Congo Ebola outbreak not yet stabilized – WHO chief

admin   •   August 30, 2018   •   3660

Congolese officials and the World Health Organization officials wear protective suits as they participate in a training against the Ebola virus near the town of Beni in North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo, August 11, 2018. REUTERS/Samuel Mambo

The number of Ebola cases in the Democratic Republic of Congo is on the decline, but it is too soon to say that an outbreak is stabilizing due to difficulties identifying new cases near rebel-controlled areas, World Health Organization (WHO) chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday (August 29).

Some areas close to the outbreak’s epicenter in the town of Mangina are off-limits to health workers for security reasons, hampering efforts to control the spread of the disease.

“We need to be more aggressive. The virus doesn’t actually differentiate between a rebel and so on, it’s dangerous to everybody,” Tedros told Reuters on the sidelines of a news conference, adding that the next seven to ten days would be critical to controlling the outbreak.

Since the latest outbreak was declared on August 1, 112 confirmed and probable cases have been identified in eastern Congo’s North Kivu and Ituri provinces, including 75 deaths, according to overnight data from Congo’s health ministry.

Congo has experienced 10 outbreaks of Ebola since it was discovered in the country’s forested north in 1976. The disease causes hemorrhagic fever and usually kills about half of the people it infects. — Reuters

Rollout ng 3rd COVID-19 vaccine dose, pinaghahandaan na – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   October 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Tiniyak ng Department of Health (DOH) na pinaghahandaan na nito ang roll out ng ikatlong dose ng COVID-19 vaccine para sa mga health worker (A1), senior citizen (A2) at immunocompromised individuals (A3).

Ayon kay Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, ang hakbang na ito ay batay sa rekomendasyon ng Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization ng World Health Organization (WHO) na pagbibigay ng dagdag na COVID-19 vaccine shot sa mga nabanggit na grupo na tumanggap ng Sinovac at Sinopharm brands.

Ngunit para maisagawa ito, sinabi ni Vergeire na kailangang maamyendahan ang emergency use authorization ng mga bakuna sa bansa na ang nakasaad na dosing regimen ay dalawa lamang, at isa naman para sa Janssen vaccine.

“Mangyayari lang po iyan kapag nakapaglabas ang Food and Drug Administration ng emergency use authority. Kung matatandaan natin, ang EUA natin para sa mga bakunang meron tayo ay para lang sa pirimary series natin. Ibig sabihin, dalawang doses for most of the vaccine, and sa isang bakua natin Janssen, it’s just one dose, to get fully vaccinated,” ani Vergeire.

Ipinaliwanag rin ng DOH ang kaibahan ng third dose sa booster dose ng bakuna.

Ani Vergeire, ang third dose ay ibinibigay para sa grupo o populasyon ng mga taong mataas ang risk ng infection at walang sapat na immunity kaya nangangailangan sila ng isa pang dosing regimen ng kanilang natanggap na bakuna.

“Third dose, ito ay ibinibigay as part of the primary series. Kung matatandaan niyo in our list of vaccines that we currently use katulad ng Hepatitis B at iba pa nating bakuna, tatlong doses sila,” paliwanag ni Vergeire.

“As the evidence grow further na nabigyan ng kumpletong ebidensya, naipakita ng bakuna na kapag binigyan ng third dose mas nabo-boost ang immune response ng tao and that is the additional dose,” dagdag pa niya.

Ang booster dose naman ay ibinibigay ilang buwan pagkatapos ng primary dosing kapag bumaba na ang immunity ng isang nabakunahan nito.

“When we talk about boosters, itong nakareceive na ng primary series ng bakuna, ibig sabihin fully vaccinated na at naka-receive na ng dalawang dose o di kaya Janssen ang nakuha mo naka-receive ka na ng isang dose,” ani Vergeire.

Hanggang ngayon aniya ay pinag-aaralan pa ng mga eksperto ang pagbibigay ng booster shot.

Wala rin pang rekomendasyon ang WHO ukol rito lalo’t limitado pa rin ang supply ng COVID-19 vaccines.

WHO backs 3rd COVID-19 vaccine shot for elderlies, immunocompromised

Robie de Guzman   •   October 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday expressed support to proposals seeking to administer a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine to immunocompromised people who were not able to develop full immunity after receiving two doses.

WHO representative to the Philippines Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe said they are advocating for a third dose for immunocompromised individuals as an extended primary vaccination course.

Senior citizens who also received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine made either by Sinovac or Sinopharm should also be given a third shot of the same vaccine brand.

“Our recommendation is that in addition to immunocompromised individuals, that we include all individuals who have received primary vaccination of two doses with Sinovac or Sinopharm to receive a third dose provided it’s more than 3 months since the completion of their first 2 doses,” he said.

“We don’t have a recommendation for general population,” he added.

The Philippine government has yet to decide on the issue of giving a booster shot but it earlier said it has allocated a budget for its procurement next year.

WHO supports downgrading of NCR COVID-19 curbs

Robie de Guzman   •   October 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday expressed support to the Philippine government’s decision to ease restrictions in the National Capital Region (NCR).

“With high vaccination rate in Metro Manila, we believe that we need to adjust and calibrate the restrictions,” said WHO country representative Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe.

“We support the granular lockdowns, we support the easing of restrictions,” he added.

From COVID-19 Alert Level 4, the capital region will shift to Alert Level 3 from October 16 to 31 amid decreasing infection rate.

Under level 3, businesses will be allowed to operate at a higher capacity.

The alert level system, which was first tested in mid-September, is being implemented in the region with granular lockdowns in areas with a high transmission rate.

Abeyasinghe said easing COVID-19 curbs will spur economic activities but he called on local governments to ensure that access to testing is maintained.

He also urged the public to follow health protocols, even those who are already fully vaccinated, and to immediately go on quarantine if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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