San Juan LGU eyes elementary school as COVID-19 quarantine facility

Robie de Guzman   •   March 24, 2020   •   844

MANILA, Philippines – The local government of San Juan is eyeing to use the Pinaglabanan Elementary School as a quarantine facility for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients amid a growing number of infections in the city.

San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora said the school has spacious rooms that may be converted into isolation rooms with 90 hospital bed capacity.

Zamora said they have already started the preparations in order to accommodate patients that may be transferred to the facility should local hospitals reach full capacity.

San Juan has so far reported 42 confirmed infections with over 149 patients under monitoring.

Zamora said they are planning to push through with the proposed use of school facilities to house individuals being monitored for coronavirus infections despite the Department of Education’s (DepEd) advice to seek first the approval of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (ATF-EID).

“Wala namang school ngayon, so bakante yang mga facilities na yan… Kung hindi nila papayagan I will have to coordinate with the DepEd sapagkat wala na tayong ibang choice eh,” the mayor said.

He added that the construction of the special isolation room with 16-bed capacity of San Juan Medical Center has just been completed while its COVID-19 special ward with 26-bed capacity is still being built.

In line with efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19, the San Juan LGU has imposed a strict quarantine in areas hardest hit by the virus.

Senior citizens, pregnant women, and minors who are vulnerable to contracting the virus are also prohibited from entering supermarkets and wet markets. But a supermarket staff will get the list of things to be purchased that the customer has prepared and will be the one to collect it from the shelves.

The distribution of relief packs, containing rice, noodles, canned goods and a bottle of alcohol, has also started for the poorest families in the city, the San Juan LGU said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Joan Nano)

Shoppers pack street in Divisoria Market amid COVID-19 threat

Robie de Guzman   •   November 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Marketgoers still trooped to Divisoria in Manila on Monday despite appeals from authorities to limit their movement and observe strict health protocols amid the threat of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In a report in UNTV’s Ito Ang Balita by Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr., people packed Ilaya street in Divisoria where stalls were put up by the city government, not mindful of tarpaulins reminding shoppers to follow social distancing and other protocols.

Shopper Romer Camus admitted to having apprehensions at first in going to Divisoria but said he only had this time to buy some stuff in line with the upcoming holiday season.

November 30, Bonifacio Day, is a non-working holiday in the country.

“Natatakot at first pero naka-face shield naman kami, naka-face mask po. Tapos, yun nga po wala ng proper distancing po. Yun lang kasi kailangan talaga naming mamimili po. Tapos, bukas may pasok na rin kami,” he said.

Local authorities in Manila have been appealing to marketgoers to practice social distancing and to avoid conglomerating in a space.

However, they admitted to having difficulty in enforcing the protocols when the crowding of people becomes uncontrollable.

“Lagi naman ho namin silang pinapaalalahanan na magsuot ng face mask, face shield, at social distancing po. Yun nga po, hindi namin sila mapigilan,” said Manuel Villanueva, a barangay officer in Manila.

During the holiday season, many Filipinos go to Divisoria to buy goods that are sold at affordable prices. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

1,773 new COVID-19 cases reported on Nov. 30

Aileen Cerrudo   •   November 30, 2020

The Department of Health (DOH) has recorded 1,773 COVID-19 cases, 44 recoveries and 18 deaths as of November 30, 4:00 p.m.

The total number of cases already reached 431,630; of which, 24,580 are active.

The number of total recoveries increased to 398,658; while the death toll reached 8,392.

Based on records, 7 duplicates were removed from the total case count where 4 patients are recorded to have already recovered.

Meanwhile, the DOH said there is no need to implement a Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) this holiday season.

However, DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III agrees with the report of the University of the Philippines (UP) OCTA Research that there is a slight surge in COVID-19 cases in the past two weeks.

“Hindi naman kailangan mangangahulugan mag-MECQ itong lalo na ngayong darating na holiday season mismo. Nguni’t tama iyong sinabi ng OCTA na mayroon ngang sa ngayon bahagyang tumataas ang kaso dito sa NCR (There is no need for an MECQ this coming holiday. Although [UP-OCTA- is right about the slight increase of [COVID-19] cases in the National Capital Region)” he said.

Duque said the surge in cases might have been due to the crowded evacuation centers during the typhoon.

He also said the GCQ implementation is already enough but further easing the quarantine restrictions would probably increase the risk for the public. AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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COVID-19 health rules in events a must but hard to enforce at times, Galvez admits

Robie de Guzman   •   November 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. on Monday stressed the importance of enforcing physical distancing and other health protocols at events amid the coronavirus pandemic.

However, he admitted that there are times when physical distancing is difficult to impose when the crowding of people becomes uncontrollable during public events and other instances.

“I believe in some instances, like in evacuation areas and also in some programs, we cannot really dictate the situation because sometimes, the people tend to conglomerate and to really crowd themselves,” he said in a media interview.

Galvez made the remark after events attended by presidential spokesperson Harry Roque and Senator Manny Pacquiao were criticized for allegedly breaching health protocols.

Roque was spotted addressing a large crowd in Cebu last Friday while Pacquiao distributed relief goods to calamity-hit families in Batangas. Physical distancing was allegedly not observed in both events.

Galvez said that at times like this, they remind the people to follow health protocols prescribed by authorities to prevent COVID-19 transmission.

“We are trying to really indicate and advise our people to be very careful and observe minimum health standards,” he said.

Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año earlier said a fact-finding initiative will be launched into the events attended by Roque and Pacquiao for alleged violations of health protocols vs COVID-19. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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