DOH says IATF yet to decide on quarantine classifications; asks public not to share unverified info

Robie de Guzman   •   July 28, 2021   •   165

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday night called on the public to refrain from sharing unverified information following the circulation of messages about possible lockdowns.

The DOH clarified that the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has yet to decide on whether it will recommend stricter quarantine restrictions amid the threat of the more contagious COVID-19 variants.

“We would like to clarify that the IATF has yet to decide on the quarantine classification of Metro Manila and other areas,” the DOH said in a statement.

“We remind the public not to share unverified sources of information to avoid panic and confusion,” it added.

National Task Force against COVID-19 deputy chief implementer Vince Dizon earlier said the national government is open to proposals to implement a lockdown to curb the further spread of coronavirus disease.

The OCTA Research group earlier suggested the enforcement of a two-week “circuit breaker” lockdown in Metro Manila after its COVID-19 reproduction rate climbed to 1.33.

The national government is expected to announce the new quarantine classifications after the IATF meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte Wednesday.

DOH asks Comelec to find alternative ways for COVID-19 patients to vote

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to find alternative ways on how COVID-19 patients can cast their vote in the 2022 national elections.

DOH Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire reiterated that they will not allow COVID-19 patients to leave isolation to vote in the upcoming elections. She said this might lead to increasing the risk of virus transmission to other voters.

“Kailangan din isaisip dapat may alternative tayo for those who are COVID-19 positive para po sa botohan na ito. Alam po natin na ang isang positibong tao kapag lumabas po ng isang kwarto o ng isang lugar ay maaaring makahawa ng ibang tao, (We also need to look into alternative ways for the COVID-19 positive voters in this election. We do know that positive patients, once they leave their room or an area, can infect others)” she said.

The DOH official suggested going digital or online for COVID-19 patients.

“Sana po Comelec will have an alternative way of having these elections for those COVID-19 positive patients baka pwede naman pong virtual na lang, digital through SMS kung makakagawa po tayo ng ganitong proseso dahil talag ang ang Department of  Health po ay hindi po natin inirerekomenda na ang mga COVID-19 positive patients ay lalabas po ng kanilang isolation area to do this kind of activity, (I hope Comelec will have an alternative way of having these elections for  COVID-19 positive patients. Maybe it can be done virtually, digital through SMS if such a process can be done because the DOH will not recommend for COVID-19 patients to leave the isolation area to do this kind of activity),” Vergeire said.

Meanwhile Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez previously said that it would be a challenge to find alternative methods for COVID-19 patients to vote, however, he said the Comelec en Banc will discuss the process on how it can be done.

There are currently no guidelines allowing patients to vote in polling centers. AAC (with reports from Dante Amento)

 

DOH: Quarantine alert levels system, posibleng ipatupad na rin sa mga lalawigan

Robie de Guzman   •   September 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Posibleng ipatupad na rin sa iba pang lalawigan ang ipinaiiral ngayong quarantine alert levels system sa Metro Manila.

Ayon kay Department of Health (DOH) Spokesperson Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, maaaring simulan ang sistema sa ibang probinsiya bago matapos ang buwan ng Setyembre.

“Pag nakakita tayo ng positibong resulta dito sa ginagawang pilot implementation, we may be able to roll it out to the rest of the country at maybe towards the end of September,” ani Vergeire.

“Every week, we will be assessing so that we will see yung progress natin. Ano yung pwedeng baguhin, ano yung pwede na nating i-retain, ano ang mga metrics na dapat pag-aralan at ano pa yung ways moving forward. So, it’s until Sept. 30,” dagdag pa niya.

Sa ngayon aniya ay tinututukan ng DOH ang epekto ng granular lockdowns sa ilalim ng alert levels system sa hawaan ng COVID-19 sa Metro Manila.

Sa tala ng DOH, nakakapagtala pa rin ang bansa ng mahigit sa 20,000 libong kaso sa isang araw dahil na rin sa pagkalat ng COVID-19 Delta variant.

“Ang alert level po dynamic iyan, nababago-bago po iyan. Hindi po iyan pwedeng mag stick ng dalawang linggo at hindi natin binago. Maaari po na after one week, mabago ang alert level. So we will be adding or we will be subtracting from this specific responses na meron tayo kaya po nagpa-pilot o sinusubukan,” ani Vergeire.

Kapag natapos na ang pilot implementation ng bagong alert level system sa Metro Manila ay ihahayag ng DOH ang mga ginamit nilang sukatan upang tukuyin kung ano ang kanilang batayan sa alert level classification na ipinatutupad sa isang lugar. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

 

COVID-19 vaccination at vaccine cards para makapasok sa trabaho, hindi mandatory – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   September 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Muling nilinaw ng Department of Health (DOH) na hindi maaaring gawing sapilitan ang pagbabakuna kontra COVID-19.

Ginawa ng DOH ang pahayag kasunod ng hakbang ng Davao City government na gawing mandatory ang pagbabakuna sa mga empleyado ng city hall.

Sa executive order na nilagdaan ni Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, sakop nito ang mga volunteer, contact of service workers, plantilla at job order. Ang mga susuway sa kautusan ay maaaring maharap sa parusa.

Ayon kay DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, labag sa batas na gawing sapilitan ang pagbabakuna alinsunod sa nakasaad sa Republic Act (RA) 11525 o ang pagtatatag ng COVID-19 vaccination program ng pamahalaan.

“Hindi po natin inirerekomenda na maging mandato o obligado ang isang empleyado na bakunado siya para siya ay magkaroon ng trabaho makapasok sa kaniyang trabaho,” ani Vergeire.

Nakasaad din sa naturang batas na hindi maaaring gawing requirement sa hiring o employment purpose ng isang indibidwal ang vaccine status nito o kung meron itong hawak na vaccine card.

“Nakalagay din po sa batas na RA 11525 na ang vaccine cards shall not be considered as additional requirements for employment purposes. So maliwanag po ito sa ating batas that vaccination is not mandatory,” ani Vergeire.

Gayunman, hinihikayat naman ng kagawaran ang mga nasa priority sector na magpabakuna na para na rin sa kanilang proteksyon laban sa COVID-19.

“But of course, we highly encourage people to get vaccinated pero hindi po dapat natin gamitin ito para maging purpose o makapasok ang isang tao sa trabaho,” dagdag pa ng opisyal.

Babala ng DOH, maaaring maharap sa parusa ang sinumang lalabag sa batas pati na ang mga mamemeke ng vaccine cards. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

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