WHO hopes to have vaccine for COVID-19 ready in 18 months

Marje Pelayo   •   February 12, 2020   •   1712

GENEVA, Switzerland — The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Tuesday (February 11) that it takes time to develop a vaccine against the novel coronavirus now named COVID-19.

However, the international health body hopes to have an effective vaccine within 18 months.

 “The development of vaccines and therapeutics is one important part of the research agenda. But it’s not only one part. They will take time to develop — but in the meantime, we are not defenseless,” said WHO Chief Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during a press conference at the agency’s headquarters.

 “The first vaccine could be ready in 18 months, so we have to do everything today using the available weapons to fight this virus, while preparing for the long-term,” he added.

He noted, however, that even though WHO already named the new virus as COVID-19, there are still many unknown factors that are preventing scientists from finding an exact cure.

“It’s hard to believe that just two months ago, this virus – which has come to captivate the attention of media, financial markets and political leaders – was completely unknown to us,” Tedros said.

“To defeat this outbreak, we need answers to all those questions and more,” he added.

READ: New virus named ‘COVID-19’ to avoid public stigma — WHO

During briefing, the official labeled the disease as “public enemy number one” that poses a global threat, despite most of the cases being confined in mainland China.

“With 99 percent of cases in China, this remains very much an emergency for that country, but one that holds a very grave threat for the rest of the world,” the official noted.

So far, Dr. Tedros said, WHO is working with countries to strengthen laboratory capacity around the world, ensuring enough supplies of testing kits and protective equipment for health workers and training them to help prevent further spread of COVID-19.

What’s important for now, he added, is for every individual to become part of the preventive strategy.

At least, he explained, individuals should be sensitive not only of his or her own health but also of the people around.

“And we’re keeping the public informed about what everyone can do to protect their own health and that of others,” he said.

“That’s why reaching out to the public directly and telling them the precautions they should take,” he added.

Dr. Tedros reiterated the basic preventive measures that people should religiously practice while there remains no cure for the coronavirus disease.

“Clean your hands regularly, either with alcohol-based rub or soap and water. Keep your distance from someone who is coughing or sneezing. And when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow,” he concluded.

PH COVID-19 cases exceeds 380,000; daily tally records 1,803 new cases

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 31, 2020

COVID-19 Testing

The Department of Health (DOH) on Saturday (October 31) recorded 1,803 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the country’s total tally to 380,729 with 42,462 active cases.

The total recovery count rose to 331,046 with the addition of 606 recoveries while the death toll climbed to 7,221 with 36 new deaths reported.

From the active cases, the Health Department reported that 83.2% of them are experiencing mild symptoms, 11.3% are asymptomatic while 3.5% and 1.9% are critical and severe cases.

Rizal recorded the highest number of new COVID-19 cases in cities and provinces with 97 new cases, followed by Davao City with 93 cases, and Quezon City with 86 cases.

Meanwhile the DOH said they removed 7 duplicates from the total case count where 3 were recovered cases. There were also 14 cases previously tagged as recovered but were reclassified as deaths.

The DOH also reported 12 labs were not able to submit their data to the COVID-19 Data Repository System (CDRS) on October 30, 2020. AAC

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Manila LGU to open drive-through RFID installation

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 30, 2020

The Manila City government is set to launch the RFID Sticker Caravan which offers drive-through installation of Radio-frequency identification stickers.

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Posted by Manila Public Information Office on Wednesday, October 28, 2020

The caravan will be held from October 31 to November 1 at the Kartilya ng Katipunan near Manila City Hall in Ermita, Manila. The drive-through RFID installation will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will accommodate class 1 vehicles which are cars, SUVs and passenger vans only.

Motorists do not need to prepare any documents but must prepare P200 for the initial load. Authorities also advised motorists to wear face masks and face shields. AAC

Davao City to reimpose 24-hour liquor ban starting Nov. 2

Robie de Guzman   •   October 30, 2020

A 24-hour liquor ban will be reimposed in Davao City from November 2 to December 31, Mayor Sara Duterte said.

Under Executive Order No. 59, Duterte ordered the ban of sale, serving, and consumption of alcoholic beverages in public effective 5 a.m. of November 2.

The reimposition of the liquor ban stemmed from the results of City Health Office contact tracing of patients positive of the coronavirus showing their exposure during drinking sessions. 

“There is an urgent need to reimpose a 24-hour liquor ban in Davao City to prevent the exposure of individuals to the COVID-19 virus because of their unbridled drinking sessions,” Duterte said in the order. 

Mayor Sara also emphasized the necessity to reimpose the 24-hour liquor ban as another preventive step to control gatherings and stop the cases from spiking because the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) and Temporary Treatment and Monitoring Facilities (TTMFs) has reached their full occupancy of the COVID-19.

To recall, Duterte lifted the 24-hour liquor ban on September 21 after six months of restrictive community quarantine.

The city government warned to impose a one strike rule on establishments violating the liquor ban.

The city’s Vices Regulation Unit and Barangay Council were also tasked to conduct vigorous surveillance of all restaurants, fast-food, sari-sari stores, and similar establishments and must immediately move for the closure of an establishment after a single violation is properly documented.

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