COVID-19 cases in Phl jump to 707; death toll at 45

Marje Pelayo   •   March 26, 2020   •   284

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday (March 26) reported an additional 71 new cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.

This brings the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines to 707.

Meanwhile, two more patients have recovered, bringing the total to 28.

However, the Department confirmed seven additional deaths, bringing the nationwide death toll to 45.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III in a live broadcast Thursday afternoon also announced that the country has recorded 657 patients under investigation (PUIs) who are confined in hospitals.

The number of persons under monitoring (PUM) or under self-quarantine, on the other hand, is at 6,321.

The DOH is planning to establish community quarantine facilities to accommodate more PUIs and PUMs as a measure to decongest the major hospitals overwhelmed by the surge of COVID-19 patients.

The DOH added that these community quarantine facilities will also house COVID-19 recoveries who need further medical observation.

Among those eyed for community quarantine facilities are schools and evacuation centers.

“Sa ngayon nga po tayo ay nakikipag-usap na sa pamunuan ng Quezon Institute, sa Philippine Red Cross para makapag-umpisa tayo ng isang malaking community quarantine facility kung saan pwede po nating ilagak ang ating mga mino-monitor,” said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

(As of now, we are coordinating with the management of the Quezon Institute and the Philippine Red Cross to start with the establishment of a big community quarantine facility where we can house patients who need monitoring.)

“Ang layunin po ng ating gobyerno ay para hindi maghalo ang ating mga (The purpose of our government is to separate) severe at critical with mild and asymptomatic and also, of course, to decongest our hospitals,” she added.

Meanwhile, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has signified its offer of more than 100 evacuation centers across the country to be converted into quarantine facilities.

The DOH is now forming the necessary protocols for the operations of the proposed community quarantine facilities. MNP (with inputs from Aiko Miguel)

Swiss graffiti artist pays tribute to frontline worker ‘super-heroes’

UNTV News   •   April 7, 2020

Swiss artist David Perez alias “S.I.D.” paid tribute on Sunday (April 5), to the “everyday super-heroes” working on the frontline during the COVID-19 pandemic, by painting a giant portrait representing a cashier on Gland town’s walls.

“Today, I will especially pay tribute to cashiers. They are on the frontline with nurses and others. So, it is for our everyday super-heroes”, the 35 years-old graffiti artist told Reuters.

All the residents of the Swiss town of Gland, located between Lausanne and Geneva, who pass through this underground tunnel can also admire a portrait of a nurse that SID did two weeks ago.

A few meters away, there is now a cashier wearing a mask and scanning a bottle of liquid soap, which took the artist 5 hours to make.

“The symbolic is very strong and this is really beautiful”, said local resident Coline Bovet, who was on a walk with her husband and had the surprise to find SID at work.

The cashier was modelled by one of SID’s friends, 25 years old Manuela Perrone, who does not work at a supermarket but just wanted to pay tribute to workers in contact with the public and possible contamination.

On the bottle of soap that the cashier is holding, the artist wrote “thank you”.

SID said he plans to draw other giant portraits of workers in the coming weeks, such as construction workers or garbage collectors. (REUTERS CONNECT)

(Production: Cecile Mantovani and Denis Balibouse)

PNP to implement 50-50 work scheme due to COVID-19

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 6, 2020

The Philippine National Police (PNP) will implement a 50-50 work scheme among personnel who are based at the national headquarters in Camp Crame.

This is due to the rising number of PNP personnel who have become patients under investigation (PUI) and persons under monitoring (PUM) of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) threat.

The 50-50 work scheme would use 50 percent or the first batch of personnel to go on duty at the administrative office until April 19 while the second batch will go on duty from April 20 to May 3.

According to a memorandum issued on April 4, the heads of offices/units with essential functions shall determine the work scheme applicable to the personnel, as long as they should observe a 14-day self-quarantine/isolation as part of the PNP’s health protocol.

“Maaaring magpatupad sila ng kani-kanilang scheduling para hindi naman maapektuhan ang ating normal functions,” said PNP Spokesperson Bernard Banac.

Meanwhile, police personnel who are aged 45 years old and above will have to be pulled out from the checkpoint areas.

“Mas vulnerable sila sa COVID-19 (They are more vulnerable to COVID-19),” Banac said.

The PNP will also launch Admin Support to COVID-19 Task Force (ASCoTF) to ensure an organized and speedy logistics, response, and development of frontliners.

The PNP has already recorded 19 police personnel that tested positive for COVID-19 with two deaths.

The total number of persons under monitoring (PUMs) in the PNP has already reached more than 1,300. — AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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UK PM Johnson admitted to hospital as Britain enters third week of lockdown

UNTV News   •   April 6, 2020

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was in hospital in London on Monday (April 6) suffering persistent coronavirus symptoms 10 days after testing positive for the virus, but Downing Street said he remained in charge of the government.

Johnson, 55, had been isolating in Downing Street after testing positive for the virus last month, was taken to hospital on Sunday night because he still had a high temperature and his doctors felt he needed additional tests.

Meanwhile, Britain entered its third week in lockdown with authorities warning they will have to impose further restrictions on outdoor exercise if people continued to flout rules designed to curb transmission of the virus.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it was “unbelievable” to see a small minority flouting the government’s advice to maintain social-distancing.

Hancock said if people did not follow the rules, which allow people to walk, run or cycle outdoors once a day but not sunbathe, he would have to ban exercise of all forms outside the home.

He said the timetable to ease restrictions – the lockdown exit strategy – could only be agreed once the spread of the coronavirus had been brought under control.

Other European countries such as Italy and France have imposed tougher restrictions on people leaving their homes. (REUTERS CONNECT)

(Production: Gerhard Mey, Ben Makori.)

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