Trump shifts rhetoric, warns virus is getting worse and urges use of masks

UNTV News   •   July 22, 2020   •   401

President Donald Trump warned Americans on Tuesday (July 21) that the toll from the novel coronavirus would get worse before it got better, and encouraged Americans to wear a mask if they cannot maintain social distance from people around them.

In his first briefing in months focused on the pandemic, Trump told reporters at the White House that the virus would probably get worse before it gets better, in one of his first recent acknowledgments of how bad the problem has become.

“Some areas of our country are doing very well. Others are doing less well. It will probably, unfortunately, get worse before it gets better – something I don’t like saying about things, but that’s the way it is,” he said.

In a shift in rhetoric, Trump encouraged Americans to wear masks, and pulled a mask out of his pocket, saying he carries it around.

“I mean I carry the mask,” he said, before reaching into his pocket and pulling out a blue face mask. “And I will use it gladly, no problem with it, and I’ve said that. And I say, if you can, use the mask. When you can, use the mask. If you’re close to each other, if you’re in a group, I would put it on when I’m in a group.”

Trump, who downplayed the virus in its early stages and has been focused on reopening the economy in recent months despite an increase in cases, has been reluctant to wear a mask himself in public. He wore one for the first time in public during a recent visit to a military hospital but has otherwise eschewed putting one on in front of the press.

Mask-wearing has become a partisan issue, with some Trump supporters saying being required to do infringes on their liberties.

As coronavirus cases skyrocket across the country, including in politically important states such as Florida, Texas and Arizona, the president is shifting his tone to try to get the number of cases under control as he fights for re-election against Democrat Joe Biden, who leads in opinion polls ahead of the Nov. 3 election.

He urged young Americans to avoid crowded bars where the virus could spread.

“We are imploring young Americans to avoid packed bars and other crowded indoor gatherings. Be safe and be smart,” he said.

Trump again argued that the virus would disappear at some point, but most of his comments on Tuesday were largely a sober recognition of how bad the problem has become.

Trump sought to leave some optimism about scientific developments in vaccines and treatments even as he acknowledged the grim statistics at present.

When asked if the U.S. would cooperate with China on a vaccine, Trump, who several times called the virus “the China virus” during the news conference, said Washington would.

“Yeah, we’re willing to work with anybody that’s going to get us a good result. We’re very close to the vaccine. I think we’re going to have some very good results,” he said.

Nearly 142,000 Americans have died from COVID-19. (Reuters)

(Production: Arlene Eiras)

LGU ordinance, kailangan sa pagpasok ng mga menor de edad sa mall – DILG

Robie de Guzman   •   December 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Hinimok ni Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año ang mga lokal na pamahalaan na maglabas ng ordinansa para payagan ang mga menor de edad sa loob ng mga mall sa general community quarantine (GCQ) areas.

Ginawa ni Año ang pahayag kasunod ng rekomendasyon na payagan nang lumabas ang mga menor de edad sa gitna ng novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Una nang sinabi ng DILG chief na maaaring pumasok sa loob ng mga mall sa GCQ areas ang mga menor de edad na 15 anyos pababa basta’t kasama ang kanilang mga magulang.

Ngunit kailangan aniya itong pagtibayan ng ordinansa, lalo na ng bawat lungsod sa Metro Manila.

“Ito po ay pagtitibayin sa mga ordinansa ng ating mga NCR (National Capital Regions) mayors sa lugar po ng GCQ (General Community Quarantine)” ang wika ni Año.

Paglilinaw naman ni Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez, limitado lamang ang aktibidad na maaaring gawin ng mga menor de edad sa loob ng mall gaya ng pagbili ng pagkain at iba pang mahahalagang bagay.

Ayon kay Lopez, ito ay bahagi ng mga hakbang ng pamahalaan upang muling pasiglahin ang ekonomiya na nalugmok sa gitna ng pandemya.

Samantala, sinabi naman ng Philippine National Police (PNP) na hihintayin nila ang ilalabas na ordinansa ng mga lokal na pamahalaan bago nila payagan ang mga menor de edad na makapasok sa loob ng mga mall.

“Kailangan pagtibayin yan ng isang ordinansa. Sa meeting namin ng JTF COVID Shield, pinaghandaan po namin itong recommendation ng mayors sa Metro Manila at kaugnayan din natin si NCRPO director para nga sa pagpapatupad nitong nirecommend nila na tinanggap naman ng IATF at inannounce na nga kagabi,” ang wika ni Lieutenant General Cesar Hawthorne Binag, ang commander ng Joint Task Force COVID Shield.

Hinimok rin ng pulisya ang mga magulang na kung maaari ay huwag nang dalhin sa mall ang mga bata hangga’t nananatili ang banta ng COVID-19.

“Nakikiusap kami na hangga’t kaya dahil wala pa po tayong vaccination e umiwas na lang po muna sana. This is to protect and prevent the disease from spreading further. Siguro kung medyo naturukan na tayo ng vaccine ay that’s the time na pwede na lumabas,” ang pahayag ni National Capital Region Police Office director Brigadier General Vicente Danao Jr.

Sinabi rin ni PNP chief General Debold Sinas na pauuwiin nila ang mga batang magtutungo sa mall habang wala pang inilalabas na ordinansa.

“Hindi namin hulihin at alamin muna ng pulis ang dahilan kung bakit nasa mall na sila at pauwiin natin sila,” ang wika ni Sinas. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

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Experts say stricter quarantine classification possible in January 2021

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Experts at the University of the Philippines (UP) OCTA Research said that a stricter quarantine classification in January 2021 is likely if COVID-19 cases reach the 500,000 mark.

Dr. Guido David of the UP OCTA Research said there is a possible surge in COVID-19 cases during the holiday season due to family reunions and other mass gatherings.

“Kung bigla tayong magka-surge baka magka-MGCQ tayo by January kung nagka-holiday surge tayo. In fact huwag naman sanang mangyari pero it’s even remotely possible na mabalik tayo sa mas strict na quarantine kaya nga ayaw natin mangyari iyan (If there is a surge we might be placed under MGCQ by January. If fact, hopefully it won’t happen, but it’s even remotely possible we might go back to strict quarantine which we don’t want to happen),” he said.

The team stressed the importance of maintaining physical distancing and observing minimum health standards to avoid the rise in COVID-19 cases.

They also warned that the surge could take a toll on health workers and hospitals.

David said they are open to easing the quarantine classification to Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) if COVID-19 cases drop. However, there is still a possibility that cases would increase to 10,000-20,000.

Kung magpatuloy ang pagbaba ng bilang ng kaso, pwede naming echo iyong sinabi ni DOH Usec. [Rosario] Vergeire na mag- MGCQ na tayo by the first quarter of next year pero ang condition niyan is ang patuloy na pagbaba ng bilang ng kaso (If cases continue to drop we can echo DOH Usec. Rosario Vergeire in easing to MGCQ by the first quarter of next year, but under the condition that cases continue to drop),” he said.

Experts also urged private sectors and local government units (LGUs) to continue implementing minimum health standards and avoid physical gatherings this holiday season. AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

Medical teams sent to Davao City to help manage rising COVID-19 cases – Galvez

Robie de Guzman   •   December 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The government has deployed medical teams to Davao City to help address the surge of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the city, National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. said.

During a cabinet meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, Galvez said six doctors and 13 nursing staff were deployed to the city to assist the already “overwhelmed” personnel of the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) amid the uptick in COVID-19 infections.

The teams will also help improve Davao City’s COVID-19 referral and emergency operations systems.

Galvez noted that Davao City has seen a 68-percent increase in infection rate in recent days.

He also said that the task force had previously sent medical equipment and medicines to SPMC to manage severe coronavirus cases.

Members of the task force also visited Davao City last week to assess the situation.

“Sa ngayon po, medyo nag-i-stabilize ang Davao. At nagpadala na rin po tayo ng mga tinatawag po natin na high-flow nasal cannula at nagpadala rin po tayo ng mga Avigan — na mga compassionate drug para po makatulong po sa mga severe cases po natin,” Galvez said in his report to the president.

He said the teams sent to Davao were also the ones that assisted Cebu City in curbing the surge in coronavirus cases.

Inter-Agency Task Force Chief Implementer for Visayas, retired Major General Melquiades Feliciano and his team, as well as Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega are also in Davao City, according to Galvez.

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