WHO urges countries to investigate early COVID-19 cases
UNTV News • May 6, 2020 • 338
The World Health Organization said on Tuesday (May 5) a report that COVID-19 had emerged in December in France, sooner than previously thought, was “not surprising,” and urged countries to investigate any other early suspicious cases.
The disease later identified as COVID-19 was first reported by Chinese authorities to the WHO on December and was not previously believed to have spread to Europe until January.
“This gives a whole new picture on everything,” WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier told a U.N. briefing in Geneva, referring to the French reports.
“The findings help to better understand the potential virus circulation of COVID-19,” he added, saying other possible earlier cases could emerge after retesting samples.
A French hospital which has retested old samples from pneumonia patients discovered that it treated a man who had COVID-19 as early as Dec. 27, nearly a month before the French government confirmed its first cases.
Lindmeier encouraged other countries to check records for pneumonia cases of unspecified origin in late 2019, saying this would give the world a “new and clearer picture” of the outbreak.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo alleges his country has “evidence” that the new coronavirus emerged from a laboratory in Wuhan, China, although scientists have advised the WHO that it is of animal origin.
WHO’s top emergencies expert Mike Ryan said on Monday (May 4) that the body’s chief had raised the issue of the origins of the virus “at the highest level” during a WHO mission to China in January. (Reuters)
MANILA, Philippines – San Juan City Mayor Francis Zamora confirmed on Monday that he has tested positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
In a Facebook post, Zamora said he is currently under quarantine at the Cardinal Santos Medical Center.
“I would like to announce that I have tested positive with COVID-19. My results came out today after a routine swab test yesterday evening, February 28, 2021. A confirmatory test was done today and the results turned out to be positive,” he said.
“I have decided to quarantine myself in Cardinal Santos Medical Center to ensure that I do not transmit the virus to anyone else in the community and to protect everyone around me including my children and my wife who is a cancer survivor,” he added.
I have tested positive for COVID-19. I am asymptomatic and in good physical condition. I have decided to quarantine…
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte is considering the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19 to further ease quarantine restrictions in the country particularly in Metro Manila.
“I am considering it. Our economy is really down, as in down so the earlier na mabilisan itong vaccine, the better,” he said.
However, he wants to make sure first that there is enough supply of COVID-19 vaccines not only in Metro Manila but in all provinces before he allows the full reopening of the country’s economy to prevent further decline.
“If the vaccine is available to anybody for one reason or another, sa mga probinsiya na-distribute na ‘yan kasi hindi naman mag-abot ng 110 million. Sa estimate nila it’s about 40 million. Kung maka-hit tayo ng 40 million o nandiyan na ‘yong vaccine, maski mag — mayroon tayong mga 20, 30 (million) bubuksan ko na.” the President said.
President Duterte acknowledges the people’s need to work to be able to eat and survive and this will only be sustained by reopening the economy and also to allow business to regrow.
Over the weekend, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the National Capital Region and some other areas will remain under general community quarantine on March 1.
The rest of the country will remain under modified general community quarantine.
Recommendations placing NCR under MGCQ were also raised, however, the President responded that without vaccine rollout, no MGCQ will be declared.
On Sunday (February 28), China’s donation of 600,000 doses of Sinovac vaccine has arrived in the country and the government is expected to begin vaccine rollout on Monday (March 1). MNP (with inputs from Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines — The first batch of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine, China-based Sinovac Biotech’s CoronaVac, finally arrived at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City on Sunday afternoon (February 28).
In a small ceremony, key government officials led by President Rodrigo Duterte welcomed the arrival of 600,000 doses of donated vaccines from Beijing.
“I convey my sincere gratitude to the Chinese people and the government of China for this gesture of friendship and solidarity,” President Rodrigo Duterte said at the ceremony.
The president reiterated that “vaccines should be treated as a global public good and be made available to all.”
“I’m confident more batches of vaccine will be available with great dispatch until every Filipino will be given the chance to get vaccinated,” he said.
Meanwhile, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the arrival of Sinovac vaccine — the first COVID-19 vaccine to reach the Philippines — has sparked hope that the pandemic is nearing its end.
“That plane is carrying hope that we can finally return to our lives and light for our very dark journey,” Roque said.
“Masayang masaya po, buong Pilipinas po nagdiriwang, patapos na po ang pandemya, nariyan na ang bakuna,” Roque said.
“Makakabalik na tayo sa ating mga [dating buhay]. Nagsimula na po tayo, tuloy-tuloy na po tayo,” he added.
Health workers in the National Capital Region are expected to get their first dose of COVID-19 vaccines by March 1. —/mbmf
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