientists to analyze and determine how a virus has mutated and to detect if it has the new variants based on the samples taken from coronavirus-infected patients.

Previously, authorities conducted random sequencing of the samples of inbound passengers who tested positive for COVID-19.

Amid the growing number of cases of new COVID-19 variants, the DOH said the government is strengthening its genomic biosurveillance as it is “not feasible” for the country to totally shut its borders.

“Our safeguard would be the biosurveillance that we will be doing and the strict protocols in our ports of entry,” Vergeire said.

She also pointed out that none of the other countries are implementing a total travel ban amid the reported spread of new coronavirus variants.

“Wala pa naman tayong move na ganyan sa ngayon na pinag-uusapan sa Inter- Agency Task Force… Kailangan lang natin maintindihan na iyon pong mga ibang mga countries na may variant, wala namang community transmission… But, of course, that would be part of something to be considered by the IATF in the coming days,” she said.

Malacañang has announced Friday that the government is extending for another two weeks that travel restrictions on foreign passengers coming from 32 countries. Filipinos coming from countries covered by the travel ban are still allowed to enter the Philippines but will be required to undergo quarantine for two weeks regardless of their COVID-19 test result. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

Close contacts ng Pinoy na may UK COVID-19 variant na ‘di nakikipagtulungan sa otoridad, mahaharap sa parusa – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   January 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Maaaring maharap sa parusa ang sinomang close contact ng Pilipinong nag-positibo sa UK variant ng COVID-19 na hindi makikipagtulungan sa mga otoridad, ayon sa Department of Health (DOH).

Inilabas ng DOH ang babala sa gitna ng ginagawa nitong contact tracing sa lahat ng nakasalamuha ng Pilipinong nagkaroon ng UK coronavirus variant matapos bumiyahe palabas ng bansa noong Disyembre.

Una nang iniulat ng DOH na ang Pilipinong naimpeksyon ng UK COVID-19 variant ay bumiyahe pa-United Arab Emirates noong Disyembre. Umuwi ito sa bansa nitong Enero 7 kasama ang kanyang kasintahan sakay ng eroplanong may lulang 159 iba pang mga pasahero.

Ayon kay Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, 92 porsiyento o 146 na ng close contacts ng pasyente ang nakausap ng DOH. Ang nalalabing 13 naman ay hindi pa umano tumutugon o kaya ay kinakansela ang kanilang tawag.

Paalala ni Vergeire na sa ilalim ng batas, maaaring maharap sa multa o parusang pagkakakulong ang sinomang close contacts ng pasyente na hindi makikipagtulungan sa mga otoridad.

“There is this violation, we have a law, RA 11332, law on notifiable diseases… Maaari po tayong magkaroon ng mga sanctions for these persons especially kung talagang kasama siya as contact siya, and the risk of him spreading the diseases ay nandoon,” ang wika ni Vergeire.

Ayon kay Vergeire, nasa quarantine facilities na ang ilan sa close contacts ng UK variant-positive na pasyante habang ang ilan naman ay pinayagang mag-home quarantine alinsunod sa panuntunan. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

COVID-19 cases close to 500-K as daily tally reaches 1,524

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The daily tally for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases have reached 1,524 with total cases nearing 500,000, according to the latest bulletin of the Department of Health (DOH).

As of 4:00 p.m. of January 12, total cases are at 491,258 with 23,532 active cases.

Daily recoveries have increased by 44 with a total of 458,172 recovered patients.

Meanwhile, the DOH had recorded 139 number of deaths, bringing the total to 9,554 COVID-19 deaths.

Meanwhile, two duplicates and one earlier recorded death were removed from the total case count.

The DOH also clarified that 78 cases previously tagged as recovered were reclassified as deaths.

Meanwhile, global tally went up to 90,907,661 confirmed cases with 1,945,203 deaths and 50,304,353 recoveries. AAC

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