QC gov’t asks DOH, FDA to make clear stand on use, distribution of ivermectin

Robie de Guzman   •   April 30, 2021   •   295

MANILA, Philippines — The Quezon City government has called on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Health (DOH) to issue a clear stand on the safety and general use of anti-parasitic drug ivermectin.

In a statement issued on Thursday, City Health officer-in-charge Dr. Esperanza Arias said a firm stand by the national regulatory agencies will “help set the record straight regarding the legality and efficacy of the drug, including its distribution to the general public.”

The city health office made the call following reports of the distribution of ivermectin to residents of Old Balara wherein each beneficiary supposedly received a minimum of three capsules or tablets.

“We were not given a go signal by the FDA to use ivermectin as a prophylaxis or cure against COVID-19 since it’s still pending further studies. Hence, we cannot use it nor endorse it,” Arias said.

“But on the other hand, we cannot also stop its distribution since use of it against COVID has not been declared illegal as well,” she added.

The city health office advised citizens to remain vigilant, as the drug has not yet been proven to be effective against the virus and allegedly causes side effects.

“The city government continues to stand by the science-backed recommendation that vaccination is still the safe and effective way of protecting people against COVID-19, together with the strict adherence to minimum health standards,” Arias said.

She also expressed hope that Anakalusugan Partylist Rep. Mike Defensor and House Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta would accept accountability for any adverse effects their distribution activity may cause the general population in the future.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra earlier said that he has yet to determine whether the two exemptions cited by FDA Director General Eric Domingo have sound legal bases.

Umano’y nasayang na supply ng COVID-19 vaccine sa Cotabato, iniimbestigahan na — DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   May 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Iniimbestigahan na ng Department of Health (DOH) ang napaulat na pagkasayang umano ng supply ng COVID-19 vaccine na ipinadala sa bayan ng Makilala sa Cotabato.

Ayon kay Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, nasa 348 doses ng Sinovac COVID-19 vaccines ang umano’y nasayang matapos mapabayaan sa loob ng freezer nang magkaroon ng power outage sa lugar.

Paalala naman ng kagawaran sa mga lokal na pamahalaan na bantayang maigi ang kanilang COVID-19 vaccine supply upang matiyak ang wastong temperature sa pag-iimbak nito.

“Hindi lang po isang beses isang araw ang ginagawang pagmo-monitor ng temperatura ng bakuna. Ito po ay ginagawa kada apat na oras,” ani Vergeire.

Nakipag-ugnayan na aniya sila sa lokal na pamahalaan kaugnay ng insidente.

“As to the sanctions, they were already advised and the local government has been coordinated with by our regional Office,” ang wika ni Vergeire. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

DOH working closely with BFP, other agencies to monitor hospitals after PGH fire

Robie de Guzman   •   May 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday said it is closely coordinating with the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) and other concerned government agencies to prevent further fire incidents in hospitals amid the dry season and the coronavirus pandemic.

In a press briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said they have reached out to the BFP, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and local government units (LGU) to place hospitals under close monitoring.

“Tayo po ay nakipag-coordinate sa iba’t ibang ahensya concerned katulad po ng DILG and local governments and also to coordinated with the Bureau of Fire Protection para magkaroon po ng monitoring across al[l our hospitals because we know that fire incidents are highest during the summer season,” she said.

Vergeire issued the statement after a fire hit part of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) on Sunday.

The fire has directly affected a portion of one floor of PGH.

Vergeire said at least 12 patients were referred for transfer to other DOH hospitals. As of Monday, eight patients had already been transferred while the remaining four were being processed.

The DOH has also distributed K95 and N95 masks to the PGH since all of its personnel were required to wear this for 48 hours as smoke from the fire could still linger in the area.

“We were able to provide K95 and N95 masks to the PGH para kanilang magamit sa kanilang personnel because they were required to wear N95 masks for 48 hours kahit wala po sila doon as COVID areas because of the lingering o naka-suspend pa siyempre yung mga smoke diyan galing sa pagkakasunog,” she said.

“Ngayon po ating pinagtitibay (monitoring) para ma-prevent na po natin yung mga further incidents like this in the future,” Vergeire said.

Phl logs 5,790 new COVID-19 cases, bringing total to 1,143,963

Maris Federez   •   May 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Sunday confirmed that the Philippines has recorded 5,790 new cases of the coronavirus disease, bringing the active cases to 54,904.

This means that the country has recorded a total of 1,143, 963 COVID-19 cases as of Sunday, 4 pm.

The DOH also reported 7,541 new recoveries. This has brought the total number of Filipinos who recovered from the viral infection to 1,069,868.

The health department also logged 140 more deaths from the fatal disease,  DOHbringing the country’s COVID-19 death toll to 19,191.

The DOH said the low number of new cases was due to the low testing output of laboratories on May 14.

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