Boracay hospital closes after doctor tests positive for COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   March 30, 2020   •   251

MANILA, Philippines – The Ciriaco S. Tirol Hospital located on Boracay island is temporarily closed to the public after one of its doctors tested positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Aklan Provincial Health Office said Monday.

Dr. Cornelio Cuachon Jr., chief of Aklan Provincial Health Office, said the hospital had to be closed after a 37-year old doctor working for the facility contracted coronavirus.

Cuachon said the doctor is currently under strict 14-day isolation after he manifested symptoms of the viral disease.

The doctor was said to have manifested symptoms such as cough and sore throat just days after he traveled to Manila to attend a convention from March 4 to 7.

He returned to Boracay on March 8 and worked at the hospital for over a week before he was advised to undergo quarantine.

“Mayroon siyang ubo, saka sore throat and then colds but hindi na siya nagpakonsulta. After nine days, binigyan siya ng advise na talagang mag-strict quarantine kasi nandoon lang siya sa ospital so mataas ang rate ng transmission,” Cuachon said.

The health official added that the doctor is now recovering from the illness.

Cuachon said, more than 10 hospital workers who had close contact with the infected doctor are also undergoing quarantine.

It is not yet clear when the said hospital will reopen. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lalaine Moreno)

Antipolo City market on lockdown as 18 tenants, vendors contract COVID-19

Marje Pelayo   •   July 2, 2020

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)

3 options being considered for Duterte’s SONA, Sotto says

Robie de Guzman   •   July 1, 2020

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)

Cebu provincial capitol closed for 3-day disinfection

Robie de Guzman   •   July 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Cebu Provincial Capitol building will be closed to the public for three days from July 1 to July 3.

A memorandum issued by the Office of the Governor states that the three-day closure is to give way to a thorough disinfection of provincial government offices at the Capitol compound.

The memo also stated that work in the Capitol will be suspended on said dates but skeleton workforces will be implemented in essential services, including the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, Provincial Health Office, and the security and administration offices

The measure came after 15 Capitol employees tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The said total breaks down to 10 active cases, four recoveries and one death from the viral disease.

Most of these workers are residents of Cebu City while two are from the neighboring cities of Talisay and Mandaue.

The Capitol building is located in Cebu City, which is now a coronavirus hotspot, due to surging infection cases.

As of June 30, the Department of Health Region 7 has recorded a total of 6,024 confirmed cases in Cebu City, 1,158 in Cebu Province, 792 in Mandaue City and 618 in Lapu-Lapu City.

Cebu City remains under enhanced community quarantine as announced by President Rodrigo Duterte during his late-night address on Tuesday. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Gladys Toabi)

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