South Korea says it is already battling ‘second wave’ of coronavirus infections

UNTV News   •   June 22, 2020   •   481

South Korean health authorities on Monday (June 22) for the first time said the country was in the midst of a “second wave” of coronavirus infections stemming from a holiday in May, as new cases hovered in the low double digits.

The Korea Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) had previously said that the country’s first wave had never really ended.

But on Monday KCDC director Jeong Eun-kyeong said that it has become clear that a holiday weekend in early May marked the beginning of a new wave of infections that have been focused largely in the greater Seoul area, which had previously seen very few cases.

As of midnight Sunday (June 21), South Korea reported 17 new coronavirus cases, the first time since in nearly a month that daily new cases had dropped below 20. It was a drop from the 48 and 67 cases reported in the previous two days. South Korea has reported a total of 12,438 cases, with 280 deaths. (Reuters)

(Production: Hyunyoung Yi)

Cold chain group still awaits gov’t order on unified plan for COVID-19 vaccine storage

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Cold Chain Association of the Philippines (CCAP) said they are still awaiting direction from the national government on the unified plan for storing COVID-19 vaccines in the country.

CCAP president Anthony Dizon said they are still unsure if the government will seek out their services in storing vaccines. Dizon said they can provide 80 cold storage facilities to various areas in the countries.

“We are confronted with a national emergency for we have to have a plan that will be implementable nationwide. For planning purposes , it would be better if we sit down together,” he said.

Dizon added that local government units (LGUs) have been coordinating with several members of the Cold Chain Association of the Philippines for their own vaccine storage. However, a unified plan for all CCAP members will be more beneficial once vaccine distribution begins.

Preparations for the storage would include the number of vaccines that will be stored and how long the vaccines will be stored.

“We have received information that different LGUs have approached some of our members in certain localities and I am elated that certain LGUs have taken initiatives to do that but we are still awaiting the program direction from the national implementing agency,” he said.

Currently, several storage facilities are being used for meat and dairy products. Meanwhile, two cold storage facilities owned by Koldstor Centre of the Philippines in Cavite can already be used for vaccine storage.

For Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines however, Dizon noted only two cold storage facilities can be available for use. Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines would need a temperature requirement of -70 degrees Celsius. AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

Meralco reminds deadline for outstanding bills until Jan. 31

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Manila Electric Company (Meralco) has reminded its customers that the deadline for paying outstanding bills is on January 31.

Meralco Spokesperson Joe Zaldarriaga said the electric company already provided sufficient time since its disconnection policy was temporarily suspended to help customers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, Zaldarriaga said customers can still appeal for an extension through Meralco’s business centers.

He added that they are mulling over the recommended extension of the installment scheme in paying power bills.

We’ve already given iyong ample time. One year na ang—almost one year na magmula noong we stopped disconnecting since March and although, pinag-aaralan pa rin naman natin and on a case-to-case basis ay humahanap tayo ng paraan para tulungan iyong iba pang customers (We’ve already given ample time. Almost one year since we stopped disconnecting since March. Although we are still looking into ways to assist other customers on a case-to-case basis), he said.

Zaldarriaga also reiterated the importance of paying on time in order for the electric company to continue its operation and provide service to its customers. AAC (with reports from Asher Cadapan Jr)

Senators seek third hearing on government’s COVID-19 vaccine plan

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Several Senators seek a third hearing to further discuss the national government’s COVID-19 vaccine plan.

The Senate Committee of the Whole may call for another public hearing on the government’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

Senator Franklin Drilon, in a statement, said the two-day inquiry left more questions than answers.

“There are still a number of issues hanging. These too many unanswered questions raise grave concerns, for the survival of the country largely depends on our ability to implement a successful vaccination program against the COVID-19 virus,” he said.

Drilon noted that the pricing, the sourcing of the vaccines, the delivery schedules, and the logistical support plan are several of the urgent questions needed to be answered.

“We did not get any definite answers to these serious questions. I believe another round of hearing is in order. I support the call of Sen. Panfilo Lacson for more hearings,” he added. –AAC (with reports from Harlene Delgado)

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