AFP, PNP: No terror threat in PH despite Japan warning

Robie de Guzman   •   September 14, 2021   •   510

MANILA, Philippines – Police and military authorities on Tuesday said they have not monitored any possible terrorist threat in the country despite the warning reportedly issued by the Japanese government.

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar said they have not received any report of possible terror attacks but assured that they continue to be on alert  regarding this matter.

They are also working closely with their foreign counterparts on information sharing against terrorism.

“Noon pa man ay patuloy ang aming intelligence monitoring especially after the 9/11 attack in the US and the Marawi City incident. Nananatiling maigting ang ating pakikipag-ugnayan sa ibat ibang bansa laban sa terorismo through information sharing and strategic partnership in dealing with terror groups” Eleazar said.

“Kasama dito ang pagpapalakas ng ugnayan ng inyong kapulisan sa ibat ibang komunidad at stake holders upang matiyak na hindi tayo malulusutan sa ano mang plano ng mga teroristang grupo sa ano mang lugar sa ating bansa,” he added.

Foreign media reports stated that the Foreign Ministry of Japan has issued a warning for its citizens regarding a possible terror attack in six Southeast Asian nations, including the Philippines.

The Japanese ministry advised its citizens to avoid religious facilities and crowded areas in the said countries.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), for its part, said the country’s threat level remains at “moderate” based on its last review.

The military assured it is constantly validating reports relating to national security matters.

“As of now, we have not received any report. We constantly validate all reports on security matters and it is a continuous process,” AFP spokesperson Col. Ramon Zagala said in a statement.

Aside from the Philippines, the warning issued by the Japanese government also covers Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, and Malaysia.

PNP to deploy more cops at Manila dolomite beach

Robie de Guzman   •   October 25, 2021

 

The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday said it will deploy more personnel at the dolomite beach in Manila after thousands of people flocked to the area over the weekend.

PNP chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar said he has tasked the Manila Police District (MPD) to closely coordinate with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), dolomite beach administrators, and the local government unit on the possibility of establishing restrictions on the number of visitors and their length of stay.

He also directed the MPD to make sure that no super spreader event will occur in the area.

“Inatasan ko na ang Director, MPD na magdagdag ng pulis sa dolomite area ng Manila Bay upang tiyakin na nasusunod ang minimum public health safety protocols. Kasama sa aking utos ang pakikipag-ugnayan sa lokal na pamahalaan upang magkaroon ng maayos na sistema, lalo na sa pagdadala ng mga bata na nakita natin sa video at sa mga litrato na kumalat sa social media,” Eleazar said in a statement.

“Nauunawaan natin ang kasabikan ng ilan nating mga kababayan na lumabas dahil sa mahabang lockdown subalit hindi dahilan ito upang ipagsawalang-bahala ang kaligtasan ng bawat isa, lalo na ang mga batang isinama nila gayong malinaw sa patakaran na hindi pa puwede silang lumabas under the COVID Alert Level 3 status,” he added.

Last Sunday, the PNP said authorities temporarily stopped the entry of visitors when the crowd reached 4,000.

Video taken via UNTV drone also showed clusters of people visiting the dolomite beach, with some even violating the protocol on social distancing and wearing of face masks.

Eleazar reminded the public to strictly adhere to the health protocols against COVID-19 when visiting public areas to prevent the further spread of the disease.

The DENR earlier said it is eyeing the possibility of limiting to only 15 minutes the length of stay and the number of visitors to the area.

9,928 children with health risks vaccinated vs COVID-19 – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   October 25, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines – The number of minors with co-morbidities who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 has reached 9,928, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Monday.

In a press briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that ten among the minors experienced reactions to the vaccines.

“Tatlong mga bata ay nagkaroon ng allergic reactions but were all managed. Tatlo po ay nagkaroon ng anxiety-related reactions, at ‘yung apat po mga minor lang po, masakit po mga vaccination site,” she said.

“So far, wala pa po tayong serious at adverse reactions that were noted. But of course, we are still monitoring these children,” she added.

Vergeire assured that children who were inoculated with COVID-19 vaccine will be continuously monitored.

“Katulad ng sabi natin, hindi lang natatapos ang monitoring namin pagkatapos lang ng bakunahan. We will monitor them this whole month para makita natin if there will still be other reactions na mangyayari,” she said.

The COVID-19 vaccination for the pediatric population was launched on Oct. 15 in eight hospitals in Metro Manila.

It was then expanded to 13 more hospitals and facilities when the DOH rolled out the program’s second phase on Oct. 22.

Vergeire said they consider the vaccination program a success and assured that the process has been orderly.

Should the two phases of the pediatric vaccination be successful, the campaign will be expanded to other regions.

“So ‘yan po ay pinagplaplanuhan, pinag-uusapan na at magbibigay tayo ng information in the coming days,” Vergeire said.

The following medical conditions would make children aged 12 to 17 years old eligible for vaccination against COVID-19:

  • Medical complexity
  • Genetic conditions
  • Neurologic conditions
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Metabolic/endocrine
  • Obesity
  • HIV infection
  • Tuberculosis
  • Chronic respiratory disease
  • Renal disorder
  • Hepatobillary

Vergeire earlier said that children participating in the pilot COVID-19 vaccination program should be well-informed and must get clearance from their physicians.

Philippines detects 380 more Delta COVID-19 variant cases; first B.1.1.318 case

Robie de Guzman   •   October 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines has detected 380 more cases of the highly transmissible Delta COVID-19 variant and its first case of the B.1.1.318 variant, the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday.

In DOH’s biosurveillance update, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the latest run sequenced comprised of 746 samples collected in March, April, September, and October.

Based on data she presented during a virtual briefing, 380 were found positive for the Delta variant, 166 were Beta variant carriers, while 104 were positive for the Alpha variant.

The country’s first case of B.1.1.318 case was also detected.

“Please note that the B.1.1.318 was not designated yet as a variant under monitoring during the time of sample collection,” Vergeire noted.

B.1.1.318 is a COVID-19 variant under monitoring based on the classifications of the World Health Organization.

“This was initially identified or detected in Mauritius. Mayroon silang naging cluster of 120 cases doon at nung kanilang na-sequence ay ito po ang lumabas. Itong variant under monitoring na ito,” Vergeire said.

“It has 14 mutations in its spike region, kasama po dito yung mutations na nakita din natin sa Delta variant at saka sa Beta variant,” she added.

Vergeire, however, stressed that the variant is still being studied and that there is no reason for the public to panic over the presence of the said variant in the country.

“Ibig sabihin, pinag-aaralan pa ito ng maigi ng WHO, ng mga international experts, dahil ito pong mga mutations na ito ay maaaring maka-apekto rin sa efficacy ng bakuna, maaari ding makaapekto sa transmission ng sakit,” she said.

“Let me just reiterate, it’s a variant under monitoring. Lahat po pinag-aaralan sa ngayon. Wala po tayong cause to panic. Kailangan lang po maging vigilant pa rin tayo lahat and follow our minimum public health standards,” she added.

As of Oct. 24, the Philippines has sequenced a total of 17,893 samples, of which 88.76 percent or 15,882 are assigned lineages, the DOH said.

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