Duterte directs DILG, PNP to implement stricter protocols vs. COVID-19 spread

Maris Federez   •   July 20, 2021   •   296

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to implement stricter protocols to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), more importantly, the Delta variant.

“I urge the DILG and the PNP to implement existing protocols with greater urgency and necessity. It is only by imposing these restrictions that we can fight the threat of Delta variant,” Duterte said during his weekly Talk to the Nation that aired on Monday (July 19).

The president said that the reported local cases of the Delta variant is a cause for serious alarm and concern as its rate of transmission is more than double of the alpha variant.

The chief executive believes that the reimposition of stricter restrictions help avoid mass gatherings and prevent super spreader events.

He hopes that the country’s existing infrastructure in dealing with the problem of COVID-19 Delta variant, such as the vaccination program, can cope up and be as effective in dealing with the said variant.

“Pagka andito na, kung sakali man it will spread, I hope it will not, then we’ll have to go again to stricter measure.”

The president also reminded the public that the government’s security forces act upon his orders with an aim to protect the people against the deadly viral disease.

“Remember, the reason why the security forces of the government are very strict is not because they want to be strict and they want to make it hard for the people to move. Rather, they are strict because they want to protect the country from a very contagious disease and maybe cause more deaths, more than the lives that we lost in the past,” Duterte said.

“Huwag kayong magalit sa police o sa mga military kasi utos ko yan. So hindi nila kasalanan. Kasi pag hindi nila naimplement, pag may nakita ako na violations, sila man ang bubulyawan ko. In other words, they are just doing their duty,” the president further said. —/mbmf

Eleazar orders deeper probe into killing of lawyer in South Cotabato

Robie de Guzman   •   September 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Guillermo Eleazar on Thursday ordered a deeper investigation into the killing of a lawyer in South Cotabato.

In a statement, Eleazar wants police investigators to determine the motive and identify in the soonest possible time the perpetrators of the crime.

A report from the South Cotabato Provincial Police Office stated that Atty. Juan Gammad Macababbad, 68, was shot dead by three unidentified gunmen in front of his house in Surallah on Wednesday afternoon.

He suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was declared dead on arrival at the hospital.

“The Philippine National Police joins the legal community and the Filipino people in condemning the killing of a lawyer in South Cotabato,” Eleazar said.

“Kasabay ng pagkondena dito ay ang aking kautusan sa RD, PRO12 na tutukan ang kasong ito upang mapanagot ang mga taong nasa likod nito at maibigay ang nararapat na hustisya kay Atty. Macababbad at sa kanyang pamilya,” he added.

Eleazar said he also ordered the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management to check on the status of other cases of lawyer killings in the last five years and to expedite the investigation of those that are still unresolved.

 

Quezon City gov’t looking into possible causes of COVID-19 spread in 2 convents

Robie de Guzman   •   September 16, 2021

The Quezon City Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance Unit (CESU) is currently looking into the possible causes of COVID-19 outbreak in two convents in the city, the local government said Thursday.

In a statement, the city government said massive contact tracing efforts are underway to contain the further transmission of the virus.

A total of 114 individuals, including 64 nuns and 50 staff members, tested positive for COVID-19 at the Religious of the Virgin Mary (RVM) in Cubao.

At the Convent of the Holy Spirit, 22 individuals were confirmed to have caught the virus, including 13 nuns and 9 staff members.

The city government said both facilities have been placed under lockdown.

CESU chief Dr. Rolando Cruz said they became aware of the situation after the cases were recorded in the surveillance data reported by a testing laboratory.

“Hindi po tayo ang nag-swab sa kanila. Nagpa-test po sila sa iba at nang lumabas na ang resulta sa laboratory, na-record ito sa surveillance data,” he said in the same statement.

“Now, our team is conducting an investigation and intensive contact tracing to get more details about the matter,” he added.

Cruz said part of the ongoing investigation is to determine if any of the positive individuals had any close contact with anyone outside of their facility.

Initial investigation revealed that a nun at the Convent of Holy Spirit passed away due to COVID-19 in early September. A physical therapist in the facility was reportedly exposed to the patient.

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte earlier ordered the CESU to conduct active surveillance of closed settings in the city such as nursing homes and convents after 122 people, including 99 children, in an orphanage tested positive for COVID-19.

COVID-19 reproduction rate in NCR slows down to 1.28 – OCTA

Robie de Guzman   •   September 16, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The reproduction number of coronavirus disease in the National Capital Region (NCR) has improved in the past few days, the OCTA Research Group said Thursday.

In a report posted on Twitter, OCTA fellow Dr. Guido David noted that NCR’s reproduction number, which refers to the average number of secondary infections by each positive case, eased to 1.28 from Sept. 9 to 15.

This rate is lower than the 1.39 reported during the period covering Sept. 2 to 8.

David also noted that the one-week growth rate of NCR dipped to 9 percent from Sept. 8 to 15, compared to the 14 percent recorded from Sept. 2 to 8.

“Kapag bumaba iyong reproduction number kumakaunti ang hawaan, bumabagal ang hawaan. The growth rate will also decrease like ngayon sa NCR, 1.28 reproduction number growth rate is 9% kapag bumaba ang reproduction number to 1 iyong growth rate naman pababa to 0% then magiging negative,” David said in an interview.

“Kapag negative na ang growth rate ibig sabihin kumakaunti na ang cases natin… In fact, nationally 6% na lang ang nadagdag,” he added.

David also said that the capital region recorded an average of 5,819 cases per day over the past week, while the daily attack rate per 100,000 population climbed to 41.66 from the previous 38.24. It also registered a positivity rate of 25 percent.

He noted that the NCR has not yet peaked but there is hope that it may happen in one or two weeks.

“We might be getting close to the peak nationally… That’s why we have renewed again hope that we might not hit 30,000,” he said.

“Most likely today we’ll see 20,000+ cases […] even up to 21,000 to 22,000 but we hope na it will be controlled in the sense it will not exceed the previous high 25,000-26,000. Maybe the trend will start to decrease,” he added.

David also expressed hope that the country’s health system will be able to take a breather by next month if the downward trend continues.

“Based on the trends that we are seeing, by October I am predicting —hindi ito projection, may kasamang hope and prayer — that by October, downward trend na tayo,” he said.

“Pero iyong hospitalization will still remain high for foreseeable future up to the next few weeks,” he added.

He, however, called on the public to continue adhering to the minimum public health and quarantine protocols to help curb COVID-19 infections.

REACH US

The Philippine Broadcast Hub

UNTV, 915 Barangay Philam,

EDSA, Quezon City M.M. 1104

(+632) 8396-8688 (Tel)

info@untv-newsandrescue.com (General inquiries)

ABOUT UNTV

UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.