Guidelines on release of old, sickly PDLs, grant of parole underway
Marje Pelayo • April 21, 2020 • 468
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has submitted his fourth report to the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee in line with his administration’s execution of the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act in response to the prevailing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
The report includes concern on the welfare and conditions of persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) who are old and sickly as they are considered vulnerable to the deadly new coronavirus.
The President noted that the Board of Pardon and Parole is already crafting the guidelines for the immediate release and processing of cases of PDLs who may be entitled to parole or executive clemency.
“The Board of Pardon and Parole is formulating interim guidelines for the expeditious release of PDLs who are already of old age, sickly or are suffering from terminal illnesses, or with serious disabilities, as well as those eligible for parole or executive clemency, in order to decongest penal facilities,” the report said.
The government also assures that the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) is constantly monitoring situations inside jail facilities nationwide as it ensures strict enforcement ot of preventive measures against COVID-19, including proper hygiene and disinfection protocols, and quarantine and isolation schemes. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
MANILA, Philippines – Metro Manila may return to stricter enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) if the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation worsens in the capital region.
In a televised press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the government may possibly reimpose ECQ on Metro Manila if hospitals in the region hit maximum capacity due to surge in COVID-19 cases.
“Pag lumala talaga, at mawalan tayo ng critical care capacity o di kaya ay case doubling rate ay bumalik sa dati na napakabilis, wala po tayong alternatibo,” he said.
“Yun nga po ang pinapakiusap sa ating kababayan, pag tayo bumalik sa mas estriktong quarantine, baka wala na po tayong hanapbuhay na pwedeng gawin,” he added.
Roque issued the statement after the country recorded a record-high 2,434 additional cases on Sunday, bringing the total cases to 44,254. Most of these infections were reported in Metro Manila.
Metro Manila is currently under general community quarantine where public transport and some business sectors have been allowed to resume operations at a limited capacity.
It was previously placed under ECQ for more than two months.
The Department of Health earlier said that the spike in infections was due to increased physical contact of the public following the easing of quarantine restrictions.
But Roque said the government had no choice but to loosen the quarantine measures in order to revitalize the economy.
“Wala naman tayong alternatibo kundi magbukas ng ekonomiya… Kung di pa po natin mabubuksan, mamya buhay nga tayo, mamatay naman tayo dahil wala tayong hanapbuhay,” he said.
The Palace official, meanwhile, belied reports that hospitals in Metro Manila have reached full capacity amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Roque said that as of July 5, Metro Manila’s critical care utilization is still at 63 percent or moderate risk level.
He also clarified that many hospitals have yet to breach the 30 percent hospital bed capacity for coronavirus patients.
“Nililinaw po namin na yung mga kumakalat na fake news na ubos na raw po ang hospital beds sa ating mga ospital, di po yan totoo,” he said.
Roque also revealed that Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega has been designated to head the Hospital One Incident Command which will determine the critical care utilization and hospital care capacity rate. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)
The global number of confirmed infections of COVID-19 reached 10,922,324 and the disease claimed 523,011 lives as of 14:31 CEST Saturday, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
The WHO data showed the Americas reported the most confirmed COVID-19 cases in the world with the number reaching 5,575,482, followed by Europe and Eastern Mediterranean which confirmed 2,757,556 and 1,135,604 cases, respectively.
The United States topped all countries with 2,724,433 cases. The numbers of the confirmed cases in Brazil, Russia and India are also prominent, reaching 1.49 million, 674,515 and 648,315, respectively.
In Russia, the COVID-19 death toll surpassed 10,000 to reach 10,027 on Saturday. Moscow, the country’s worst-hit region, reported 680 new cases on the day, taking its tally of infections to 224,210.
Germany has launched fast-track COVID-19 testing in some airports for international travelers as it gradually recovers flights and tourism industry.
The test at an onsite laboratory costs 190 Euros per person. The results will come out in three to four hours.
In the United Kingdom, people welcomed “Super Saturday” as the country reopened barber shops, bars and restaurants.
Early in the morning on Saturday, long queues formed at the door of almost every barber shop as patrons lined up to finally have a haircut after being confined to their homes for more than three months.
Japan confirmed 114 new cases from 00:00 to 15:00 on Sunday, seeing the fourth consecutive day reporting more than 100 new cases in a single day.
The Iranian government has made wearing face mask in public places mandatory from Sunday amid increasing infections and fatalities brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It requires all people to wear face masks at public gathering places, indoor public places and in government offices providing public services.
In Turkey, shopping malls are grappling with the slowdown in business as the country faces an economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The World Bank recently estimated Turkey’s economic growth to be 0.5 percent this year，0.3 percentage point lower than the bank’s prospect before the COVID-19 outbreak.
Egypt is seeing rising unemployment rate due to the pandemic. The rate has increased from 7.7 percent in this year’s first quarter to 9.2 percent in April, recording 2.6 million jobless people.
The bleak employment situation is also happening in South Africa. The country’s youth unemployment rate was close to 60 percent before the COVID-19 hit. The rate now is likely higher as the pandemic affects the country’s economy and creates fewer job opportunities. (Reuters)
TAWI-TAWI, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) reported the first confirmed case of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection in Tawi-Tawi province on Sunday (July 5).
According to the announcement, the patient is a 44-year-old male personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
He is an identified locally stranded individual (LSI) with travel history from COVID-19 infected areas namely San Isidro in Quezon City, Zamboanga City and Basilan. He arrived at Bongao Port in Tawi-Tawi on June 30.
The patient is asymptomatic and currently in isolation.
As of July 3, the total number of PNP personnel infected with COVID-19 is at 815.
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