Zubiri says he tested positive for COVID-19 anew

Robie de Guzman   •   July 27, 2020   •   424

MANILA, Philippines – Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri on Monday said he once again tested positive for novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Zubiri received the result shortly before he was supposed to have headed to the Batasang Pambansa to hear President Rodrigo Duterte’s fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA).

In a message to reporters, he said his three rapid tests showed his body is possessing anti-bodies, and a swab test confirmed that he is positive once more for the viral disease.

“According to doctors, it is possible that the test detected the remnants of the dead virus cells in my body as I am a COVID survivor,” he said.

“So, I decided to forgo any other appointments and head back to my isolation room for quarantine,” he added.

Prior to getting confirmation that he is infected anew with the virus, Zubiri physically attended the opening of the second regular session of the 18th Congress on Monday morning where he interacted with other senators.

He was supposed to physically attend Duterte’s SONA presentation but decided to just witness the event via video conferencing.

Zubiri said he took another swab test on Monday afternoon to check if he really is infected again with the virus.

He also assured he is not exhibiting any symptoms of the dreaded viral respiratory disease.

“I’m hoping that it’s a negative result there to confirm what our infectious disease experts told me earlier. I feel absolutely fine, wala po akong nararamdaman at wala po akong sintomas,” he said.

“But it’s better to be safe and to keep everyone safe from this virus. And I will continue to work from isolation virtually until I get my consecutive negative results after quarantine. Thank you for everyone’s concerns,” he added.

Zubiri first tested positive for COVID-19 in March but he recovered from the disease in April.

Provincial buses sa PITX, hindi bumiyahe sa kabila ng pagbubukas ng mga ruta

Robie de Guzman   •   September 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Hindi pumasada ang ilang provincial bus units na naka-terminal sa Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) kahit binuksan na ng Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) ang 12 ruta para sa mga pampasaherong bus.

Ayon sa Provincial Bus Operators Association, nakikipag-pulong pa sila sa LTFRB at sa terminal operators dahil sa anila’y hindi pa malinaw na sistema, partikular na sa bayan ng Sta. Cruz, Laguna.

Ayon kay Alex Yague, ang pinuno ng grupo, nagbago ng mga kondisyon ang lokal na pamahalaan ng Sta. Cruz hinggil sa pagbiyahe ng mga pampasaherong bus kaya’t kailangan pa itong muling pag-usapan, partikular na ang isyu sa hatian ng 150 pasahero na papayagang pumasok sa loob ng isang araw.

Nais ring klaruhin ng provincial bus operators ang pag-oobliga sa kanilang mga unit na dumaan sa Skyway at NAIA Expressway upang makarating sa PITX.

Ayon kay Yague, panibagong gastusin ito para sa mga operator gayong limitado lang ang maaari nilang isakay na pasahero.

“As of today, hindi pa handa. Kapag na-klaro na yung tungkol sa pasahero, yung requirements ng travel pass at magkakaroon ng unawaan sa Central termjnal management within the next fee day, ma-iron out natin ang problema,” ang wika ni Yague.

Sa panig naman ng PITX, tiniyak ng pamunuan nito na handa ang terminal sakaling bumiyahe na ang provincial buses.

“Kami po ay handa, ready po kami tumanggap ngunit nakikipag-ugnayan pa rin tayo dito sa mga bus operators upang siguraduhin kung ano yung mga kinakailangan sa pagbiyahe dito,” ang pahayag ni Jayson Salvador, ang manager ng PITX.

Sinabi rin ni Salvador na makikipag-ugnayan sila sa National Capital Region Police Office para sa pagtatalaga ng mga pulis sa terminal para sa mas madaling proseso ng pagkuha ng travel pass ng mga pasahero. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Joan Nano)

PUV drivers, establishment workers and vendors in Manila to get free swab testing

Robie de Guzman   •   September 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers, market vendors and employees of various establishments in the Philippine capital will be provided with free RT-PCR tests, the Manila City government said Wednesday.

In a statement, the city’s public information office said Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso issued the order which will cover employees of malls, hotels, restaurants and supermarkets, and vendors in public markets as well as drivers of e-trikes, pedicabs, tricycles, jeepneys and buses operating in the city.

Under Domagoso’s Executive Order No. 39, the Manila Health Department was tasked to provide free swab tests to said workers.

The order follows the launch of Sta. Ana Hospital’s second molecular laboratory, which has the capacity to process around 1,000 tests daily. The additional laboratory will raise the hospital’s test processing capacity to 30,000 a month.

“The real threat of COVID-19 will continue to persist in our community, thereby sending fear to every person of getting infected with it. This fear will affect not only the individual preferences and behavior or every person, but also the economic growth (of the city),” Domagoso said.

“In order to allay the fear of getting infected with COVID-19, there is a need to assure the public that employees of these frequently visited establishments are COVID-19 free and thus spur economic activities,” he added.

Mayor Isko also directed the Manila Bureau of Permits and Licensing Office, the Department of Tourism, Culture and Arts of Manila, and the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau to “require establishments under their jurisdiction to require filling up mandatory health declaration forms for contact tracing purposes.”

Quezon City mayor cancels city hall parties, to donate funds

Robie de Guzman   •   September 29, 2020

Parties for all offices under the Quezon City government during the holidays will no longer be held this year amid the continuing novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said Tuesday.

A statement released on Tuesday said Belmonte has issued a memorandum directing all offices under the city hall to cancel parties scheduled in December and instead ordered them to donate the funds to underprivileged groups.

“The money that would have been spent on office Christmas parties would do more good as donations to the underprivileged during this extraordinarily difficult time in our nation’s history,” Belmonte said in a statement.

The local chief executive stressed that “it would be inappropriate for offices of the city government to hold customary Christmas parties while many of its citizens are experiencing hardships due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.”

Instead of holding parties, she urged city hall employees to adopt an underprivileged sector— such as the urban poor, displaced workers, jeepney drivers, street vendors, indigent children, and poor senior citizens— and to modestly celebrate the season in their homes.

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