DOH, UP-PGC, UP-NIH confirm more COVID-19 variant cases

Maris Federez   •   August 15, 2021   •   256

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH), the University of the Philippines – Philippine Genome Center (UP-PGC), and the University of the Philippines – National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH) has reported the detection of 182 Delta variant cases, 41 Alpha variant cases, 66 Beta variant cases, 40 P.3 variant cases, and the first case of the Lambda (C.37) variant of interest in the latest batch of whole-genome sequencing.

A statement released by the DOH on Sunday (August 15) said the latest sequencing run also included repeat samples that were sequenced on July 28 and were initially determined to have no lineage.

 

Delta variant cases:

Of the additional 182 Delta variant cases, 112 are local cases and 36 are Returning Overseas Filipinos (ROF). Thirty-four cases, on the other hand, are currently being verified on whether they are local or ROF cases.

Of the 112 local cases, 42 cases had indicated addresses in the National Capital Region, while 36 cases had indicated addresses in Central Luzon.

Eight cases are reportedly from CALABARZON, six from MIMAROPA, six from Northern Mindanao, four from Central Visayas, three from the Davao Region, three from Caraga, two cases from Western Visayas, and one case each from the Cordillera Administrative Region and BARMM, the statement said.

The report said one of the cases is still active, while 176 have been tagged to have recovered from the highly contagious disease.

Four cases, on the other hand, have died and one case has an outcome that is still being verified, it added.

All other details are being validated by the regional and local health offices.

This update brings the total Delta variant cases to 807, the DOH said.

 

Alpha variant cases:

The health department also reported that of the additional 41 Alpha variant cases detected, 38 were local, one an ROF, and two are still being verified.

The DOH added that two cases have died, 36 cases have been tagged as recovered, and three cases have outcomes that are being verified.

With the recent update, the total Alpha variant cases are now 2,232.

 

Beta variant cases:

The DOH data further showed that the additional 66 Beta variant cases are comprised of 56 local cases and ten still undergoing verification.

Two Beta variant cases have died, 63 have been tagged as recovered, and one is still being verified.

After verification, the total Beta variant cases are now at 2,483, the DOH added.

 

P.3 variant cases:

Meanwhile, 37 of the 40 additional P.3 variant cases were found to be of local transmission, while three are currently being verified if they are local or ROF cases.

All cases have been tagged as recovered, the health department said.

 

Lambda variant case:

The single case of the Lambda variant is reportedly a 35-year old female and is currently being validated as to whether she is a local or ROF case.

The DOH said the case was asymptomatic and tagged as Recovered after undergoing the 10-day isolation period.

 

“Regardless of the presence of any variant of concern, the DOH reiterates to the public the strict adherence to the minimum public health standards, strengthened PDITR, and vaccination strategies remain effective,” the statement said.

“Active case finding, aggressive contact tracing, and immediate isolation/quarantine can also lower the transmission of the COVID-19 and its variants,” it added.

The DOH also reminds the public to take care of their mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It added that the Mental Health Crisis Hotline of the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) is open 24/7 at 09663514518 or 09178998727 for Globe/TM subscribers and at 09086392672 for Smart/TnT/Sun subscribers.

Mga bata, bawal mamasyal sa dolomite Beach sa Maynila – Malakanyang

Robie de Guzman   •   October 25, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Muling nagpa-alala ang Malakanyang sa publiko na hindi pa maaaring magtungo sa mga pasyalan ang mga menor de edad sa kabila ng pagluluwag ng COVID-19 alert level sa Metro Manila.

Ginawa ng Palasyo ang paalala kasunod ng muling pagdagsa ng maraming tao sa dolomite beach sa Maynila nitong weekend.

Batay sa video na kuha ng UNTV drone, makikita ang kumpulan ng maraming tao sa Manila Bay pati na ang ilang pamilyang may kasama pang mga bata.

Sa dami ng taong dumagsa sa lugar, hindi na nasunod ang social distancing rule at may iba pang hindi maayos ang pagkakasuot ng face mask.

Ayon kay Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, bawal pang pumasok ang mga bata sa dolomite beach sa Manila Bay at iba pang pasyalan.

Una nang sinabi ni Roque na maaari lamang lumabas ang mga bata kung ito ay para sa pangunahing pangangailangan at outdoor exercise.

“Hindi pa po pwede talagang magpasyal-pasyal ang mga bata. So, unang-una nananawagan po kami sa ating mga kababayan, pandemya pa po,” ani Roque.

“Bagama’t bumababa po ang mga kaso natin eh nandiyan pa po si COVID-19. So, huwag po tayong magpabaya… Kinakailangan po mask, hugas, iwas at kung kakayanin na bakuna na,” dagdag pa niya.

Kasalukuyang nasa COVID-19 Alert Level 3 ang Metro Manila, na ang ibig sabihin ay mas maluwag na restriction at pagpapahintulot sa pagbubukas ng mas maraming establisimyento sa limitadong kapasidad.

Ngunit paalala ng Palasyo sa publiko, dapat pa ring mag-ingat at iwasan ang pagkukumpulan dahil sa patuloy na banta ng COVID-19 sa kabila ng mataas na vaccination rate sa rehiyon.

Dapat ring panatilihin ang pagsunod sa health protocols upang maiwasan ang super spreader events.

“Nananawagan din po kami sa kapulisan, siguro diyan po sa Maynila, kinakailangan po ipatupad natin yung social distancing,” ani Roque.

Samantala, muli ring umapela ang Department of Health (DOH) sa publiko na huwag balewalain ang ipinaiiral na health protocols upang huwag nang tumaas pa ang kaso ng COVID-19 sa bansa.

“Katulad po ng lagi nating sinasabi hindi pa po tapos ang laban, andito pa po ang virus. Kailangan po tulong-tulong tayo huwag po tayong maging kampante maaaring lumabas pa ring pero kailangan mag- iingat pa rin tayo lahat,” ang paalala ni DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.

Samantala, sinabi naman ni Environment and Natural Undersecretary Benny Antiporda na posibleng limitahan na nila ang dami ang mga papapasuking bisita sa dolomite beach sa Manila Bay upang maiwasan ang pagdagsa ng mga tao.

“They can spend about 15 minutes and since hindi po—hindi na po 15 minutes, pinababayaan na po kahit magtagal sa loob, eh titingnan po natin at kahit tuloy-tuloy pa ho, tuloy-tuloy pa yung dating ng tao, maaari hong ibalik namin yung time limit ng pagbisita,” ang wika ni Antiporda. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

PNP to deploy more cops at Manila dolomite beach

Robie de Guzman   •   October 25, 2021

 

The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday said it will deploy more personnel at the dolomite beach in Manila after thousands of people flocked to the area over the weekend.

PNP chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar said he has tasked the Manila Police District (MPD) to closely coordinate with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), dolomite beach administrators, and the local government unit on the possibility of establishing restrictions on the number of visitors and their length of stay.

He also directed the MPD to make sure that no super spreader event will occur in the area.

“Inatasan ko na ang Director, MPD na magdagdag ng pulis sa dolomite area ng Manila Bay upang tiyakin na nasusunod ang minimum public health safety protocols. Kasama sa aking utos ang pakikipag-ugnayan sa lokal na pamahalaan upang magkaroon ng maayos na sistema, lalo na sa pagdadala ng mga bata na nakita natin sa video at sa mga litrato na kumalat sa social media,” Eleazar said in a statement.

“Nauunawaan natin ang kasabikan ng ilan nating mga kababayan na lumabas dahil sa mahabang lockdown subalit hindi dahilan ito upang ipagsawalang-bahala ang kaligtasan ng bawat isa, lalo na ang mga batang isinama nila gayong malinaw sa patakaran na hindi pa puwede silang lumabas under the COVID Alert Level 3 status,” he added.

Last Sunday, the PNP said authorities temporarily stopped the entry of visitors when the crowd reached 4,000.

Video taken via UNTV drone also showed clusters of people visiting the dolomite beach, with some even violating the protocol on social distancing and wearing of face masks.

Eleazar reminded the public to strictly adhere to the health protocols against COVID-19 when visiting public areas to prevent the further spread of the disease.

The DENR earlier said it is eyeing the possibility of limiting to only 15 minutes the length of stay and the number of visitors to the area.

Vaccination, not a requirement to vote — Comelec

Maris Federez   •   October 25, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) maintains that there is no law that requires a person to get vaccinated first before he or she can vote in the May 2022 national and local elections.

According to Comelec Deputy Executive Director for Operations Atty. Teofisto Elnas, a voter will not be asked to present his vaccination card come election day.

“Lalo na ina-anticipate natin na on election day na meron at meron pang walang vaccination or yung mga taong hindi nagpa-vaccine for whaterver reason makakaboto pa rin sila and they are not to present ‘yong vaccination card,” Elnas said.

Comelec spokesperson Director James Jimenez, meanwhile, said there is no alternative way for a confirmed COVID-19 positive patient or those in an isolation facility to vote during the elections.

“Paano naman ‘yong may mga sakit din? May pneumonia, may cancer? Hindi naman sila makakaboto. So if you’re sick, we recommend that you stay for treatment or if you are contagious, stay away from people. I think that’s, shall we say, fair,” Jimenez said.

The poll body, however, said that they are willing to extend the voting hours so that more voters will be given the opportunity to cast their votes.

“Just in case at the end of the voting hours meron at meron pa ring mga botante na nakapila or mga botante within the voting center, uubusin yan hanggang matapos yan. Tatapusin yan. So, in effect mag-i-extend tayo ng voting hours natin,” Elnas said.

Comelec reminds voters that wearing face masks and face shields will be strictly implemented on election day.

Voter registration is still ongoing until October 30.

As of September 30, Comelec has recorded 63 million registered voters. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Dante Amento)

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