The show won’t go on: Broadway closed on coronavirus fears

Robie de Guzman   •   March 13, 2020   •   1120

Broadway theaters, among New York’s biggest tourist attractions, were shut down for a month on Thursday (March 12) in a bid to limit the spread of the coronavirus in the city.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a ban on all gatherings of more than 500 people, including theatres, starting on Thursday evening. Most Broadway theatres have around 1,000 seats.

The Broadway League said in a statement that shows would be suspended until April 13. They include crowd-pleasers like “Hamilton,” “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” and “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The decision was part of a range of extraordinary measures in the nation’s biggest city. Some 328 people in New York are confirmed to have the disease, Cuomo said.

The spreading virus has already led to cancellation or postponement of dozens of U.S. entertainment industry events, including the Coachella and South by Southwest festivals, CinemaCon, the E3 videogames convention and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Broadway was spooked on Wednesday (March 11) when an usher who had worked at two New York theatres tested positive for coronavirus. Owners of the two venues said they had ordered deep cleanings and their shows went ahead on Wednesday.

Television talk shows “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” and “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” said they would tape their broadcasts in New York venues without audiences going forward.

Several Broadway plays and musicals had previously put a halt to cast members greeting fans and signing programs at stage doors.

Some 14.8 million tickets were sold for Broadway shows in the 2018-2019 season that ended in May, bringing $1.8 billion in box office receipts, according to the Broadway League. Some 63% of those going to shows were tourists, from outside the United States or outside New York.

“Our top priority has been and will continue to be the health and well-being of Broadway theatergoers and the thousands of people who work in the theatre industry every day, including actors, musicians, stagehands, ushers, and many other dedicated professionals,” Charlotte St. Martin, president of the Broadway League, said in a statement on Friday. (Reuters)

(Production by: Catherine Koppel and Hussein al Waaile)

Pagbibigay ng COVID-19 vaccine boosters sa mga botika, simula na sa Enero 20

Robie de Guzman   •   January 19, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Sisimulan na sa araw ng Huwebes, Enero 20 ang pilot implementation ng programang “Resbakuna sa Botika,” na naglalayong gawin na ring COVID-19 vaccine booster sites ang ilang pharmacy at clinic sa bansa.

Ayon kay Presidential Adviser for COVID-19 response Vince Dizon, gagawin ang pilot run ng program sa limang pharmacy at dalawang private clinic sa Metro Manila.

“Bukas po, Huwebes, January 20 at sa Biyernes, January 21 magsisimula na po yung ating ‘Resbakuna sa Botika’ at sa mga iba’t-ibang mga clinics. Simula muna dito sa NCR pero mabilis nating ie-expand yan sa iba’t-ibang mga lugar lalung-lalo na sa malalaking siyudad sa bansa, Luzon, Visayas at Mindanao,” ani Dizon.

Kabilang sa mga botika at klinika na lalahok sa pilot implementation ang Mercury Drug, Watsons, the Generics Pharmacy, Generika, South Star Drug , Qualimed at Healthway.

Ngunit paalala ni Dizon, ekslusibo lang muna ang mga pasilidad na ito para sa pagbibigay ng booster shot sa mga nakakumpleto na ng primary series ng COVID-19 vaccine.

Ang mga pharmacist sa itinalagang mga botika rin ang siyang magbabakuna.

“’Yung mga pharmacists po natin ay ‘yan po ay mga qualified naman. Sila po ay dumaan na sa mga training kaya po sila ay importanteng dagdag sa ating vaccination program lalong lalo na sa kapanahunan ngayon na marami sa ating mga vaccinators sa LGU ang nagkakasakit,” ani Dizon.

Nagpahayag naman ng suporta sa program ang grupong Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP) dahil makakadadagdag ito sa pwersa ng vaccinators.

Ayon sa PHAP, sanay ang pharmacists sa pagpapatupad ng health protocols at handa naman ang kanilang mga botika upang matiyak na maiiwasan ang hawaan ng COVID-19 sa mga magpapabakuna.

Sinabi naman ni Dizon na sa ngayon ay pinag-aaralan na ng pamahalaan ang mga insentibo na maaaring ibigay sa mga pharmacist na tutulong sa pagbabakuna.

“Ngayon po yan ay pinag-uusapan po natin ngayon pero nag-volunteer rin po kasi ang mga botika rin sa kanilang serbisyo at nagpapasalamat tayo sa kanila pero paguusapan po natin with DOH kung ano ang insentibo natin sa kanila,” ang wika ng opisyal.

Una nang sinabi ng pamahalaan na 100 booster shots ang nakalaan sa bawat kalahok na pharmacy kada araw at may kabuuan namang 3,500 doses sa loob ng isang linggong pilot run.

Paalala ng mga otoridad sa publiko na kailangan pa ring magparehistro bago makapagpaturok ng booster dose sa mga botika dahil ang mga lokal na pamahalan ang mangangasiwa sa registration at documentation habang ang mga pasilidad naman ang mangangasiwa sa aktuwal na pagtuturok ng booster dose. (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Aileen Cerrudo)

PHL logs 22,958 new COVID-19 infections

Robie de Guzman   •   January 19, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines on Wednesday recorded 22,958 additional COVID-19 infections, the Department of Health (DOH) said.

In its latest data, the DOH said 21,691 of the new cases occurred within the recent 14 days, from January 6 to January 19.

The top regions that reported high cases in the last two weeks are the National Capital Region, CALABARZON, and Central Luzon.

The latest tally pushed the country’s number of active infections to 270,728. Of these cases, 8,335 are asymptomatic, 257,632 are mild, 2,970 are moderate, 1,487 are severe, and 304 are in critical condition.

The positivity rate was at 43.5 percent, based on samples of 62,531 individuals on January 17.

Six laboratories failed to submit their data on time. These facilities contribute on average 1.5 percent of samples tested and 1.9 percent of positive cases.

Recoveries increased by 36,611, resulting in 2,969,853 total recuperations.

COVID-related deaths rose to 53,044 with 82 new fatalities.

The utilization rate of intensive care unit beds nationwide was at 49 percent, and 53 percent in Metro Manila; isolation beds in the capital region at 48 percent, and 51 percent across the country.

In Metro Manila, 29 percent of ventilators are in use, and 23 percent nationwide.

PH gov’t eyeing another round of nat’l vaccination drive

Robie de Guzman   •   January 19, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government is looking to hold another mass vaccination drive against COVID-19 as the country continues to grapple with rising COVID-19 cases.

Presidential Adviser for COVID-19 response Vince Dizon said the government has started preparations while waiting for the current surge to subside.

“Hinihintay lang po natin na medyo humupa-hupa nang kaunti itong Omicron surge natin dahil alam naman po natin hirap na hirap po ang ating mga health workers, ang ating mga LGU ngayon,” he said in a public briefing.

“So papahupain lang po natin nang kaunti at magkakaroon din po tayo sa mga susunod na linggo ng bagong ‘Bayanihan Bakunahan’ o National Vaccination Days natin sa buong bansa,” he added.

The government held the first two rounds of the national vaccination drive, dubbed as “Bayanihan, Bakunahan” from November 29 to December 3, and December 15 to 22. At least 10.2 million vaccine doses were administered in the first leg, and 6.4 million in the second round.

The national government earlier said it will employ strategies to ramp up and expand vaccination efforts in the country, including the opening of more vaccination sites in smaller facilities like clinics and pharmacies.

The Philippine government is eyeing to fully vaccinate up to 77 million Filipinos in the first quarter of this year and 90 million Filipinos by the second quarter.

To date, more than 55 million individuals were already fully vaccinated since the Philippines rolled out its immunization campaign in March 2020.


The Philippine Broadcast Hub

UNTV, 915 Barangay Philam,

EDSA, Quezon City M.M. 1104

(+632) 8396-8688 (Tel) (General inquiries)


UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.