440 Filipino cruise ship members from US back in PH — DFA
Robie de Guzman • April 10, 2020 • 471
MANILA, Philippines – A total of 440 Filipino sailors from cruise ships in the United States arrived home on Friday, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.
In a statement, the DFA said the repatriated Filipino seafarers were from the Norwegian Pearl, Sky, and Sun cruise ships.
They arrived in Manila Friday morning via a chartered flight organized by the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. and local manning agency CF Sharp.
The DFA said the newly-repatriated Filipinos will undergo a mandatory quarantine, as part of health measures against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), before returning to their respective hometowns.
The department said the batch of Filipino seafarers from the US is the first of five repatriations scheduled on Friday that will bring home more than a thousand overseas Filipino workers from the US and Europe – which are heavily hit by the COVID-19 outbreak.
As of April 10, the US has recorded 395,030 confirmed infections with 12,740 deaths while Europe reported more than 687,000 cases with over 52,800 fatalities as reported by the World Health Organization.
The DFA has been repatriating Filipino workers overseas amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since February 2020, the DFA said it has assisted the repatriation of more than 10,000 Filipinos.
“As the repatriations crossed its 11th straight day, the DFA and partner agencies, including DOH-BOQ, DOLE-OWWA and DOTr stand ready to assist our OFWs through this COVID-19 pandemic,” the department said.
MANILA, Philippines – Some hospitals in Cebu City are already in critical level amid the surge of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the city, the Department of Health (DOH) said Thursday.
In a televised press briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Cebu City’s overall health capacity has reached a critical point as many hospitals in the city are already swamped with patients.
“They’ve reached about 80 percent and even more—80 percent last week, pero napababa nila iyon nung nag meeting kami nung Sunday. Parang bumaba ng konti, although nasa critical level pa rin,” Vergeire said.
“So, ngayon pag nakakita tayo ng ganito, binabantayan kaya nga ang decision sa kanila they continue on with enhanced community quarantine,” she added.
The DOH official also noted there are only a few tertiary level hospitals in Cebu City and many are level one facilities that do not have intensive care units.
“’Yung iba pang malalaking ospital sa Cebu ay nandun na sa critical. Marami nang naka-admit, pati mechanical ventilators nila marami na ring gumagamit,” she said.
She cited Chong Hua Hospital, as an example, which is already occupied by 98 percent.
She said that aside from taking care of over 200 COVID-19 patients, at least 238 of its health workers are also currently under quarantine.
Due to this, Vergeire said the DOH is facilitating the augmentation and deployment of additional health workers, including infectious disease consultants, nurses, and military doctors, to Cebu Province to help attend to the burgeoning number of virus-infected patients. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)
MANILA, Philippines – The Antipolo City government has ordered the lockdown of the city’s public market after 18 of its tenants and vendors tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The lockdown, which started on Tuesday (June 30), would be in effect for two weeks, according to Antipolo Mayor Andrea Ynares.
The patients are now in isolation for mandatory quarantine while disinfection procedures are currently being undertaken within the market’s premises.
Meanwhile, the local government unit has started distributing relief goods to other tenants and vendors affected by the closure.
“Ang amin pong paulit-ulit na panawagan sa atin pong mga kababayan ay sana po sumunod tayo sa mga umiiral na batas ngayon, mga alituntunin,” appealed Relly Bernardo Jr. of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO).
[We constantly appeal to our constituents to follow health regulations, follow the law.]
“Siguraduhin po na nakakasunod po tayo sa mga protocols gaya ng pagsusuot ng mask, regular hand sanitation, at physical distancing,” he added.
[Always make sure that we are following protocols like wearing of masks, regular hand sanitation, and physical distancing.]
Likewise, the LGU is asking for help from the private markets in the city to conduct COVID-19 tests among their tenants.
The LGU added that private market owners can request from the city hall should they lack funds. —MNP (with details from JP Nunez)
MANILA, Philippines – The Congress is considering three scenarios for President Rodrigo Duterte’s 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 27, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said.
In an online press conference, Sotto said the Senate and the House of Representatives have been discussing options on how to hold the SONA this year amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Option number one involves conducting a traditional SONA in the Batasang Pambansa, with the president and several members of the legislative branch in attendance but without guests.
Option number two is to have the president deliver his speech at the Malacañang while lawmakers convene in Batasang Pambansa.
Option number three will see the President staying in Malacañang while senators and members of the House convene in their respective session halls.
Sotto believes the Palace will prefer that the address be made in Malacañang to ensure the president’s safety amid the threat of coronavirus pandemic.
“Kung ano ang safest sa pangulo ang primary consideration sa pag-decide sa SONA setup,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Harlene Delgado)
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