Quezon City Council to manage unclaimed COVID-19 dead bodies at East Ave. Medical Center — DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   April 13, 2020   •   599

MANILA, Philippines – The Quezon City Council has been tasked to manage the unclaimed bodies of those who died from novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the East Avenue Medical Center, the Department of Health (DOH) said.

In a statement issued Sunday, the DOH said the council will manage any unclaimed remains and shoulder the cost of cremation if their next of kin do not have the funding for it.

The health department added that the East Avenue Medical Center has also received a mobile morgue to accommodate bodies, whether they were COVID-19 cases or not.

The mobile freezer, which will help the hospital address the limited space in its mortuary, was delivered following reports of cadavers piling-up in its morgue.

The report prompted Health Secretary Francisco Duque III to visit the East Avenue Medical Center to inspect its facilities and meet with its management.

The hospital earlier admitted that unclaimed bodies have piled up at its morgue, which is built for only five bodies.

The DOH also reported that additional body bags have been delivered to the East Avenue Medical Center on Sunday.

Duque, during a video conference meeting with Metro Manila hospital chiefs on Sunday, acknowledged the many challenges faced by the health facilities at the frontlines of the COVID-19 response.

He, however, assured them of the government’s continued support and assistance amid the crisis.

“On behalf of the Department, we are grateful for the unparalleled service and your continued support to the Filipino people in these troubling times. We salute your heroism,” Duque said.

He likewise reminded hospital chiefs to maintain open and regular lines of communication and inform their teams on actions being taken to address operational issues.

He also urged hospital chiefs to proactively seek and address concerns from their staff, and to report such concerns directly to the DOH to avoid causing undue panic.

“Our lines have always been open, more so in this time of great challenge. Let us work together. Your information could help us avert a crisis.” Duque said. 

Duterte to announce new quarantine status; not sure of MGCQ for Metro Manila

Marje Pelayo   •   July 15, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte is set to meet with members of the Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19 on Wednesday evening (July 15) to discuss the next steps with regard to the implementation of community quarantine in different parts of the country. 

He is expected to decide on the new quarantine status that will take effect on Thursday, July 16. 

According to Malacañang, there was no mention in the previous IATF meeting about easing quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila.

Specifically, there was no discussion about the shifting from general community quarantine (GCQ) to modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) in the National Capital Region considering the increase in the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases and the full utilization of the region’s critical care capacity. 

“Hindi ko po alam dahil sa huling meeting ng IATF talagang hindi po na-discuss ang MGCQ for Metro Manila (I have no idea because in the previous IATF meeting there was no discussion about MGCQ for Metro Manila),” noted Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque. 

The Philippines has entered the fourth month since the government imposed community quarantine orders due to the outbreak of COVID-19. 

Roque assured, meanwhile, that the NCR’s hospitals have enough beds for COVID-19 patients despite the announcement of Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega that the region’s intensive care system has now reached the danger zone. 

“Ang pakiusap lang natin sa mga pasyente, makinig lang po tayo kung saan tayo dapat pumunta at huwag na tayong mag-insist (We only ask that patients listed [to authorities] where they are supposed to go and not insist [on what they want]),” Roque stressed.

“Huwag na tayong mag-worry kung puno ang isang ospital, ire-refer naman po kayo sa iba pang ospital, (Do not worry if the hospital is full because you will be accommodated in other hospitals),” he added. MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

DND main office in Camp Aguinaldo on 3-day lockdown

Marje Pelayo   •   July 15, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The main office of the Department of National Defense (DND) in Camp Aguinaldo has been placed under lockdown after one of its personnel contracted coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In an advisory, the agency said the office premises will undergo disinfection on the duration of the lockdown. 

The agency will reopen on Friday (July 17).

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana himself earlier announced that one of the staff was tested positive for COVID-19, which prompted the official to volunteer for self-quarantine.

Based on the result of his COVID-19 released today, Lorenzana said he is negative of the disease. MNP (with details from Lea Ylagan)

Drive-thru COVID-19 testing center opens in Manila

Robie de Guzman   •   July 15, 2020

The Manila City government on Wednesday opened its own drive-thru novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing center in a bid to boost its mass testing capacity amid rising cases of infection.

Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso said the testing center is open to all residents and non-residents who wish to avail of the service free of charge.

The facility is open from Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Domagoso said they only need to bring a government-issued ID to get tested in the drive-thru testing facility located in front of the Andres Bonifacio Monument along P. Burgos Street.

Blood samples collected from those who were tested will then be processed by the city government’s newly-purchased serology testing machines which have a combined capacity of 89,600 tests per month.

These machines also have an accuracy rate of 99.6 percent.

However, those who will yield positive results will still have to undergo confirmatory swab testing. – RRD (details from Correspondent Vincent Arboleda)


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