Police nab over 200 violators on first day of Tondo 1 hard lockdown

Robie de Guzman   •   May 4, 2020   •   329

MANILA, Philippines – More than 200 violators of quarantine protocols were apprehended by authorities in the first few hours of the 48-hour hard lockdown imposed on Tondo 1 district in the Philippine capital.

Police data showed that among those nabbed for quarantine violations were minors and persons with disability who were later allowed to go home.

Homeless people who were picked up by police officers were brought to the Department of Social Welfare and Development while adult and able-bodied violators were held in covered courts that were converted as temporary holding facilities.

Police said the apprehended violators will undergo inquest proceedings.

Tondo 1 district in Manila is under hard lockdown starting 5 a.m. on Sunday, May 3 until 5 p.m. on Tuesday, May 5.

Although there is a high number of apprehended violators, Manila Police District director Police Brigadier General Rolando Miranda said this is not a basis to extend the hard lockdown.

“It’s only 204 kumpara mo sa populasyon ng district one ng Tondo na halos isang milyon so napakaliit na porsiyento nun para i-extend ang lockdown,” he said.

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso ordered the 48-hour lockdown to “contain the spread” and “mitigate any adverse effects” of COVID-19 in the district.

In his order, Mayor Isko said that “disease surveillance, verification or testing and rapid risk assessment” activities will be carried out as response measures to the imminent danger posed by COVID-19.

As of Sunday, May 2, the city health department reported it has tested around 1,409 individuals for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which is higher than its initial target of 1,000.

Of this number, 109 tested positive for the virus using rapid test kits.

The city government said those who tested positive will undergo confirmatory PCR testing, as well as those whose results were negative but showed COVID-19 symptoms.

This is the second 48-hour hard lockdown imposed by the Manila City government. Earlier, the Sampaloc district was placed under hard lockdown due to rising COVID-19 cases. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

Navotas to undergo 14-day lockdown due to surge in COVID-19 cases

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 13, 2020

Navotas City will be placed under a 14-day lockdown due to the rising cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Navotas City Mayor Toby Tiangco confirmed what has been floating on social media regarding the lockdown, although he added that he is still yet to sign the directive.

Based on the report of City Health officials on Sunday (July 12), there are 931 confirmed cases in the city.

Tiangco lamented that despite the rising cases, residents continue to leave their houses irresponsibly. He also said that several children are playing outside without wearing face masks.

Barangay NBBS Dagat-dagatan has the highest confirmed COVID-19 cases in the city.

Barangay Chairperson Zenaida Tibulan said most of the residents thought there is less danger when community quarantine eased.

Lahat halos lumalabas na noong nagkaroon ng GCQ parang pakiramdam nila natapos na ang problema. Sobra lang mahirap talaga para masasabi nating ma-control ang mga tao at mga bata na lumabas (Almost everyone went outside when GCQ was implemented, they thought the problem is over. It is really difficult to control residents and children not to leave their houses),” she said.

Mayor Tiangco said he is still waiting for the augmentation force he requested from the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to begin the implementation of the lockdown in the city. –AAC (with reports from Dante Amento).

Phl Red Cross opens convalescent plasma center in Manila to help fight COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   July 13, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) on Monday said it has opened its convalescent plasma center in the Philippine capital to help in the fight against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The PRC said its convalescent plasma bank was opened in its National Blood Center in Port Area and has started operations Monday.

In a statement, PRC chairman Senator Richard Gordon said the facility aims to help COVID-19 patients after some medical experts attested to the therapy’s effectiveness.

“Pinilit naming magkaroon ng convalescent plasma center para mabigyan ng pag-asa ang mga kababayan natin na may COVID,” he said as he noted that 9 out 10 patients who underwent the therapy have recovered from the disease.

Convalescent plasma therapy involves the extraction of blood plasma from COVID-19 survivors to be transfused to a patient who is still battling the disease. Blood plasma is expected to contain antibodies which will help recipients fight off the infection.

Gordon said the center is open for COVID-19 survivors who wish to donate blood plasma to the PRC.

COVID-19 survivors between the ages of 18 and 65 would have to undergo physical and medical to see if they are qualified to donate blood plasma.

To date, the Philippines has recorded a total of 57,006 COVID-19 cases. Of these patients, 20,371 have recovered while 1,599 died from the disease.

Olympics must go ahead next year as symbol of overcoming COVID-19, Tokyo governor says

UNTV News   •   July 13, 2020

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, often floated as a future Japanese premier, said on Monday (July 13) the Olympics must go ahead next year as a symbol of world unity in overcoming the novel coronavirus, even as her city grapples with stubborn spikes in cases.

The 2020 Olympics were scheduled to start this month but were postponed because of the coronavirus. Koike has pledged to win public support for the Games, although a media survey showed a majority think they should be cancelled or postponed again.

“I want to host them as a symbol of the world coming together to overcome this tough situation and of strengthened bonds among humankind,” Koike told Reuters in an online interview. She declined to specify a deadline for deciding if the Games could go ahead.

Tokyo’s jump in COVID-19 cases comes as Abe’s government prepares to launch a campaign to promote domestic tourism, but that has raised concern about spreading the virus outside the capital. (Reuters)

(Production: Akira Tomoshige, Hideto Sakai, Akiko Okamoto)

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