USAID and Colombian firefighters join rescue efforts in quake-stricken Mexico

admin   •   September 22, 2017   •   2730

Members of a Colombian crew loading a plane with equipment and aid for Mexico (from Reuters video)

Rescue workers working against the odds in Mexico City on Thursday received reinforcements from USAID amidst a rising death toll and dwindling hope of finding people alive more than 48 hours after a deadly quake.

Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto reported that there could still be people alive in 10 collapsed buildings in Mexico City.

Concentrating efforts on these areas, 67 U.S. search and rescue experts and five dogs will work alongside local rescue crews.

Colombia is also sending 31 individuals and tons of technical equipment that will be dispersed in quake-stricken areas in Mexico City, Puebla and Morelos.

“For all the women firefighters from Bogota and in the name of the unity, this group is ready to move forward and to do good work. We’ve been training for a long time. It’s been almost ten years that we’ve been getting ready for these kinds of emergencies,” said Cabo Yadira Piamonte, a Colombian firefighter.

This was Mexico’s deadliest earthquake in 32 years, with the death toll currently standing at 233. Parts of Mexico City, home to some 20 million people, are built on an ancient lake bed that trembles easily in a quake. — Reuters

 

Alleged drug plane burns on Mexican highway

UNTV News   •   July 6, 2020

Dramatic scenes out of Mexico on Sunday (July 5) as a plane suspected of carrying drugs was reportedly set alight after allegedly being intercepted by soldiers on a highway in Quintana Roo state, according to local reports.

Media reported that the incident took place on Federal Highway 184. Members of the army doing a flyover at the site reportedly spotted the plane before deploying units.

According to some media reports, those aboard set fire to the plane to escape.

Authorities have yet to officially report on the contents of the plane or whether any arrests were made. (Reuters)

USAID launches online ‘Fish Tiangge’ to aid Filipino fishermen amid COVID-19

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 13, 2020

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched online marketplace, ‘Fish Tiangge’ to help Filipino fishermen sell their products amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.

The said online shopping platform is part of USAID’s Fish Right project that would assist around 6,000 fishermen in the Philippines to connect with buyers in several areas including, South Negros and Visayan Sea in the Visayas region, and the Calamian Islands in Palawan.

US Ambassador Sung Kim said the program aims to provide income to fishermen affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“By connecting fishers and consumers online, the U.S. government is helping to protect fisherfolk income and prevent a food crisis, while ensuring that conservation measures are not compromised in areas that are hard-hit by COVID-19,” he said. AAC

PH healthcare workers positive for COVID-19 now at 1,062; death toll at 26

Marje Pelayo   •   April 23, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is taking its toll on the Philippine healthcare system, according to the latest report by the Department of Health (DOH).

As of Wednesday (April 22), a total of 1,062 frontline workers have been confirmed positive for COVID-19:

  • 422 Doctors
  • 386 Nurses
  • 30 Medical technologists
  • 21 Radiologic technologists
  • 51 Nursing assistants
  • 152 Other Services i.e. Administration and Barangay healthcare workers

Of the said number, 26 medical workers succumbed to the disease, 19 were doctors or physicians.

Taos puso po kaming nakikiramay sa ating 26 na health workers na pumanaw dahil sa COVID-19 (We deeply express our condolences to the [families] of our 26 health workers who succumbed to COVID-19),” DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a virtual presser.

This figure, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) is alarming and the agency expresses concern over the increasing infection rate of COVID-19 among the country’s frontline health workers as compared to other countries in the Western Pacific Region.

“The trend we are seeing in the Philippines, where the percentage is about 13%, is worrisome,” said Dr. Adbi Mahamud, WHO-Western Pacific Region COVID-19 Incident manager.

“In our region, it is around 2-3%. The Philippines is a bit of an outlier,” he said in a virtual press briefing on Tuesday (April 21).

For its part, the DOH said it is willing to cooperate with any investigation that the international health body will undertake to check if there are lapses in terms of infection control among health facilities in the country which increase the number of healthcare workers contacting the disease.  

But Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said he still needs to verify with WHO regarding the report.

“I also read in the news today that WHO did issue this report of a relatively high rate of infection among our healthworkers and frontliners but I need to validate this report,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said. MNP (with details from Aiko Miguel)

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