Eleazar orders BASULTA police units to beef up border control vs Delta variant

Robie de Guzman   •   July 19, 2021   •   385

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Guillermo Eleazar on Monday directed police units in Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi (BASULTA) to help intensify the intelligence monitoring and regular coastal patrol operations to prevent the illegal entry of people from neighboring countries amid the threat of Delta COVID-19 variant.

In a statement, Eleazar said he recently visited the provinces of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi to check the security measures being implemented in the said provinces against the highly transmissible coronavirus variant.

The PNP chief said he has tasked local police forces and the Maritime Group to coordinate with local government units, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Philippine Coast Guard, in order to come up with tighter measures and seal the Mindanao boundaries against illegal entrants.

The move comes after the Philippine government included Indonesia in the list of countries with strict travel restrictions due to the surge of COVID-19 cases, which health experts attributed to the Delta variant.

The travel ban on Indonesia, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, and Oman is effective until July 31.

Eleazar said the Philippines shares border with Indonesia and Malaysia in Mindanao, and the porous border in the South is reportedly being taken advantage of for smuggling activities, including those who want to easily get in and go out of the Philippines.

“Bukod sa’ting mga local police forces, nagbigay na din ako ng kautusan sa ating mga commanders doon, lalo na sa Maritime Group, na palakasin ang border control sa lahat ng pumapasok na galing sa Indonesia at Malaysia upang matiyak na hindi tayo malulusutan doon,” he said.

Eleazar said he will also meet with the officials of the Police Regional Office- Bangsamoro Autonomous Region to discuss security and safety measures in the region.

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)

 

PH posts 20,336 new COVID-19 cases; active tally at 188K

Robie de Guzman   •   September 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines on Friday recorded 20,336 additional COVID-19 cases, bringing the total tally of confirmed cases to 2,324,475 since the pandemic broke out in 2020.

The Department of Health (DOH) said the latest figure pushed the country’s active cases to 188,108. Of these cases, 87.6 percent are mild, 2.49 percent are moderate, 8.1 percent are asymptomatic, 1.3 percent are severe, and 0.6 percent are in critical condition.

Meanwhile, total number of recoveries rose to 2,100,039 after 10,028 more patients recovered from the disease.

Deaths related to COVID-19 also climbed to 36,328 with 310 new fatalities.

Four accredited testing laboratories failed to submit data on time.

Government data also showed that 77 percent of 4,300 ICU beds nationwide are occupied.

Around 68 percent of 20,800 isolation beds in the country are also in use while 73 percent of 15,900 ward beds are occupied.

Data also showed that 57 percent of the more than 3,200 ventilators in the country are being utilized.

In the National Capital Region, 79 percent of the total 1,500 ICU beds are occupied.

Around 64 percent of the 4,500 isolation beds are in use while 74 percent of the 4,400 ward beds are being utilized.

Of the total 1,100 ventilators in the capital region, 62 percent are being used.

The DOH also reported 26.6 percent COVID-19 positivity rate out of the 75,766 tests conducted on September 15.

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)

 

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