COVID-19 epidemic in Japan raises public concern about upcoming Olympics

UNTV News   •   March 2, 2020   •   979

The COVID-19 outbreak in Japan has triggered division in public opinion over whether the 2020 Olympics which is scheduled to be held in July could or should go ahead.

So far, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Japan, including foreigners, has risen to more than 960, with over 700 of them stemming from the virus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined in the port city of Yokohama.

The preparations for the event have already been delayed due to scandals and repeated venue changes. And now threats to the Olympics are getting more real as the coronavirus outbreak spreads in Japan.

“Though I hope it will subside by July, I’m not sure to what degree will it subside,” a pedestrian told CGTN reporter.

“When the coronavirus was first reported, I thought it might not continue for that long as the Olympics will be held in summer. But if it lingers on, that would be bad. However, I don’t think the government is considering postponing or letting other countries hold the Olympics,” said a pedestrian.

“The athletes are from different countries and regions around the world. If they are infected, they may make it spread in the country. So I wonder whether it’s possible not to host the Olympics,” another pedestrian said.

However, others are more optimistic and say the public is now taking more reasonable precautions

“I think it is quite safe to hold the Olympics here. I am from the Netherlands and when I look at the normal flu, for example, far more people get normal flu than the coronavirus. And there are more casualties than the coronavirus as well. So at the moment, I am not concerned that the coronavirus will stop the Olympics,” said a foreigner.

Meanwhile, there are worries that some countries or athletes may decide it’s not worth the risk to come to Japan.

“In a word, we should take all possibilities into consideration and take measures. If all efforts fail, then we should think about postponing or canceling the Olympic Games. But first, I believe it is essential to fulfilling what we can do,” said a pedestrian.

“I think we should see how things develop by the end of March or April. If we see it subside, we should prepare clear data and disclose it to the world,” another man said.

Although Tokyo residents are still split over the issue, most say the Games would boost morale and possibly the country’s economy. ( CCTV / CGTN VIA REUTERS CONNECT)

Taguig City launches home service vaccination program

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 20, 2021

The Taguig City Government on Monday (April 19) launched its home service vaccination program.

In a statement, the local government said it has expanded its reach to vaccinate residents amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

It announced that it has deployed doctors and nurses for the inoculation of bed-ridden residents for the home service vaccination program.

Residents who want to avail of the home service vaccination for their bedridden family members may call the designated telephone numbers of Taguig Telemedicine in barangay health centers as well as the city’s COVID-19 Hotline.

As of April 18, 2021, Taguig City has already vaccinated a total of 23,146 citizens.

Taguig City Mayor Lino Cayetano said the local government “must ensure that there are more locations and safer ways for residents, especially the vulnerable sector, to have access to the vaccine.” AAC

DFA reports 19 new COVID-19 cases among overseas Filipinos

Marje Pelayo   •   April 20, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has logged 19 new COVID-19 cases among Filipinos abroad, bringing the total tally to 18,160 as of Tuesday (April 20).

Meanwhile, the agency also recorded 13 new recoveries, and 6 new fatalities among overseas Filipinos.

To date, there are 5,877 Filipinos undergoing treatment at home and in various facilities in a total of 91 countries and territories across the globe.

 

 

Phl shows good record in vaccination program despite criticisms — Duterte

Maris Federez   •   April 20, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte believes that the government’s vaccination program is doing good despite the criticism thrown at it.

This, after vaccine czar and National Task Force Against COVID-19 Chief Implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. reported to the president the status of the country’s vaccination program on Monday night’s Talk to the Nation aired over PTV-4.

Galvez said that the Philippines now ranks 3rd among the ASEAN member countries in vaccination, from the former 8th in ranking when the country had just started its vaccination rollout.

The Philippines also ranks 41st among 173 countries and 14th out of 47 Asian countries.

“Sa ngayon po number three po tayo at the same time 41st po tayo out of 173 countries, at number 14 po tayo sa 47 Asian countries. So hindi po tayo nahuhuli, nandoon po tayo sa may bandang per — mga ano, upper 25 percent,” Galvez said.

“Well, maganda ang record natin in spite of unfounded criticism which — anyway, we expect it. But the Philippines is able to get the upper berth, I said, of the countries that are inoculated. Maganda ang record niyan and to think that people were almost in a quandary where to get the next vaccination,” President Duterte said.

“You know, for whatever it is that really work to them, we were able to make a go at least, not everybody at one time, but we have vaccinated a lot of people. I am happy that we have completed the vaccination of the medical people, yung tinatawag nilang frontliner,” he added.

The President said the country is not really left behind as far as vaccination against COVID-19 is concerned.

“So nakita mo naman na hindi pala tayo ‘yong pinakamahina, mataas nga ‘yong atin. It goes to show that we are really working very hard, especially Secretary Galvez, to get the vaccines here in the Philippines on time. Though it is not as fast as people would like to expect, the fact that, I said, we have occupied a certain position, we are number 15 sa ano? Number three?” he said.

“Well, it speaks well of the effort of your office to at least come to a more than an acceptable performance in the matter of — well, the fight against COVID as far as the Philippines is concerned,” the President added.

Galvez has also reported that 965,960 medical frontline workers who belong in A1 category have received the first dose of the vaccination. From this number, 198,534 have already received the 2nd dose.

The vaccine czar added that 132,948 belonging to the A2 category and 180,315 from the A3 category have received the first dose of the vaccine. —/mbmf

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