Universal Pictures will make movies available at home and in theaters on the same day

UNTV News   •   March 17, 2020   •   179

Universal Pictures, a division of Comcast Corp -owned NBCUniversal, will make its movies available at home on the same day they are released in theaters worldwide, beginning with the DreamWorks Animation film “Trolls World Tour” – which opens in the United States on April 10.

The decision, announced by NBCUniversal on Monday (March 16), is a response to changing consumer behavior as the coronavirus spreads. It upends the traditional practice of keeping a movie exclusively in theaters for what is typically a 90-day window before releasing it on other platforms.

NBCUniversal will “continue to evaluate the environment as conditions evolve,” the company said in a statement, adding it will revisit the strategy when the current situation changes.

On Sunday night, the mayors of New York and Los Angeles ordered movie theaters in their respective cities to close in response to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.

NBCUniversal said that by Friday, recently released films including “The Hunt,” “The Invisible Man” and “Emma” will be available from sister companies Sky and Comcast and on a variety of on-demand services. The suggested price will be $19.99 in the United States for a 48-hour rental, and the equivalent price elsewhere.

“Rather than delaying these films or releasing them into a challenged distribution landscape, we wanted to provide an option for people to view these titles in the home that is both accessible and affordable,” said NBCUniversal Chief Executive Officer Jeff Shell in a statement.

Between this past Friday and Sunday, North American movie box office sales hit their lowest levels in over two decades, according to Comscore, as viewers stayed home and theaters capped their seating capacity to create more space between moviegoers. (Reuters)

(Production: Rollo Ross)

IATF, naglabas ng guidelines para sa home quarantine

Robie de Guzman   •   July 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Hindi na papayagan ang basta na lamang na pagsasailalim sa home quarantine ng isang confirmed, suspected o probable case ng novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) batay sa guidelines na inilabas ng Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).

Sa nasabing panuntunan, may tatlong tanong na kailangang sagutin upang payagan ang pagsasagawa ng home quarantine para sa mga taong pinasususpetsahan o naimpeksyon ng nakakahawang COVID-19.

Una, mayroon ba siyang sariling kwarto sa kanilang bahay?

Pangalawa, may sarili bang banyo ang kuwarto na hindi ginagamit ng ibang kasama sa bahay?

At pangatlo, may kasama ba sa bahay na mga taong itinuturing na vulnerable sa COVID-19 gaya ng senior citizen, buntis, o may sakit o comorbities o dinadalang sakit tulad ng diabetes, hypertension, cancer, at iba pa?

Kung walang sariling kwarto na may banyo sa bahay ang isang COVID-19 patient, o kung may kasama siyang kabilang sa vulnerable group, hindi siya maaaring sumailalim sa home quarantine at kailangang dalhin siya sa isang local quarantine facility.

Layunin ng bagong panuntunan na mapigilan ang patuloy na pagkalat ng coronavirus disease sa mga sangbahayan at komunidad, at mabawasan ang bilang ng mga nagpapa-confine sa ospital lalo’t punuan na ang sitwasyon sa ilang pagamutan sa gitna ng COVID-19 crisis.

“Kung bagsak ka sa kahit iisa man sa tatlong iyon, hindi ka pwede mag home quarantine. Bakit? yun ang nagiging rason ng pagkalat ng COVID-19,” ani Vince Dizon na nagsisilbing Chief Testing Czar ng pamahalaan.

Susunduin ng local health units mula sa bahay ang pasyenteng hindi nakapasa sa guidelines ng home quarantine. Sa quarantine facility, libre ang pagkain, gamot at Wi-Fi connection para sa mga pasyente.

Paglilinaw naman ng IATF, papayagan pa rin ang home quarantine kung masusunod ang mga inilatag na kondisyon para rito.

Sinabi rin ni Dizon na gumagawa na ng paraan ang pamahalaan para lalo pang mapataas ang bed capacity sa isolation centers sa bansa.

“Right now, we are running at around roughly 53 percent sa National Capital Region sa ating mga We Heal As one Centers… Marami pa tayong ibang gagawin,” aniya.

Muling humihingi ang mga otoridad ng kooperasyon sa publiko para mapigilan ang lalo pang pagdami ng mga tinatamaan ng coronavirus disease sa bansa.

Sa kasalukuyan, mayroon nang kabuuang 57,006 kaso ng COVID-19 infections sa bansa, 1,599 sa mga ito ang nasawi habang 20,371 naman ang gumaling mula sa viral respiratory disease. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Vincent Arboleda)

Bongbong Marcos says ‘he’s OK, on home quarantine’

Robie de Guzman   •   March 26, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Thursday belied claims circulating online that he is currently confined in a hospital.

In a statement, Marcos said he is under home quarantine after feeling ill when he returned home from a recent trip.

Incumbent Senator Imee Marcos earlier revealed that her brother arrived sick from his trip to Spain, which has recorded 3,434 deaths from COVID-19.

“I am deeply touched and overwhelmed by your concern over my condition. Don’t worry I am doing OK and contrary to popular belief, I am home on self-quarantine,” he said.

“As my sister said, a few days ago I was feeling a little under the weather and as a result went to get checked. We are still waiting for the results,” he added.

Marcos, however, did not say if the test was administered by the Department of Health’s Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.

A photo of Marcos sitting on his bed while holding a newspaper was attached to the statement sent to reporters.

The former senator said he is now feeling better and thanked the doctors and nurses who attended to his needs.

“Fortunately, I feel much better and am getting stronger by the day. I have no doubt in my mind that this is partly due to the excellent work of the nurses and doctors who helped me during this time,” he said.

Zamboanga City conducts contact tracing, stricter quarantine as it records first COVID-19 case

Robie de Guzman   •   March 25, 2020

ZAMBOANGA CITY – The city government of Zamboanga said it has started tracing all people who have had contact with its first case of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Mayor Beng Climaco-Salazar made the announcement on Monday night after confirming the city’s first case – a 29-year old male resident of Sinunuc in Zamboanga City.

“As of 8pm tonight, the city of Zamboanga has recorded its first COVID-19 case, based on the result and test conducted by the health agencies, the Department of Health,” she said.

Salazar added that the patient had traveled from Metro Manila via Philippine Airlines flight PR 2993, and arrived in the city on March 13.

He experienced fever and chills – which are among the coronavirus symptoms – two days later.

On March 16, he consulted a local private hospital and was considered a person under investigation due to his travel history.

He underwent testing the same day, and his swab specimen was sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) on March 17.

His test result came out positive for COVID-19 on March 24.

According to City Health Officer Dr. Dulce Miravite, the patient is in stable condition and had only manifested mild symptoms.

Miravite added that the patient has been under strict home quarantine.

“Na-monitor natin sa barangay, and minomonitor natin to siya everyday. So far, ang symptoms niya ay improving,” she said.

Salazar said they are now implementing stricter containment measures, especially in the village where the patient is residing, to stop the spread of the virus.

The mayor warned penalties against residents who will disobey the home quarantine and social distancing measures against COVID-19.

To date, the city has reported 31 patients under investigation but 17 of them have tested negative for coronavirus. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Val Villaflor)

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