Some safety tips in welcoming the new year

Marje Pelayo   •   December 25, 2018   •   2265

Firecrackers.

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) has again reminded the public to take extra caution in joining merry-making activities this holiday season.

Do not pick up failed firecrackers as they could still explode and damage your hands. These firecrackers, in particular, are the strong ones like super lolo, goodbye Philippines, atomic triangle and piccolo.

Since fire is common during year-end festivities, make sure that all electric appliance are unplugged before going outdoor or leaving the house.

Double check if the LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) tank is properly sealed and the hose is intact to prevent gas leakage and eventual fire.

The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), meanwhile, also reminded pet lovers and owners to keep their pets safe during festivities.

Dogs, for instance, are sensitive to noise and strong sound of firecrackers may stress them.

“Kadalasan dito ay nagkakaroon ng panic ang aso or yung pusa or kahit anong alaga natin na maari silang mawala or kung nakatali naman sila ay pwede silang masakal.” Explained Sharon Yap, the Education Offices of PAW.

“We advise kung pwede ipasok sa bahay and then kung may room kayo or extra na banyo. pwede ninyo sila doon ilagay and kung pwedeng mag-play ng soothing music para ma-drown out yung noise na ginagawa ng mga firecrackers natin,” she added. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

DOH orders public hospital to increase bed capacity for COVID-19 patients

Marje Pelayo   •   July 22, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — One after the other, major hospitals in Metro Manila last week declared full capacity of its designated beds for COVID-19 patients.

According to their respective statements, the hospitals fear that operations would collapse with the daily surge of COVID-19 patients.

Thus, the Department of Health (DOH) has required all public hospitals to increase their bed capacity to accommodate more COVID-19 patients.

“ [For] public hospitals, we require them to allocate 30 percent of their bed capacity for COVID-19 patients,” said Heath Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

Kapag nag-surge ang cases, 50 percent [dapat], at ‘pag kailangan pa, dapat 70 percent of their bed capacity should be allocated for COVID-19 patients, [When cases surge, hospitals’ bed capacity for COVID-19 patients should be 50 percent and if necessary, 70 percent),” she added.

Private hospitals, meanwhile, are required to initially allot 20 percent of their bed capacity for COVID-19 patients and if necessary, expand further to 30 percent bed capacity as dictated by the “One Hospital Command” launched by the DOH.

Under the program, an incident command system network between hospitals will be established to coordinate transfers in case one hospital can no longer accommodate incoming COVID-19 patients.

“That is our answer to this problem, the One Hospital Command. Kasi kung di magtutulong tulong bawat mga ospital both public and private in a specific locality, we will not be able to have this proper referral system,” Vergeire expalined.

Gaya ng puno na ICU ng hospital, kapag di nya maaccept ang isang pasyente, meron silang incident command system, kung saan ibabato lang nila ang pasyente, enroll the details and ang system ang maghahanap kung saan pwedeng dalin among all of the hospitals in NCR,” she added.

The official noted that due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases, government hospitals like Lung Center of the Philippines, Philippine Children’s Medical Center, Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital, Heart Center and other hospitals for specific specialization also have been accepting COVID-19 patients in response to the demand after major hospitals declared full bed capacity. MNP (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

Philippines eyes 30,000 daily COVID-19 tests by end of May

Robie de Guzman   •   May 12, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) is eyeing to achieve 30,000 daily tests for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) by the end of the month as it works to ramp up the country’s testing capacity.

The DOH set the target after it finally attained its first target to conduct 8,000 COVID-19 tests in a day.

On Sunday, May 10, the agency reported it has conducted 8,637 tests in one day. This is, however, 10 days past its target date of April 30.

According to Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, the tests were done on 158,176 unique individuals.

She explained that one of the causes of the delay was the slow processing of samples after the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) had to scale down its operations in April when over 40 of its medical staff contracted COVID-19.

The RITM has since returned to normal operations after most of its personnel recovered from the disease.

So far, the Philippines has 26 accredited laboratories capable of detecting the strain of coronavirus strain that causes COVID-19.

Vergeire said they are eyeing to open additional testing facilities to reach its target of 30,000 daily tests.

This way, the country will be able to improve efforts on contact tracing, isolation and treatment of COVID-19 patients to effectively curb the spread of the disease.

“Hindi pa po tapos ang laban ng World War C (COVID-19) sa bawa’t bagong impormasyon bawa’t bagong teknolohiyang nadidiskubre upang malabanan ang COVID-19 tayo’y dapat maging manatiling alerto dahil ang bawa’t bagay na nagagawa natin ay mayron buhay na mailigtas,” Vergeire said.

To date, the Philippines has recorded 11,086 confirmed coronavirus infections, with 726 deaths and 1,999 recovered patients. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

PNP-ACG probes suspicious online greetings

Maris Federez   •   December 30, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police-Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) is investigating the alleged dubious online greetings on social media.

This, after the online group, Cyber Security Philippines-CERT warned about online links containing holiday greetings that are allegedly being used by hackers to gather personal information of netizens.

The group said this modus used by criminal elements brings the user to another site when the online greeting link is clicked.

Most of these links ask for personal data of the users for them to be able to enter the site.

The PNP-ACG said this kind of scam prevails during the holiday season.

“Tini-take advantage ng mga masasamang loob ‘yung pagkakataon na mayroong pera, bonus ‘yung ating mga kababayan. At syempre, ‘yung ating mga salary, pumapasok na automated na,” said PCpt. Jeck Robin Gammad, PNP-ACG Public Information Office chief.

Authorities advise the netizens not to open any suspicious-looking websites, especially those that ask for personal information.

“Iniimbestigahan pa natin dahil hindi tayo sigurado kung ito ba’y makasasama o makabubuti sa atin personally at sa ating mga personal information, huwag na lang muna natin siyang i-click,” Gammad added.

In case, the link is accidentally clicked and opened, the authorities advise to change the password of all social media accounts, especially online banking account applications; reset web browers; and update the anti-virus and anti-malware software in the computer and smartphones. (from the report of Harlene Delgado) /mbmf

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