Smart Araneta Coliseum as mega vaccination site, inoculation to start Saturday — QC gov’t

Marje Pelayo   •   May 13, 2021   •   265

MANILA, Philippines – The Quezon City government announced that the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao has been identified as one of the city’s mega vaccination sites.

Mayor Joy Belmonte confirmed that the Araneta Group has allowed the city government to use the Big Dome in support of the city’s vaccination program. Inoculations are expected to begin there on Saturday (May 15).

“We estimate that the Big Dome will be capable of delivering 1,000 to 1,500 COVID shots per day,” said Belmonte.

She added that measures for indoor settings, such as proper filters and fan systems for adequate ventilation, will be installed to ensure the safety of everyone who plans to get their jabs at the facility.

Belmonte expressed gratitude to the Araneta Group for offering the Big Dome to the city’s vaccination program for free.

“It is a suitable site for a massive and critical government health drive since it offers adequate space and accessibility to both our healthcare workers and the public,” Belmonte said.

“This will help us strengthen our efforts to provide our QCitizens the protection they need against COVID-19. The faster we vaccinate our people, the sooner we can achieve economic recovery,” the Mayor added.

Also, the Araneta Group committed to provide their own medical personnel to help with the inoculation.

“We are very pleased to accommodate the QC LGU’s vaccination campaign inside the Smart Araneta Coliseum. This is our contribution to the government’s efforts to control the surge of COVID-19 cases in the city and to improve public health,” according to Antonio Mardo, SVP for Operations of the Araneta Group.

The city earlier partnered with the Araneta Group in expanding its free COVID-19 swab testing initiatives. Araneta City was tapped since fourth quarter of 2020 as a venue for the local government’s free RT-PCR tests for the general public.

The company also allowed the free use of the Araneta City Bus Port as an accessible site for the drive-thru COVID-19 RT-PCR saliva testing of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC).

The site, which opened in February 2021, offers a painless and less invasive method of collecting samples while reducing person-to-person contact in COVID-19 testing.

Quezon City opens nighttime COVID-19 vaccination for workers

Robie de Guzman   •   June 16, 2021

The Quezon City government on Wednesday announced it has launched a nighttime vaccination program, which will open at 6 p.m. or after working hours to accommodate employees who cannot take time off from work or visit a vaccination site during the day.

In a statement, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said the vaccination program, dubbed “QC Bakuna Nights,” aims to expand the reach of the city and immunize workers whose only free time is in the evening.

“Para ito sa mga manggagawa natin na hindi naman makaliban sa kanilang trabaho para makapagpabakuna sa karaniwang oras na 8am-5pm. Lalo na ‘yung mga arawan ang sahod,” Belmonte said.

“Ngayon, hindi na nila kailangang mamili kung arawang kita ba muna o bakuna. We will inoculate them at a time most convenient to them,” she added.

The city government also said on Wednesday that for the first time, around 2,000 pre-registered frontline personnel under the A4 category will be inoculated at the Quezon City Hall Grounds.

QC gov’t eyes cutting ties with firm behind eZConsult over vaccination booking woes

Robie de Guzman   •   June 16, 2021

The Quezon City government on Wednesday said it is “seriously considering” terminating its contract with Zuellig Pharma Corporation, the firm behind eZConsult, after some residents complained of difficulty booking COVID-19 vaccination appointments.

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said she has issued an ultimatum to Zuellig Pharma Corporation to upgrade its system and provide all the deliverables by Friday, June 18, as agreed in a meeting held last week.

“If not, we have no other choice but to contract another company that can do the job quickly and efficiently,” Belmonte said in a statement.

Belmonte made the pronouncement after residents reported problems in accessing eZConsult services since March 27.

“Kaya natin kinuha ang serbisyo ng eZConsult ay para mapadali ang proseso ng pagpapatala ngunit ano ang gagawin natin kung ang sistema nila mismo ang ugat ng problema,” she said.

“We have already improved our system in vaccination centers where people no longer have to fall in line and go through the entire vaccination process within a maximum of 45 mins. Dapat kahit virtual pila wala din sa QC as long as vaccine supply is stable. Yet eZconsult is putting all our efforts down the drain,” she added.

In addition to terminating its deal with Zuellig, the Quezon City government is also mulling suing the company for damages if it fails to meet its contractual obligations to the local government by Friday.

The local government said City Attorney Orlando Casimiro already wrote Zuellig Pharma Corporation, through its general manager Danilo Cahoy, demanding liquidated damages in connection with the technical failures of eZConsult.

“If the improvements promised to the city are not honored as is contained in the contract, we will initiate contract termination proceedings and file appropriate charges against them as deemed appropriate by our city legal counsel to enforce and protect our rights and the interests of QCitizens,” Belmonte said.

Davao City surpasses QC in average daily COVID-19 cases; records ‘very high’ positivity rate

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 8, 2021

Davao City has surpassed Quezon City in having high average daily cases of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), according to OCTA Research Group.

According to the research group, Davao City along with other areas in Mindanao, has recorded high growth rate in COVID-19 cases. Davao City has an average of 213 daily COVID-19 cases while Quezon City has 207.

Due to this the local government said it will conduct online consultations with doctors to discuss additional temporary treatment management facilities.

A business process outsourcing (BPO) company was also placed under lockdown after 403 employees tested positive for COVID-19. The Davao City local government will also conduct an investigation if the said BPO company had  violated public minimum health standards

Davao City Police Office (DCPO) Spokesperson Pcpt. Rose Aguilar reminded the public to follow minimum health protocols. Over 3,000 individuals have been apprehended for not wearing facemasks and face shields.

“Sumunod talaga tayo palagi sa health protocols at tayo mismo magbantay sa ating sarili, na hindi tayo makatabi o makalapit sa kapwa indibidwal. Ang ating facemask, face shield at paghuhugas ng kamay palagi nating gawin,” he said.

(Let us follow health protocols and we should be vigilant in maintaining physical distancing. Wear facemask, face shield, and wash your hands.)

Meanwhile, the local government will place additional temporary treatment management facilities due to bed shortage brought by the surge in COVID-19 cases. AAC (with reports from Marisol Montano)

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