MANILA, Philippines – ACT-CIS party-list Representative Eric Go Yap on Wednesday confirmed he has tested positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“It is with a heavy heart that I share to all of you that I tested positive for coronavirus,” Yap, who chairs the House Committee on Appropriations, said in a statement.
Yap also admitted that he recently met with top government officials, including leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives, and even attended a meeting in Malacañang despite experiencing coronavirus symptoms.
The lawmaker said he took a test for COVID-19 on March 15 after he got exposed to people who may have come in contact with those who later tested positive for the respiratory illness.
Yap said that on March 10, he led a panel hearing on a bill pushing for the supplemental budget for the DOH, and that it was “business as usual” for him after that.
“Since March 10, ilang tao pa ang nakasalamuha ko kabilang na ang ilan na maaaring na-expose sa mga known positive cases of COVID-19,” he said.
The lawmaker further said that on March 21, he was called to attend a meeting in Malacañang to tackle the government’s response against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Bago tayo magpunta doon, nagtanong ako kung may resulta na ang aking test, pero wala pa daw. I attended the meeting and was careful the whole time knowing na I could potentially be a carrier of the virus,” he said.
Yap also attended the House of Representative’s special session on March 23.
“Earlier that day, bago magtungo ng Kongreso, nagtanong ako kung may resulta na ang aking test, pero wala pa rin daw. That was 8 days after my test,” he said.
He admitted that he became paranoid for his mild cough but he felt that “it was normal” for him.
“Mas nag-ingat tayo dahil wala pang resulta ang test ko. Those who know me personally know that I practice good personal hygiene. But it didn’t spare me from this virus,” he said.
When he was informed of his positive test result, Yap said he felt angry with himself for putting those around him at risk.
“Humihingi ako ng patawad at pag-unawa mula sa mga taong nakasalamuha ko,” he said.
“Wala pong kinikilalang pulitika, kapangyarihan, o kayamanan ang sakit na ito. Pantay pantay po tayong lahat. Kung gusto nating sugpuin ang pagkalat ng virus, kinakailangan na magkaisa tayo. Sama sama, kaya natin ito,” he added.
Yap also appealed to the public to remain at home, maintain proper hygiene and keep the surroundings clean.
“Hindi naging sapat na malinis lang ang katawan ko dahil kinailangan kong lumabas at makisalamuha sa tao dahil sa tungkulin ko. Sabi nila, senior citizens are the most at risk. Stop going out and stop socializing; ‘lower risk’ does not mean ‘no risk’,” he said.
“This is a minor setback for me but it will not stop me from fulfilling my duties and responsibilities. Let’s all rise from this together,” he added.
MANILA, Philippines – Economic managers are looking for potential sources of funds to help the middle-class families amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the national government may extend support to the middle-class sector but not under the Social Amelioration Program or the cash aid intended for low-income families or the informal sector.
Nograles explained that the list of beneficiaries of the emergency subsidy program was derived from the 15 million poor families identified by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).
The government added three million families from the informal sector to complete the 18 million target beneficiaries of SAP under the newly signed Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.
“Naglagay po tayo ng contingency dahil hindi naman malilimitahan sa 15 million (families) iyan (na base sa) 2015 census. Ang ginawa, nagdagdag pa sila ng three million, [We applied a contingency because we couldn’t limit it to 15 million families that was based on the 2015 census. What they did was they added 3-M,]” the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) Spokesperson explained.
Based on the current statistics, the Philippines has about 24 million families.
Minus 18 million families, Nograles said, there will be about 6 million middle class families that will be provided with additional cash subsidy.
“We have to define who the middle class is [and up to what extent is being a] middle class,” the official added.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III suggests a collaboration of records from the DSWD, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE); and the local government units.
“Government assistance should cover ALL those who are affected by the lockdown,” Sotto said in a statement.
“Even the middle-income needs help. Nawalan din naman sila ng pagkakitaan, nabawasan din ang kanilang source of income, [They, too, lost their source of livelihood. Their source of income has also been affected],” he added.
Sotto pushed anew for the national ID system which would provide a database that is seen to solve the government’s problem with accounting the exact number of Filipino families.
Though the IATF-EID agrees with Sotto on the matter, the agency said it would be difficult to process a national ID given the current national crisis. MNP (with details from Harlene Delgado)
MANILA, Philippines – Experts estimate that coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak would reach its peak between the months of April and June this year.
Based on the current statistics, they believe that COVID-19 might infect about 600,000 to 1 million Filipinos if the public will not heed the enhanced community quarantine protocols.
But there are ways to curb the contagion, according to Chief Special Adviser Dr. Ted Herbosa of the Task Force on COVID-19 Crisis.
One of which is the proper execution of the national government’s health interventions.
Herbosa said the Task Force is recommending a ‘gradual lifting of liberties of societies.’
This public measure would help communities recover from the crisis while protecting the public from further infection.
“Siguro wala pa ring pasok para hindi magkahawaan ang mga bata. Siguro ang magkaka- trabaho lang iyong essential industries – pagkain, tubig – iyong mga importanteng industry,” Herbosa explained.
[Perhaps schools should remain suspended to protect students from infection. Only workers of essential industries – food, water or other important industries – would be allowed.]
“Unti-unti nilang ire-release para hindi sisipa ang pagkalat kapag ibinalik mo agad mass transport ng walang adjustment. Siguro ang mangyayari diyan let’s say sa MRT, LRT limitado ang sasakay,” he added.
[Mass transport may be released gradually or on certain adjustments to prevent a sudden spike in infection. It could be, let’s say, limited number of MRT and LRT passengers.]
The official recognized the positive contribution of the enhanced community quarantine in slowing down the spread of COVID-19.
But the success of the national government’s action against the deadly disease will only be possible if each member of the community will understand the measures and cooperate with authorities. MNP (with details from Aiko Miguel)
British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said on Tuesday (April 7) he was confident that Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in intensive care with a coronavirus infection, would pull through because “he’s a fighter”.
“He remained stable overnight. He’s receiving standard oxygen treatment and breathing without any assistance. He has not required any mechanical ventilation or non-invasive respiratory support,” Raab told a daily news conference.
Johnson’s personal battle with the virus has shaken the government just as the United Kingdom, now in its third week of virtual lockdown, enters what scientists say will be the deadliest phase of its coronavirus epidemic, which has already killed at least 6,159 people.
Johnson, 55, was admitted to St Thomas’ Hospital, across the River Thames from parliament, late on Sunday after suffering symptoms, including a fever and a cough, for more than 10 days.
But his condition rapidly deteriorated, and he was moved on Monday to an intensive care unit, where the most serious cases are treated, in case he needed to be put on a ventilator.
“He remains in good spirits and … his progress continues to be monitored in critical care,” Raab said. (Reuters)
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