Rio eases lockdown despite Brazil cases topping 530,000
UNTV News • June 3, 2020 • 291
Shops reopened and residents returned to the streets of Rio de Janeiro this week, after local authorities announced a gradual return to economic activity. But for many it is not a return to normality after Brazil’s confirmed coronavirus infections topped 530,000 cases.
On Monday (June 1), Rio’s Mayor Marcelo Crivella announced a gradual reopening of shops and businesses on Tuesday (June 2). But authorities have cautioned that social distancing should be practised.
Rio de Janeiro State Governor Wilson Witzel announced that the use of a face mask is obligatory in public spaces, and tourist sites such as Christ the Redeemer are to remain closed until June 21.
The lockdown has weighed heavily on Brazilians and their hip pockets. The economy was already in the throes of a recession when coronavirus hit and this year the government expects Latin America’s biggest economy to contract by 4.7% this year, which itself would be a record.
Brazil has registered over 530,000 coronavirus cases and more than 30,000 deaths. (Reuters)
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has confirmed Sinovac, a China-based biopharmaceutical company, had submitted its application to conduct independent clinical trials in the country.
FDA Director-General Usec. Eric Domingo, however, said Sinovac has yet to submit other documents for the agency to process its application.
“That is undergoing regulatory evaluation, ganoon din iyong Ethics Board Evaluation niya—tuloy-tuloy po iyon (this also includes its Ethics Board Evaluation, it is ongoing),“ he said.
Department of Health (DOH) Spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire said vaccine experts panel also approved Sinovac in their preliminary review.
“Kapag na complete na iyong requirements at nabigyan na sila ng approval then maari na pong mag umpisa (Once the requirements are complete and they received an approval, clinical trials can begin),“ she said.
Sinovac is among the three vaccine manufacturers that submitted their application to vaccine experts. -AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)
MANILA, Philippines – The number of departing Filipino tourists has yet to pick up despite the easing of departure restrictions and allowing non-essential outbound travel amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) said Thursday.
The BI said only 95 out of a total of 1,172 Filipinos departed the country under a tourist visa as of Wednesday, slightly higher than the 64 who left the same day last week when only essential travel was allowed.
“It could mean that Filipinos still feel hesitant to travel internationally during the pandemic,” BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said in a statement.
Morente, however, expects the number to increase during the holiday season.
The BI chief also stressed that arrival restrictions remain in place.
“We are monitoring any policy change set by the IATF (Inter-Agency Tas Force) and the Office of the President, and we are ready to implement these as they may deem fit,” he said.
The IATF earlier said non-essential outbound travel of Filipinos will be allowed starting Oct. 21 following certain requirements.
These requirements include the submission of confirmed roundtrip tickets, and adequate travel and health insurance. Departing tourists should also execute a declaration acknowledging risks involved in traveling and must present negative antigen test result taken within 24 hours before their departure.
Currently, only Filipinos, their spouse and minor children are allowed to enter the country holding tourist visas. Restrictions likewise allow foreign children with special needs of Filipinos, foreign parent of minor Filipinos, and foreign parent of Filipino children with special needs to enter the country.
Those who are eligible to enter are required to secure an entry visa from Philippine embassies or consulates, prior to their arrival.
Apart from said categories, accredited foreign government and international organization officials and their dependents, foreign airline crewmembers, foreign seafarers with 9(c) visas, and foreigners with long-term visas are also allowed.
UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.