Police, military hospitals on standby amid national dengue alert

Marje Pelayo   •   July 18, 2019   •   1210

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) has tapped the service of military hospitals amid following the declaration of national dengue alert.

According to DOH Spokesperson Eric Domingo, they have asked the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to be on standby in case the number of dengue cases increases beyond government hospitals’ capacity.

“Ang PNP at ang AFP natin may mga hospitals din naman sila and we have to network with them in case na talagang dumami ang pasyente (The PNP and the AFP also have hospitals and we have to network with them in case the number of patients increases),” Domingo said.

“Halimbawa may mga lugar na malayo sa amin tapos sila may hospital maari kaming makipagtulungan para ma- admit din ang mga pasyente sa mga hospitals nila (There are certain areas beyond our reach where military hospitals are located. We can ask for help to admit the patients there in their hospitals),” he added.

On Wednesday (July 17), Health Secretary Francisco Duque III met with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Health Cluster to discuss measures to curb the sudden rise of dengue infections in the country.

The DOH is in cooperation with other agencies like the Department of Education (DepEd), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in implementing actions in schools to prevent dengue, in educating the public on the dangers of dengue infection, and in coordinating with the local government units in destroying potential breeding grounds of dengue-carrying mosquitoes in different areas in the country.

“Kailangan talaga sa schools maglinis tayo, ma- educate natin iyong children at iyong parents kung paano iyong dapat natin gawin to prevent itong dengue at tsaka meron tayong changes sa mga patakaran sa school, (We need to have regularly clean up drive in schools and we need to educate the children and the parents on what to do to prevent dengue. Also, we have changes in school regulations,)” the DOH Spokesperson said.

Likewise, among the agencies’ action plans include designation of additional hospital rooms for dengue patients through Philippine Red Cross and the construction of extra hospital tents which can be used for emergency.

Domingo stressed the need to always be alert in providing the medical needs of dengue patients in order to prevent further deaths caused by dengue infection this year.

The DOH advises households to dispose stagnant water and dirty containers where dengue mosquitoes may breed.

Install protections such as window and door screens.

Likewise, do not let your child play or come near areas where mosquitoes are breeding.

Maganda pa rin talaga naka- pantalon at long sleeves ang mga bata para hindi siya makakagat ng lamok (It is better to have your child wear long pants and long sleeves to prevent mosquito bites),” Domingo advised.

The DOH, as always, reminds the public to immediately bring the patient to the nearest hospital if symptoms of dengue manifest.

The agency can be reached through the DOH hotline numbers 711-1001 and 711-1002 for inquiry about dengue. — with reports from Aiko Miguel

QC gov’t taking care of resident who tested positive for COVID-19 UK variant

Marje Pelayo   •   January 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The city government of Quezon City in coordination with the Department of Health (DOH) is closely monitoring the case of a resident who tested positive for the B117, the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) variant discovered in the United Kingdom.

Following the detection, the City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (CESU) has conducted contact tracing on the resident’s close contacts upon his arrival such as the health workers at the isolation facility where he was brought, as well as the Barangay Health Emergency Response Team (BHERT) that brought him from the hotel to the isolation facility.

The CESU is waiting for the DOH to submit the list of passengers who were on the same flight as the patient from Dubai to trace passengers who may be from Quezon City.

The patient, a 29-year-old male real estate agent, was tested on January 7 upon arrival from Dubai through Emirates Flight No. EK 332 and thereafter stayed at a hotel as part of protocol.

The day after, it was confirmed he was COVID-19 positive. 

His sample was sent to the Philippine Genome Center. On the night of January 13, the city government and the city health department were informed that he has the so-called United Kingdom variant.

Since January 8, he has been staying at a facility where he remains up to this day for treatment.

He left the Philippines on December 27 on a business trip to Dubai  with one companion. His female companion tested negative upon arrival.

The patient and his companion tested negative before leaving the Philippines, and tested negative as well upon arrival in Dubai.

As an added precautionary measure, the patient’s  immediate household contacts have been brought to an isolation facility where they were also tested.

The CESU also initiated heightened surveillance in the community of the resident to determine the presence of clustered cases.

“We have to remain cautious and  vigilant to avert the spread of this new variant. What is important is we take care of the resident, and make sure we don’t sow panic in the community,” Mayor Joy Belmonte said.

Belmonte also stressed the need to intensify practicing minimum health standards and report all symptoms immediately, following the confirmation of the new variant in the city.

Makati City Prosecutor’s Office begins prelim probe on Christine Dacera case

Robie de Guzman   •   January 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Makati City Prosecutor’s Office on Wednesday started its preliminary investigation into the complaint lodged against 11 individuals over the death of flight attendant Christine Dacera.

The respondents are facing a complaint for rape with homicide. They were identified as among the individuals who were with Dacera hours before she died on January 1, following a night of partying with friends.

In a press statement, the Makati City Prosecutor’s Office said 7 out of 11 respondents and their legal counsels attended Wednesday’s hearing.

Five of them submitted their counter-affidavit.

The office also said that the Philippine National Police (PNP) has submitted a supplemental complaint but manifested that it is still awaiting results of the DNA analysis, histopath examination, and laboratory results from Makati Medical Center

“Hence, they moved for the resetting of the preliminary investigation,” it said.

Dacera was found in the bathtub of a hotel room in Makati where she attended a party with some friends on December 31, 2020.

Three of the respondents were detained by police but was ordered released by the City Prosecutor’s Office after it referred the case for further investigation to allow both the complainant and the respondents to submit more evidence.

The next hearing is scheduled on January 27.

Zamboanga drug enforcement chief faces raps over positive drug test

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 13, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The drug enforcement chief of Zamboanga City Police Office has been relieved from his post after testing positive for narcotics.

PNP Chief Police General Debold Sinas in a statement said that Police Major Jivertson Pelovello has been reassigned to the Regional Personnel Holding and Accounting Section of Police Regional Office 9 while undergoing pre-charge investigation and summary dismissal proceedings.

Western Mindanao PNP Regional Director, Police Brigadier General Ronaldo Genaro Ylagan reported that Pelovello has been disarmed of his issued firearms and slapped with corresponding administrative charges.

The PNP Chief reiterated that members of the national police who are using illegal drugs do not deserve to stay in service and should immediately be dismissed.

Pelovello is among the 60 police personnel in Zamboanga City that tested positive for illegal drugs.

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