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

UNTV News   •   July 22, 2020   •   325

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)

PUV drivers at mga pasahero, pina-alalahanang sumunod sa 1-meter physical distancing policy

Robie de Guzman   •   September 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Nagpa-alala ang mga otoridad sa mga tsuper at pasahero ng public utility vehicles (PUV) na istriktong sundin ang isang metrong physical distancing sa gitna pa rin ng banta ng novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Ginawa ng Philippine National Police (PNP) Highway Patrol Group (HPG) ang paalala matapos nitong harangin at sitahin ang mga pampasaherong jeep na hindi sumusunod sa nasabing patakaran.

Ang inspeksyon ay isinagawa ngayong Lunes sa kahabaan ng EDSA-Kamuning sa Quezon City.

Bitbit ang isang metrong panukat, sinita ng HPG ang mga tsuper na sobra ang bilang ng sakay at pinababa ang mga pasahero.

Nguni tauon kay HPG chief Police Colonel Wilson Doromal, hindi naman pinagmulta ngunit binigyan lang ng babala ang mga nahuling tsuper.

“Mahirap itolerate yung distance na nakita natin kanina halos balikat sa balikat na so hindi po natin hinayaang bumiyahe upang yung kalusugan ng mga commuters natin makaiwas po sa anumang sakit,” ang wika ni Doromal.

Ang inspeksyon ay kasunod ng desisyon ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte na panatilihin sa isang metro ang agwat ng mga pasahero sa mga pampublikong sasakyan upang matigil na ang usapin rito.

Noong Sabado, sinabi ng Department of Transportation na istriktong ipatutupad ang 50% capacity sa mga jeep at bus upang masunod ang one-meter physical distancing.

Ang physical distancing at pagsusuot ng face mask at face shield ay kabilang sa mga ipinatutupad na health protocols upang maiwasan ang hawaan ng COVID-19 sa pampublikong transportasyon.

Kaugnay nito, inaasahang maglalabas ang Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) ng mga bagong panuntunan upang malaman ng tsuper kung ilan lamang ang maximum na bilang ng mga pasaherong maaaring isakay sa bus at jeep.

“My advice na lang din is to be on the side of caution, malalaman naman din ng driver yan kung iilan. He will have a sense kung gaano kahaba yung isang metro, sa loob ng isang sasakyan ilang pasahero ang kakasya… hopefully give us time,” ang pahayag ni LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra.

Sa Martes, Setyembre 22 ay inaasahang pupulungin ng LTFRB ang regional directors ng ahensiya upang magtakda ng malinaw na patakaran para sa one-meter physical distancing sa mga pampublikong sasakyan. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Joan Nano)

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Pagbabayad ng toll sa NLEX, cashless na simula Nov. 2

Robie de Guzman   •   September 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Simula sa Nobyembre 2 ay cashless na at gagamitan na ng 100% radio frequency identification (RFID) system ang pagbabayad ng toll sa North Luzon Expressway (NLEX).

Ayon sa Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC), ang operator ng NLEX, alinsunod ito sa direktiba ng Department of Transportation (DOTr) na magpatupad ng contactless system upang malimitahan ang physical contact sa gitna pa rin ng banta ng novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Ayon kay Atty. Romulo Junji Quimbo, maaaring magpakabit ng RFID sticker ang mga motorista na dadaan sa NLEX upang hindi sila kailangang magbayad ng cash.

Maaari itong ipakabit ng libre sa NLEX Customer Service Center o kaya ay mag-apply online.

“Ang DOTr bilang tagapangasiwa ng transportation, ay naglabas po ng department order na mahikayat po ang mga kababayan natin, na huwag na pong magdala ng cash. Ang cash po whether sumakay kayo ng bus, o kaya jeep, o kaya sa mga UV, ay nagpapalitan po ng pera doon, at nagsusuklian yun po iniiwasan,” ang wika ni Quimbo.

Para magamit ang RFID, kailangang mag-load ng minimum na P500 sa reloading at online stations.

 “Libre po itong sticker, kinakabit po ito ng Easytrip, ay yun po naman ay may minimum load lang, para lang kayo nagbabayad ng toll kaya lang hindi na po barya ang dala-dala, hindi na po pera, RFID System,” ang pahayag ni Quimbo.

Aniya, sa November 2 na magiging epektibo ang sistema pero bibigyan pa rin naman ng konsiderasyon ang hindi makakapagpakabit ng RFID stickers.

Maaaring bisitahin ang social media accounts ng NLEX Corp. para sa iba pang detalye at katanungan hinggil sa RFID system. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Nestor Torres)

DOH proposes COVID-19 swab test ‘price cap’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 21, 2020

The Department of Health on Monday (September 21) said it has submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte its recommendation for an executive order issuance that would place a price cap on coronavirus disease (COVID-19) swab tests.

DOH Spokesperson Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire said the department has noticed the differential pricing of swab tests in laboratories across the country. She added that the current law on price ceiling for medicines excludes diagnostics and professional fees.

“We may be able to have this executive order so that we can somehow regulate the prices of swabs, or prices of testing for COVID-19,” she said.

The DOH official also said the department will conduct small surveys to determine price range and will consult experts and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) regarding the swab test prices. AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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