PH gov’t studying possibility of ECQ extension in NCR Plus — Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   March 29, 2021   •   390


MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government will look into the possibility of extending the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) being implemented in Metro Manila and four nearby provinces.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the statement after some health experts recommended an extension of the ECQ until April 18 to see a continued decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases.

Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases is studying the factors and the impact of ECQ extension on Filipinos’ hunger and whether the government could still provide assistance beyond the week-long enforcement of ECQ.

Binabalanse po natin yan, kinukunsidera natin yung total health ng ating mga kababayan… Napakaselan po talaga, kung susundin lang po natin ang isang aspeto na dapat pababain ang bilang ng COVID-19, baka naman po mas maraming mamatay dahil po sa pagkagutom,” Roque said during an online Palace briefing.

“At titingnan din po natin syempre yung kakayahan na magbigay pa ng malawakang assistance,” he added.

DOH’s Epidemiology Bureau Director Dr. Alathea de Guzman, in the same briefing, said data on the COVID-19 situation in the country must be fully studied while recognizing the implication if the ECQ in the NCR Plus bubble is extended beyond April 4.

“Ang nakikita naman namin ngayon, itong isang linggong ECQ natin, bababa nang kaunti pagkatapos ng ECQ pero nakikita sa ngayon, posible pong tumaas na naman ang dami ng kaso natin pagkatapos na-ma-lift ang ECQ,” she said.

“Kaya yung isa sa pino-propose, yung isa sa mga nirerekomenda nating mga eksperto, eh baka kinakailangang i-extend dahil doon sa  pag-extend ng ECQ, doon natin nakikita yung tuluy-tuloy na pagbaba ng kaso,” she added.

Roque said the IATF has been discussing recommendations in relation to COVID-19 response before their meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte later on Monday.

Duterte is also expected to announce later new quarantine classifications meant to arrest a surge in COVID-19 infections until the end of April, he added.

Metro Manila, and its neighboring provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal – collectively tagged as NCR Plus bubble – are under ECQ from March 29 to April 4.

During this period, only essential trips are allowed, and mass gatherings and dining-in restaurants are prohibited.

Operations of public transportation will remain open but at a limited capacity while the number of businesses and industries that can operate at full capacity has been reduced. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Taguig City launches home service vaccination program

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 20, 2021

The Taguig City Government on Monday (April 19) launched its home service vaccination program.

In a statement, the local government said it has expanded its reach to vaccinate residents amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

It announced that it has deployed doctors and nurses for the inoculation of bed-ridden residents for the home service vaccination program.

Residents who want to avail of the home service vaccination for their bedridden family members may call the designated telephone numbers of Taguig Telemedicine in barangay health centers as well as the city’s COVID-19 Hotline.

As of April 18, 2021, Taguig City has already vaccinated a total of 23,146 citizens.

Taguig City Mayor Lino Cayetano said the local government “must ensure that there are more locations and safer ways for residents, especially the vulnerable sector, to have access to the vaccine.” AAC

DFA reports 19 new COVID-19 cases among overseas Filipinos

Marje Pelayo   •   April 20, 2021


MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has logged 19 new COVID-19 cases among Filipinos abroad, bringing the total tally to 18,160 as of Tuesday (April 20).

Meanwhile, the agency also recorded 13 new recoveries, and 6 new fatalities among overseas Filipinos.

To date, there are 5,877 Filipinos undergoing treatment at home and in various facilities in a total of 91 countries and territories across the globe.



Phl shows good record in vaccination program despite criticisms — Duterte

Maris Federez   •   April 20, 2021


MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte believes that the government’s vaccination program is doing good despite the criticism thrown at it.

This, after vaccine czar and National Task Force Against COVID-19 Chief Implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. reported to the president the status of the country’s vaccination program on Monday night’s Talk to the Nation aired over PTV-4.

Galvez said that the Philippines now ranks 3rd among the ASEAN member countries in vaccination, from the former 8th in ranking when the country had just started its vaccination rollout.

The Philippines also ranks 41st among 173 countries and 14th out of 47 Asian countries.

“Sa ngayon po number three po tayo at the same time 41st po tayo out of 173 countries, at number 14 po tayo sa 47 Asian countries. So hindi po tayo nahuhuli, nandoon po tayo sa may bandang per — mga ano, upper 25 percent,” Galvez said.

“Well, maganda ang record natin in spite of unfounded criticism which — anyway, we expect it. But the Philippines is able to get the upper berth, I said, of the countries that are inoculated. Maganda ang record niyan and to think that people were almost in a quandary where to get the next vaccination,” President Duterte said.

“You know, for whatever it is that really work to them, we were able to make a go at least, not everybody at one time, but we have vaccinated a lot of people. I am happy that we have completed the vaccination of the medical people, yung tinatawag nilang frontliner,” he added.

The President said the country is not really left behind as far as vaccination against COVID-19 is concerned.

“So nakita mo naman na hindi pala tayo ‘yong pinakamahina, mataas nga ‘yong atin. It goes to show that we are really working very hard, especially Secretary Galvez, to get the vaccines here in the Philippines on time. Though it is not as fast as people would like to expect, the fact that, I said, we have occupied a certain position, we are number 15 sa ano? Number three?” he said.

“Well, it speaks well of the effort of your office to at least come to a more than an acceptable performance in the matter of — well, the fight against COVID as far as the Philippines is concerned,” the President added.

Galvez has also reported that 965,960 medical frontline workers who belong in A1 category have received the first dose of the vaccination. From this number, 198,534 have already received the 2nd dose.

The vaccine czar added that 132,948 belonging to the A2 category and 180,315 from the A3 category have received the first dose of the vaccine. —/mbmf


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