Bilibid inmate tests positive for COVID-19, BuCor confirms

Robie de Guzman   •   April 23, 2020   •   1113

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) on Thursday confirmed that a male person deprived of liberty (PDL) at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City has tested positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In a statement, the BuCor said the patient has been admitted to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) since April 17.

The bureau said the inmate was from NBP Medium Security Compound. He is the first PDL from the Bilibid to have contracted the viral respiratory disease.

The BuCor said 40 inmates who were traced to have had contact with the patient have been brought to a quarantine area at “Site Harry” where they will be monitored while awaiting to be tested for COVID-19.

Medical staff who attended to the virus-infected inmate are now under quarantine as they are considered as suspect COVID-19 case.

BuCor had earlier reported COVID-19 positive cases within their wards in the Quezon City Jail and the Correctional Institution for Women.

5 COVID-19 patients in PGH die daily; full-bed capacity looming

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — At least five patients in the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) who are suffering from coronavirus disease (COVID-19) die every day.

During a public briefing on Wednesday (April 21), PGH Spokesperson Dr. Jonas Del Rosario reported that for the last two weeks, at least five patients succumb to the virus per day.

There are also times when it would even reach up to seven or 10 patients a day, he said.

Rosario also reported that they already reached full bed capacity.

Puno po ang ICU (intensive care units), that has been the case for some time – 30 beds po iyon. Sa emergency room, may 25 beds for COVID-19 at lagi rin pong puno. Mostly po severe to critical care iyong nagpupunta sa ER (The ICUs are full, that has been the case for some time – that’s 30 beds. In the emergency room, there are 25 beds for COVID-19 and it’s always full. Mostly, patients in the ER are severe to critical cases)” he said.

The PGH Spokesperson also said they are not in full support of easing quarantine classifications after April 30. He hopes that the number of patients that will be admitted to the PGH will decrease with the help of quarantine restrictions.

“Extension of the MECQ to us will probably help in further decreasing the transmission hopefully and then less people will get hospitalized,” Rosario said. AAC (with reports from Marvin Calas)

Philippines records 9,227 new COVID-19 cases; 19,699 recoveries

Robie de Guzman   •   April 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines on Wednesday registered 9,227 new novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases, bringing the total caseload to 962,307, the Department of Health (DOH) said.

The DOH said the latest tally pushed the country’s active cases to 116,434.

The tally, however, does not include data from eight laboratories that failed to submit their reports on time.

Ngayong 4 PM, Abril 21, 2021, ang Department of Health ay nakapagtala ng 9,227 na karagdagang kaso ng COVID-19….

Posted by Department of Health (Philippines) on Wednesday, April 21, 2021

The DOH also announced 19,699 new recovered patients, bringing the total number of recoveries to 829,608.

The death toll climbed to 16,265 with 124 new fatalities.

PH gov’t urged to build more facilities instead of using schools as quarantine sites, hospitals

Robie de Guzman   •   April 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Wednesday called on the national government to expedite the construction of quarantine centers and field hospitals, instead of using school buildings for COVID-19 patients, to ease the burden on the country’s health care system.

Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts, and Culture, said that using schools as isolation facilities “is not sustainable and does not foster a culture of safety in the basic education system.”

“Ang mabilis na pagpapatayo ng mga field hospitals at mga quarantine centers ang isang paraan upang mabigyan natin ng agarang atensyon ang mga kababayan nating nagkakasakit,” he said in a statement.

“Imbes na masanay tayong gumamit ng mga paaralan bilang isolation facilities o evacuation centers, ang dapat nating tiyakin ay ang pagkakaroon ng sapat at angkop na mga pasilidad para sa mga nangangailan ng tulong medikal,” he added.

The senator also pointed out that before the pandemic, the prolonged use of school facilities in times of disasters, such as evacuation centers during calamities, tends to delay the resumption of classes.

Gatchalian pitched anew his proposal to build an evacuation center in every city and municipality in the country, which is stated in Senate Bill No. 747 that he filed in 2019.

Under the proposed measure, these evacuation centers will provide temporary accommodation for people who have been evacuated or displaced from their homes due to emergencies, including the outbreak of illnesses and diseases.

The Department of Education earlier said it has allowed some schools in the country to be used as quarantine facilities for suspected coronavirus cases to help decongest hospitals from COVID-19 admission. Other schools were also being used as vaccination sites.

The department also stressed that its terms and conditions should be satisfied and that compliance with quarantine guidelines should be ensured before a school can be converted into a quarantine facility.

The use of public schools as a quarantine facility or vaccination site should also be the “last option,” stressing the need to ensure the safety of personnel who report for work on-site.

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