WHO supports downgrading of NCR COVID-19 curbs

Robie de Guzman   •   October 14, 2021   •   102

MANILA, Philippines – The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday expressed support to the Philippine government’s decision to ease restrictions in the National Capital Region (NCR).

“With high vaccination rate in Metro Manila, we believe that we need to adjust and calibrate the restrictions,” said WHO country representative Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe.

“We support the granular lockdowns, we support the easing of restrictions,” he added.

From COVID-19 Alert Level 4, the capital region will shift to Alert Level 3 from October 16 to 31 amid decreasing infection rate.

Under level 3, businesses will be allowed to operate at a higher capacity.

The alert level system, which was first tested in mid-September, is being implemented in the region with granular lockdowns in areas with a high transmission rate.

Abeyasinghe said easing COVID-19 curbs will spur economic activities but he called on local governments to ensure that access to testing is maintained.

He also urged the public to follow health protocols, even those who are already fully vaccinated, and to immediately go on quarantine if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

COVID-19 vaccination sa mga bata, palalawigin sa 13 ospital sa Metro Manila – DILG

Robie de Guzman   •   October 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Mula sa walong ospital ay palalawigin pa sa 13 ospital sa Metro Manila ang isinasagawang pediatric vaccination kontra COVID-19, partikular sa mga batang may edad 12 hanggang 17 at may co-morbidity.

Ayon kay Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya, tinukoy na ng ilang local government unit (LGU) ang mga ospital na isasama na rin sa listahan ng mga pinagdarausan ng pagbabakuna.

Magsisimula aniya ang expansion sa ika-22 ng Oktubre.

“Ngayon naman po ay pupunta naman po tayo sa mga LGU-based hospitals ‘no and magdaragdag po ng thirteen additional local hospitals doon sa mga ospital na nagsimula na sa national ‘no,” ani Malaya.

“So, ito po ay magsisimula ngayong Friday hanggang October 31. So, ang bawat LGU po ay nag-identify ng isang local hospital para maisama sa pilot ng pediatric vaccination,” dagdag pa niya.

Kabilang sa mga ospital na idaragdag sa vaccination site ay ang Caloocan Medical Center, Ospital ng Parañaque, at ang Pasay General Hospital.

Ang walong ospital na kasalukuyang pinagdarausan ng pagbabakuna ay ang Philippine Children’s Medical Center,
National Children’s Hospital, Philippine Heart Center,
Pasig City General Hospital,
 Fe Del Mundo Medical Center,
 Philippine General Hospital,
 Makati Medical Center at ang St. Luke’s Medical Center sa Taguig.

Paalala ng mga otoridad sa mga magulang na nais pabakunahan ang kanilang mga anak na may co-morbidity na makipag-ugnayan sa nakakasakop na LGU at magpakita ng mga kaukulang dokumento, pati na ang parent consent.

Mula a-16 ng Oktubre ay nasa 1,509 bata na ang nakatanggap ng COVID-19 shots batay sa ulat ng Department of Health.

PNP assessing need to deploy more cops in NCR public areas – Eleazar

Robie de Guzman   •   October 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar on Monday said he has directed all unit commanders in the National Capital Region (NCR) to continue to assess the need for the deployment of additional police officers in public areas.

Eleazar issued the directive following the downgrading of COVID-19 alert in the NCR to level 3.

The PNP chief noted that in the first weekend of the Alert Level 3 implementation, a number of people flocked to public areas including churches across the metro, the Dolomite Beach at the Baywalk, the Marikina River Park, the Quirino Grandstand, and the Mall of Asia grounds.

A number of people also went outside for their outdoor exercises, he added.

“I have tasked all concerned police offices to determine if there is a need to deploy more cops to enforce the minimum health standards. Kailangang matiyak pa rin natin ang kaligtasan ng ating mga kababayan dahil baka ito na naman ang pagmulan ng pagtaas ng kaso ng COVID-19 sa NCR,” Eleazar said in a statement.

“Kung gusto nating tuloy-tuloy ang pagbaba ng bilang ng natamaan ng COVID-19, kailangang mapairal pa rin ang disiplina at pagsunod sa mga panuntunan sa ilalim ng Alert Level 3. Hindi dahil may pagluluwag na nagaganap, magsisilabasan na tayo sa ating mga tahanan at babalewalain na ang health and safety protocols,” he added.

Meanwhile, Eleazar said they would wait for the decision of the government’s task force for COVID-19 response regarding the mobility of minors amid the easing of some protocols and opening of more business establishments.

“Kami sa PNP ay tagapagpatupad lamang ng mga batas at regulasyon. Hihintayin namin kung ano ang magiging resolusyon nila sa bagay na ito at amin itong ipapatupad nang maayos,” he said.

The capital region will be under Alert Level 3 until Oct. 31.

Under Alert Level 3, the public’s movement, including intrazonal and interzonal travel, will be allowed except for reasonable restrictions based on age and co-morbidities as determined by the local government units.

Individual outdoor exercises will also be allowed for all ages regardless of vaccination status or co-morbidities.

More establishments will also be allowed to re-open at a maximum of 30 percent capacity.

Rollout ng 3rd COVID-19 vaccine dose, pinaghahandaan na – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   October 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Tiniyak ng Department of Health (DOH) na pinaghahandaan na nito ang roll out ng ikatlong dose ng COVID-19 vaccine para sa mga health worker (A1), senior citizen (A2) at immunocompromised individuals (A3).

Ayon kay Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, ang hakbang na ito ay batay sa rekomendasyon ng Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization ng World Health Organization (WHO) na pagbibigay ng dagdag na COVID-19 vaccine shot sa mga nabanggit na grupo na tumanggap ng Sinovac at Sinopharm brands.

Ngunit para maisagawa ito, sinabi ni Vergeire na kailangang maamyendahan ang emergency use authorization ng mga bakuna sa bansa na ang nakasaad na dosing regimen ay dalawa lamang, at isa naman para sa Janssen vaccine.

“Mangyayari lang po iyan kapag nakapaglabas ang Food and Drug Administration ng emergency use authority. Kung matatandaan natin, ang EUA natin para sa mga bakunang meron tayo ay para lang sa pirimary series natin. Ibig sabihin, dalawang doses for most of the vaccine, and sa isang bakua natin Janssen, it’s just one dose, to get fully vaccinated,” ani Vergeire.

Ipinaliwanag rin ng DOH ang kaibahan ng third dose sa booster dose ng bakuna.

Ani Vergeire, ang third dose ay ibinibigay para sa grupo o populasyon ng mga taong mataas ang risk ng infection at walang sapat na immunity kaya nangangailangan sila ng isa pang dosing regimen ng kanilang natanggap na bakuna.

“Third dose, ito ay ibinibigay as part of the primary series. Kung matatandaan niyo in our list of vaccines that we currently use katulad ng Hepatitis B at iba pa nating bakuna, tatlong doses sila,” paliwanag ni Vergeire.

“As the evidence grow further na nabigyan ng kumpletong ebidensya, naipakita ng bakuna na kapag binigyan ng third dose mas nabo-boost ang immune response ng tao and that is the additional dose,” dagdag pa niya.

Ang booster dose naman ay ibinibigay ilang buwan pagkatapos ng primary dosing kapag bumaba na ang immunity ng isang nabakunahan nito.

“When we talk about boosters, itong nakareceive na ng primary series ng bakuna, ibig sabihin fully vaccinated na at naka-receive na ng dalawang dose o di kaya Janssen ang nakuha mo naka-receive ka na ng isang dose,” ani Vergeire.

Hanggang ngayon aniya ay pinag-aaralan pa ng mga eksperto ang pagbibigay ng booster shot.

Wala rin pang rekomendasyon ang WHO ukol rito lalo’t limitado pa rin ang supply ng COVID-19 vaccines.

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