QC to conduct contact tracing after mayor tests positive for COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   July 9, 2020   •   539

The Quezon City’s Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (QCESU) on Thursday said it will conduct a contact tracing on those who recently had direct contact with Mayor Joy Belmonte and two other employees who tested positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

QCESU head Dr. Rolly Cruz said employees who had contact with Belmonte and the two other staff will undergo swab testing, especially those working on the third and 14th floors of the city hall.

“Other people who had direct contact with the Mayor and the two other employees, including visitors, will also undergo swab testing,” Cruz said.

“Employees who will be tested need to undergo home quarantine until results are released as part of protocol,” said Cruz, adding that results will be out in three days.

Belmonte earlier said she is not manifesting symptoms of COVID-19 and that her office have already been closed for disinfection.

Other parts of the city hall will also undergo sanitation but operations will remain normal as not all employees came in direct contact with the mayor in the past few days.

Belmonte also assured she will continue to discharge her duties and functions as mayor even under quarantine through various alternative work arrangements.

Palace identifies 10 areas among COVID-19 vaccination priority

Robie de Guzman   •   June 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Ten areas experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases will now be among the priority in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccine supply, Malacañang said Thursday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that aside from the NCR Plus 8, priority areas for the vaccine deployment will now include the following:

 

  • Bacolod City
  • Iloilo City
  • Cagayan De Oro City
  • Baguio CIty
  • Zamboanga City
  • Dumaguete City
  • Tuguegarao City
  • General Santos City
  • Naga City
  • Legaspi City

 

The distribution priority was previously limited to the NCR Plus 8 areas or the National Capital Region (NCR), Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Pampanga, Metro Cebu, and Metro Davao.

“Kasama sa mga lugar na bibigyan ng prayoridad sa pagbabakuna liban sa NCR Plus ay ang Plus 10 na tinatawag. So mayroon po tayong NCR Plus 8, plus 10,” Roque said at a Palace briefing.

He said these areas were included in the distribution priority list due to surges in coronavirus infections, the density of the environment and their highly-urbanized status, and their contribution to the economy.

“Ang naging basehan ay mataas nilang kaso o surging cases, ang kanilang pagiging highly urbanized, at dense environment, at ang kanilang kontribusyon sa regional o national economy,” he said.

Roque did not specify how many COVID-19 shots would be allotted to the new priority areas.

The national government earlier said that more than 30 percent of the country’s available vaccine supplies have been allocated to the NCR Plus areas. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Eleazar signs dismissal of police in viral murder video in QC

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 24, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief PGen. Guillermo Eleazar on Thursday (June 24) signed the dismissal order of PMSgt. Hensie Zinampan, the policeman in the viral video of the killing of a 52-year old woman in Quezon City on May 31.

“Today, I signed the dismissal order of Police Master Sergeant Hensie Zinampan who was found guilty of Grave Misconduct and Conduct Unbecoming of a Police Officer in connection with the killing of 52-year old Lilybeth Valdez on May 31, 2021,” said Eleazar in a PNP statement.

Zinampan is currently detained and is facing murder charges.

With the dismissal, the PNP said Zinampan will no longer receive any benefits from the agency. The PNP also said that his dismissal is proof that the agency does not condone abuse and wrongdoings among the police ranks.

“The PNP made sure that the entire summary dismissal proceedings followed the existing procedures and policies in order to prevent technicalities that may only be taken advantage of by PMS Zinampan to be reinstated in the police organization,” according to the statement.

Eleazar said that Zinampan’s dismissal should serve as a warning to all PNP personnel and that each police officer should live up to the three important and meaningful words in the PNP Seal—Service, Honor, and Justice. AAC

Israeli experts visit PH COVID-19 vaccination, storage sites

Robie de Guzman   •   June 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – A team of health experts from Israel on Wednesday visited some vaccination sites and cold chain storage facilities in Metro Manila as part of the efforts to assess and help the Philippine government improve its strategies in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The team of Israeli experts inspected a vaccination hub set up at the Solaire Theater in Parañaque City for the private sector, as well as some cold storage facilities being used in the government’s vaccination program.

They were accompanied by Inter-Agency Task Force and Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, National Task Force against COVID-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr., testing czar Vince Dizon and other government officials.

Roque said the team of experts from Israel is in the country to share their strategies and methods in fighting the pandemic, as well as addressing vaccine hesitancy.

“We need to learn from Israel kasi Israel successfully achieved containment [of the coronavirus] and we want to learn from what they did to achieve containment,” he said.

Galvez earlier said that the Israeli delegation’s visit aims to help the government develop more improved strategies on data management, deployment methods, and transition to new normal.

The NTF and Israeli experts initially met at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City on Monday to discuss vaccination and jab logistics management.

Galvez said that so far, the team has shared key strategies to effectively contain virus transmission and reduce active cases within communities.

Roque said a press conference dedicated for the Israeli visitors will be held on Thursday where they can share their observations and recommendations on the Philippines’ vaccination drive.

The Philippine government would adopt some Israeli strategies to further improve the country’s vaccine deployment and data management, he added.

“Ang talagang gusto nilang makita is how we actually implementing the vaccination which is ongoing right now… Alam nyo naman sa Israel wala na ngayong mask in public places dahil mayroon na silang containment, mayroon na silang population protection that’s why they are here as our guest and as our resource person because we want to achieve that state,” Roque said.

The delegation from the Israeli Ministry of Health has been in the Philippines for four days now. They arrived last Sunday and will stay until Friday, June 25. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Janice Ingente)

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