Cayetano, other solons to work from home after exposure to virus-infected Yap

Robie de Guzman   •   March 26, 2020   •   321

MANILA, Philippines – House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and other lawmakers and staff who physically attended the House of Representatives’ special session last Monday will go on self-quarantine after ACT-CIS party-list Representative Eric Yap Go confirmed he contracted novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Yap earlier revealed that he attended the special session on March 23 at the Batasan Pambansa while his coronavirus test results were still pending. He, however, stressed that he took safety precautions as he became paranoid about his mild cough.

At least 20 lawmakers were physically present at the special session, including House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, House Minority Leader Bienvenido Abante, Representatives France Castro, Edgar Sarmiento, Mikey Arroyo, Sharky Palma, Precious Castelo, and Janette Garin, Deputy Speakers Raneo Abu, LRay Villafuerte, Robbie Puno, and Dong Gonzales, Representatives Bong Suntay, Jon Jalosjos, Manny Lopez, Tonypet Albano, Jonathan Sy-Alvarado, Mike Defensor, Blu Abaya, Bambol Tolentino, Cayetano, and Yap.

The said lawmakers confirmed they will work from home during their self-quarantine.

23 out of 163 potential COVID-19 vaccines under clinical trial—FDA

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 16, 2020

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said 23 out of 163 potential vaccines for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are currently under clinical testing stage.

According to FDA Director General Eric Domingo, two potential COVID-19 vaccines will be given to a larger group of people to see if it is effective and to further evaluate its safety.

The said vaccines are Astrazeneca, currently being developed in London, and Sinovac that is being developed in China.

Department of Health (DOH) Spokesperson Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the anti-flu drug Favipiravir or Avigan, from Japan is also nearing clinical trials.

“We are fortunate that the Japanese have reached out to us to help increase the sample size of their Avigan drug trial, a potential treatment to prevent people from dying from COVID-19,” she said.

Meanwhile, the FDA has confirmed that another potential vaccine is being developed in Russia. Domingo said it is currently in the advanced phase.

“Ginagamit na rin siya sa clinical trial ng ibang bansa mayroon din sa Japan, China, United States, Italy at Russia, (It is currently under clinical trial in other countries like Japan, China, United States, and Russia),” he said.

The medicine for Ebola Virus, Remdesivir, is currently under solidarity trial. Remdesivir is being used in other countries to treat severe COVID-19 patients. AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

Davao City eyes new protocols for returning residents, Davao-bound travelers

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 16, 2020

The Davao City Government will be enforcing new protocols for returning residents, including Davao-bound passengers to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the city.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte said they have begun implementing the COVID-19 ‘Test and Wait’ mechanism for returning Davao City residents, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), and the locally stranded individuals (LSIs).

“It means that we test them and let them wait in a holding area. When the results come out, they can go home for home quarantine,” she said.

Meanwhile, Duterte has requested the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to require all Davao City-bound passengers to submit a negative RT-PCR test taken within 48 hours of the departure date.

The Davao International Airport (DIA) resumed operations last June 8 and has been receiving OFWs, LSIs, and commercial flight passengers since it reopened.

The Davao mayor already raised concerns over the increasing cases of COVID-19. Based on reports, many of the cases are returning individuals from Manila. AAC

Duque clarifies: PH ‘bent’ COVID-19 curve, not ‘flattened’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 16, 2020

After announcing that the government has successfully flattened the curve of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in April, Department of Health (DOH) Secretary clarified that the COVID-19 cases in April has been ‘bent’.

Duque received backlash after his statement on Wednesday (July 16). He later clarified his statement on his Twitter account.

“This means we bent the curve in April after the March Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ),” he said.

The DOH official, meanwhile, admitted there is an increase in COVID-19 cases in the country because of community transmission prompted by the easing of community quarantine restrictions. The government also has expanded its testing capacity which added to the increased number of cases.

He also said it is important to maintain the number of cases at a manageable level to avoid overwhelming health workers. AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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