TS Auring decelerates, ‘likely’ to weaken into tropical depression before landfall

UNTV News   •   February 21, 2021   •   543

MANILA, Philippines — Tropical Storm Auring slightly decelerated on Sunday morning while moving towards west-northwest, state weather bureau announced.

In its 8 a.m. weather bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said, “Auring” was last spotted 370 km east of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur moving at 10 kilometers per hour.

It is forecast to make landfall over the Dinagat Islands-Eastern Samar (southern portion including Homonhon Island)-Leyte area between Sunday evening and early morning on Monday.

“There is an increasing likelihood that ‘AURING’ will weaken into a tropical depression before it makes landfall due to persistent high vertical wind shear associated with the surge of the northeast monsoon. However, the possibility that the storm will maintain its strength until landfall is not yet ruled out,” PAGASA said.

Areas under Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) #2 are warned of gale-force winds in the next 24 hours while areas where TCWS #1 is in effect, as well as over CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, Aurora, and the rest of Visayas and Bicol Region, should brace for strong breeze to near-gale conditions with occasionally higher gusts.

Moderate to heavy rains with at times intense rains are expected over Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, and Surigao del Sur.

Moderate to heavy rains will also prevail over Eastern Visayas, Misamis Oriental, Bukidnon, Camiguin, and the rest of Caraga.

Light to moderate with at times heavy rains may be experienced over Bicol Region, MIMAROPA, Zamboanga Peninsula, Quezon, the northern portion of Davao Oriental, Davao de Oro, and the rest of Visayas and Northern Mindanao.

Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal no. 2 is hoisted over the following areas:

  • Eastern Samar (Sulat, Taft, San Julian, Borongan City, Maydolong, Balangkayan, Balangiga, Lawaan, Llorente, Hernani, General Macarthur, Quinapondan, Giporlos, Salcedo, Mercedes, Guiuan)
  • Dinagat Islands and Surigao del Norte including Siargao and Bucas Grande Islands

Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal no. 1 is hoisted over the following areas:

  • Sorsogon
  • Masbate including Ticao and Burias Islands
  • Albay
  • Catanduanes
  • Camarines Sur (Caramoan, Presentacion, Sagnay, Buhi, Iriga City, Nabua, Bato, Balatan)
  • Northern Samar
  • Eastern Samar
  • Samar
  • Biliran
  • Leyte
  • Southern Leyte
  • Cebu
  • Bohol
  • Siquijor
  • Negros Oriental
  • Negros Occidental (Kabankalan City, Himamaylan City, Binalbagan, Isabela, Moises Padilla, Hinigaran, La Castellana, Pontevedra, San Enrique, La Carlota City, Pulupandan, Valladolid, Bago City, Murcia, Bacolod City, Talisay City, Silay City, Enrique B. Magalona, Victorias City, Manapla, Cadiz City, Sagay City, Escalante City, Toboso, Calatrava, San Carlos City, Salvador Benedicto)
  • Iloilo (San Rafael, Barotac Viejo, Lemery, Ajuy, Sara, Concepcion, San Dionisio, Batad, Estancia, Balasan, Carles), and the eastern portion of Capiz  (Roxas City, Panitan, Ma-Ayon, Cuartero, Dumarao, Panay, Pontevedra, President Roxas, Pilar)
  • Surigao del Sur
  • Agusan del Norte
  • Agusan del Sur
  • Davao Oriental
  • Davao de Oro
  • Davao del Norte
  • Davao City
  • Camiguin
  • Misamis Oriental
  • Bukidnon

WHO, UNICEF declare end of polio outbreak in PH

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 11, 2021

The World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Thursday (June 11) declared the end of polio outbreak in the Philippines.

In a joint statement, the WHO lauded the efforts of the Department of Health (DOH), other government agencies and civil society in ending the outbreak.

The DOH announced a polio outbreak in the country in September 2019, after 19 years of being polio-free. On June 3, the department officially concluded its polio outbreak response.

WHO Representative to the Philippines Dr. Rabindra abeyasinghe said the closure of the polio outbreak is due to the combined efforts of medical frontliners, strong community efforts, and government response.

“This is a major win for public health and is an excellent example of what collective efforts can attain, even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

“We look forward for these efforts to be sustained for a strong and resilient immunization system, utilizing the investments made for polio outbreak response and COVID-19 vaccination to ensure all children are protected from vaccine preventable diseases as the Philippines moves towards achieving Universal Health Care,” he added.

Both WHO and UNICEF assisted through vaccine procurement and delivery, development of immunization guidelines, and social mobilization.

“The success of the polio immunization in the Philippines is proof that when we come together for children, great things happen. UNICEF celebrates all the vaccine champions and partners who made this possible. We must keep the momentum and accelerate routine immunization and safeguard essential child health services while rolling out COVID-19 vaccines for priority groups,” according to UNICEF Philippines Representative Oyunsaikhan Dendevnorov. AAC

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Duterte, Xi call for ‘win-win’ cooperation on 46th anniversary of PH-China ties

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 10, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping both call for a “win-win” cooperation in commemoration of the 46th anniversary of Philippine-China relations.

The Philippine President expressed his gratitude for  China’s assistance to the Philippines in the face of challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Philippine-China economic ties are of course the dynamic force that will continue to drive or bilateral relations forward,” Duterte told Xi in a statement.

“I am confident that my Administration’s Build Build Build program together with the Belt and Road Initiative, will reap long-term benefits for our peoples,” he added.

Meanwhile, in a letter addressed to Duterte, the Chinese president acknowledged that in recent years, with concerted efforts of both sides, Philippine- China relations have remained “healthy and stable.”

“I attach great significance to the development of China-Philippines relations, and stand ready to work with you in guiding our bilateral relations to move forward in a sustained and steady manner, so as to achieve greater win-win results and mutual benefits,” Xi said. AAC

 

US CDC eases travel recommendations on 61 countries, including Philippines

Robie de Guzman   •   June 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has relaxed its travel recommendations for 61 countries amid the coronavirus pandemic.

From level 4, the US CDC eased travel recommendations to level 3 on 61 countries, including the Philippines, Japan, France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Switzerland, Canada, and Mexico.

The complete list of countries included in the advisory may be viewed here.

The advisory of the US CDC for level 3 stated that travelers should make sure they are “fully vaccinated before traveling to these destinations.”

“Unvaccinated travelers should avoid nonessential travel to these destinations,” it added.

The agency said that with the current situation in the Philippines, all travelers may be at risk of getting and spreading COVID-19 variants and that they should follow recommendations or requirements like wearing a mask and staying 6 feet apart from others.

The US CDC’s risk assessment levels for COVID-19 are as follows:

  • Level 4 – COVID-19 very high (Avoid travel to these destinations. If you must travel to these destinations, make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel)
  • Level 3 – COVID-19 high (Make sure you are fully vaccinated before traveling to these destinations. Unvaccinated travelers should avoid nonessential travel to these destinations)
  • Level 2 – COVID-19 moderate (Make sure you are fully vaccinated before traveling to these destinations. Unvaccinated travelers who are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should avoid nonessential travel to the these destinations)
  • Level 1 – COVID-19 low (Make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel to these destinations)
  • Unknown – COVID-19 unknown (Avoid travel to these destinations. If you must travel to these destinations, make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel)

The agency said the change came after it revised its criteria for travel health notices.

The US State Department said it is coordinating with the CDC in revising its travel advisory to reflect the changes. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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