Philippines confirms execution of Canadian hostage by Abu Sayyaf militants

admin   •   June 14, 2016   •   3208

Abu Sayyaf's Canadian hostage Robert Hall is pictured in this file photo.

Abu Sayyaf’s Canadian hostage Robert Hall is pictured in this file photo.

The Philippines confirmed on Tuesday the execution a Canadian man held hostage by the Abu Sayyaf Islamist militant group on a remote southern island since he was captured with three other people in September 2015.

“We strongly condemn the brutal and senseless murder of Mr. Robert Hall, a Canadian national, after being held captive by the Abu Sayyaf group in Sulu for the past nine months,” Philippines President Benigno Aquino said in a statement issued by his communications secretary.

(Reporting by Manuel Mogato; Editing by Paul Tait)

9,928 children with health risks vaccinated vs COVID-19 – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   October 25, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines – The number of minors with co-morbidities who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 has reached 9,928, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Monday.

In a press briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that ten among the minors experienced reactions to the vaccines.

“Tatlong mga bata ay nagkaroon ng allergic reactions but were all managed. Tatlo po ay nagkaroon ng anxiety-related reactions, at ‘yung apat po mga minor lang po, masakit po mga vaccination site,” she said.

“So far, wala pa po tayong serious at adverse reactions that were noted. But of course, we are still monitoring these children,” she added.

Vergeire assured that children who were inoculated with COVID-19 vaccine will be continuously monitored.

“Katulad ng sabi natin, hindi lang natatapos ang monitoring namin pagkatapos lang ng bakunahan. We will monitor them this whole month para makita natin if there will still be other reactions na mangyayari,” she said.

The COVID-19 vaccination for the pediatric population was launched on Oct. 15 in eight hospitals in Metro Manila.

It was then expanded to 13 more hospitals and facilities when the DOH rolled out the program’s second phase on Oct. 22.

Vergeire said they consider the vaccination program a success and assured that the process has been orderly.

Should the two phases of the pediatric vaccination be successful, the campaign will be expanded to other regions.

“So ‘yan po ay pinagplaplanuhan, pinag-uusapan na at magbibigay tayo ng information in the coming days,” Vergeire said.

The following medical conditions would make children aged 12 to 17 years old eligible for vaccination against COVID-19:

  • Medical complexity
  • Genetic conditions
  • Neurologic conditions
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Metabolic/endocrine
  • Obesity
  • HIV infection
  • Tuberculosis
  • Chronic respiratory disease
  • Renal disorder
  • Hepatobillary

Vergeire earlier said that children participating in the pilot COVID-19 vaccination program should be well-informed and must get clearance from their physicians.

Philippines detects 380 more Delta COVID-19 variant cases; first B.1.1.318 case

Robie de Guzman   •   October 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines has detected 380 more cases of the highly transmissible Delta COVID-19 variant and its first case of the B.1.1.318 variant, the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday.

In DOH’s biosurveillance update, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the latest run sequenced comprised of 746 samples collected in March, April, September, and October.

Based on data she presented during a virtual briefing, 380 were found positive for the Delta variant, 166 were Beta variant carriers, while 104 were positive for the Alpha variant.

The country’s first case of B.1.1.318 case was also detected.

“Please note that the B.1.1.318 was not designated yet as a variant under monitoring during the time of sample collection,” Vergeire noted.

B.1.1.318 is a COVID-19 variant under monitoring based on the classifications of the World Health Organization.

“This was initially identified or detected in Mauritius. Mayroon silang naging cluster of 120 cases doon at nung kanilang na-sequence ay ito po ang lumabas. Itong variant under monitoring na ito,” Vergeire said.

“It has 14 mutations in its spike region, kasama po dito yung mutations na nakita din natin sa Delta variant at saka sa Beta variant,” she added.

Vergeire, however, stressed that the variant is still being studied and that there is no reason for the public to panic over the presence of the said variant in the country.

“Ibig sabihin, pinag-aaralan pa ito ng maigi ng WHO, ng mga international experts, dahil ito pong mga mutations na ito ay maaaring maka-apekto rin sa efficacy ng bakuna, maaari ding makaapekto sa transmission ng sakit,” she said.

“Let me just reiterate, it’s a variant under monitoring. Lahat po pinag-aaralan sa ngayon. Wala po tayong cause to panic. Kailangan lang po maging vigilant pa rin tayo lahat and follow our minimum public health standards,” she added.

As of Oct. 24, the Philippines has sequenced a total of 17,893 samples, of which 88.76 percent or 15,882 are assigned lineages, the DOH said.

NTF tells LGUs to ramp up COVID-19 vaccination to reach 1.5M target daily jab rate

Robie de Guzman   •   October 25, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines – The National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 has renewed its push for local government units (LGU) to further increase their COVID-19 vaccination output to help achieve the country’s target of 1 million to 1.5 million daily jab rate.

“Our goal is for LGUs to inoculate 70% of their eligible population with at least one dose by November. We cannot scale up our national vaccination output if we just settle with our current jab rate,” NTF chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr. said.

Galvez issued the statement during a meeting with local chief executives last Friday.

The NTF said it has identified highly-urbanized cities (HUCs) and regions that would lead the push in increasing the country’s daily vaccination output to 1.5 million doses.

This follows the influx of vaccine supplies from various manufacturers and the opening of the vaccine rollout to the general population including minors.

“With the steady arrival of bigger COVID-19 vaccine shipments, our LGUs must work double time to realize President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive, and that is, to continue to ramp up their vaccination rollout,” Galvez said.

“Nagpla-plateau tayo noong mga nakaraang araw to just 400,000 to 500,000 jabs daily. If this will continue, hindi natin makukuha ang 50 million [fully vaccinated individuals] by year-end,” he added.

Last Friday, the government recorded 724,294 COVID-19 jabs administered.

To date, the Philippines has received a total of 94,678,340 doses of COVID 19 vaccines since February.

Of these shipments, more than 58.7 million doses were procured by the government, 24.3 million doses were donations from the COVAX facility, 7.9 million were purchased by LGUs and the private sector, and 3.6 million doses were donations from bilateral partners, the NTF said.

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