San Juan, Valenzuela LGUs want more ECQ time to assess data despite gains vs COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   May 8, 2020   •   648

In an interview on UNTV’s Serbisyong Bayanihan program on Friday, San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora said he wants more time to assess the data on the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) to ensure that cases of infection have subsided.

He said that, personally, he wants his city to remain under ECQ for two more weeks despite their improving COVID-19 situation following rigid efforts on mass testing, contact tracing and isolation of positive cases.

Zamora said that aside from establishing quarantine facilities and having their own RT-PCR test machines, they also launched a portal where residents may register if they are experiencing symptoms as part of their intensified information campaign.

“Kung kayo po ay mag-register dito sa, our computer system will be able to track you, at kung ikaw ay maglabas ng status na nilalagnat kunwari sa araw na ito, tatawagan kayo agad-agad ng city health office,” he said.

As of May 7, San Juan City has 259 confirmed infections, with 37 fatalities and 65 recovered patients.

Zamora said this is the sixth day that the city has not recorded any new COVID-19-related fatality.

He attributed the improvement in San Juan City’s case doubling rate to the collective effort of the local government and the residents who heeded their call to stay home and observe physical distancing measures.

He also said that the city was able to implement stringent measures as the first local transmission of the disease was reported in Greenhills.

Zamora said the public health crisis has adversely affected the city’s economy but he said he would rather wait than reverse the gains of their efforts to contain coronavirus.

Still, he expressed gratitude to Año for considering San Juan City to be placed under GCQ.

Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian, for his part, welcomed Año’s statement but he also expressed his concern over the safety of the public should they be placed under a less stringent form of quarantine.

Gatchalian said they are still conducting targeted aggressive mass testing, contact tracing and isolation of positive cases to arrest the spread of coronavirus.

They are also coordinating with private laboratories to further boost the city’s testing capacity.

As of May 7, Valenzuela City has recorded 132 confirmed coronavirus cases with 8 fatalities and 24 recovered patients.

The Metro Manila Council, composed of mayors in the National Capital Region, earlier said it may recommend to the government another 15-day extension of the ECQ in Metro Manila.

Metro Manila Council chairman, Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez said they will meet online with Año and MMDA chairman Danilo Lim on Saturday to discuss issues and recommendations on ECQ extension. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

Palace unconvinced PH has higher COVID-19 cases than Indonesia

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 7, 2020

Malacañang is not convinced that the Philippines has surpassed Indonesia in the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

During a press briefing on Friday (August 7), Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Philippines is conducting more COVID-19 tests which resulted in more confirmed cases.

Ibig sabihin po dahil mas maigiting ang ating pagte-test hindi totoo na mas marami tayo kaso kaysa sa Indonesia. Hindi lamang nalalaman ng mga Indonesian kung sino-sino ang mga umiikot na mayroong sakit at least tayo alam kung sino po sila (It means we are conducting more tests. It is not true that we have more cases than Indonesia. The Indonesians don’t know who are sick at least, on our case, we know),” he said.

The Department of Health (DOH) has previously explained that the COVID-19 situation in the Philippines cannot be compared to other countries because of the population difference and health care system.

Meanwhile, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año said no country can say they have been successful in their fight against COVID-19.

“No country could ever say they are successful. Look at Japan, look at Italy, even Vietnam, and Singapore,” he said. “We focus on what we are doing is appropriate, proper, and practical rather than everyday compare yourself.” -AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)

QC gov’t seeks complete info from DOH for contact tracing

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 7, 2020

The Quezon City local government has appealed to the Department of Health (DOH) to ensure complete information of all coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) positive individuals to hasten its contact tracing efforts.

QC Mayor Joy Belmonte said the agency’s failure to provide complete information in some cases delays contact tracing by days.

Due to this, she said frontliners are forced to spend valuable time looking for the needed information from other possible sources including social media.

“The lack of available information from the outset, specifically addresses and contact numbers, amounting to half of all cases reported, delays contact tracing by days,” she said.

Belmote said 573 or 47% out of the 1,224 COVID-19 cases from Aug. 1 to 2 have no addresses or contact numbers, forcing the City Epidemiology and
Surveillance Unit (CESU) to label them as ‘unknown’.

“With that, we appeal to your good office as Secretary of Health to set the vision and direction in improving data quality for rapid contact tracing,” she added. -AAC

Gov’t offices under lockdown reach 153; over 10K gov’t workers, COVID-19 positive

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 6, 2020

Government offices that have been put under lockdown now reached 153, while over 10,000 government employees tested positive for COVID-19.

Among the offices include the Government Service Insurance System office in Pasay City and Quezon City which will remain closed until Friday (August 7). However, the GSIS advisory states that its online facilities will still remain open for members and pensioners.

The main office of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Intramuros, Manila will remain closed until August 16 for extensive disinfection and decontamination.


NCR – 108
Region IV – 16
Region VII – 11
Region I – 5
Region V – 4
Region IX – 2
CAR – 1
Region II – 1
Region XI – 1
Region XII – 1

TOTAL: 153

Civil Service Commission (CSC) Commissioner Atty. Aileen Lizada advised that the head of department or agency should have a concrete internal protocol to prevent the further spread of the virus. This includes swab testing, disinfection, and other health protocols.

So we need to see, dapat meron kayong ganoong internal protocol para ho na everyone is guided accordingly (So you should have internal protocols so that everyone is guided accordingly),” she said.

Meanwhile, a total of 10,344 government employees tested positive for COVID-19 as of August 5.

Lizada said employees will have free medical services if they wish to be treated in government facilities and hospitals.

She also calls on head of the agencies to continue providing salaries to Job Orders.

“Although there is no employer-employee relationship, I personally believe that the head the agencies must continue paying the salaries of JOs and COS. They were forced to not work because of this virus,” she said. -AAC (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)


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