‘Haircut only’: Salons, barbershops to open on June 7

Marje Pelayo   •   June 1, 2020   •   220

MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force against COVID-19 has allowed the reopening of salons and barbershops beginning June 7 — but services are only limited to haircuts and no pedicures or manicures. 

Also, strict health protocols must be observed by both clients and staff to prevent possible transmission of COVID19.

According to the guidelines released by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on the partial opening of salons and barbershops, the following steps must be strictly observed: 

  • A 10-minute interval between customers should be taken to allow disinfection or sanitation of the premises and tools. 
  • Contact-less transactions such as online appointments or text messaging as well as cashless payment or online cash transfer are required. However, for those who have no access to online payment, a tray must be provided where they can place the money upon payment.
  • Only the person seeking haircut service is allowed inside, unless the person’s condition requires a company.
  • Foot bath or disinfection mat is required at the entrance of the establishment.
  • Temperature check and alcohol rub are mandatory upon entering the establishment.
  • The customer’s personal belongings must be disinfected and then placed inside a sanitary bag.
  • Wearing any piece of jewelry is not allowed even wrist watches. 
  • Clients must be given a copy of the health checklist, which should also be visibly posted within the establishment’s premises. 
  • Chairs must be at one-meter distance and floor markings must be installed to guide customers.
  • Staff must wear personal protective equipment (PPE) to include face masks and shield, goggles, gloves and hair caps when rendering services. 
  • They must put their shoes on and practice regular hand washing.

“It’s for the safety of their workers. Para sa mga nagtatrabaho doon sa salon at iyong mga customers ang ginagawa nating protocols,” explainde DTI Undersecretary Ruth Castelo. 

According to the DTI, there are around 45,000 salons and barbershops across the country which employ around 400,000 workers. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Cebu City hospitals in critical level amid surge of COVID-19 cases – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   July 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Some hospitals in Cebu City are already in critical level amid the surge of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the city, the Department of Health (DOH) said Thursday.

In a televised press briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Cebu City’s overall health capacity has reached a critical point as many hospitals in the city are already swamped with patients.

“They’ve reached about 80 percent and even more—80 percent last week, pero napababa nila iyon nung nag meeting kami nung Sunday. Parang bumaba ng konti, although nasa critical level pa rin,” Vergeire said.

“So, ngayon pag nakakita tayo ng ganito, binabantayan kaya nga ang decision sa kanila they continue on with enhanced community quarantine,” she added.

The DOH official also noted there are only a few tertiary level hospitals in Cebu City and many are level one facilities that do not have intensive care units.

“’Yung iba pang malalaking ospital sa Cebu ay nandun na sa critical. Marami nang naka-admit, pati mechanical ventilators nila marami na ring gumagamit,” she said.

She cited Chong Hua Hospital, as an example, which is already occupied by 98 percent.

She said that aside from taking care of over 200 COVID-19 patients, at least 238 of its health workers are also currently under quarantine.

Due to this, Vergeire said the DOH is facilitating the augmentation and deployment of additional health workers, including infectious disease consultants, nurses, and military doctors, to Cebu Province to help attend to the burgeoning number of virus-infected patients. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Aiko Miguel)

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Antipolo City market on lockdown as 18 tenants, vendors contract COVID-19

Marje Pelayo   •   July 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Antipolo City government has ordered the lockdown of the city’s public market after 18 of its tenants and vendors tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The lockdown, which started on Tuesday (June 30), would be in effect for two weeks, according to Antipolo Mayor Andrea Ynares.

The patients are now in isolation for mandatory quarantine while disinfection procedures are currently being undertaken within the market’s premises. 

Meanwhile, the local government unit has started distributing relief goods to other tenants and vendors affected by the closure. 

“Ang amin pong paulit-ulit na panawagan sa atin pong mga kababayan ay sana po sumunod tayo sa mga umiiral na batas ngayon, mga alituntunin,” appealed Relly Bernardo Jr. of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO).

[We constantly appeal to our constituents to follow health regulations, follow the law.]

“Siguraduhin po na nakakasunod po tayo sa mga protocols gaya ng pagsusuot ng mask, regular hand sanitation, at physical distancing,” he added.

[Always make sure that we are following protocols like wearing of masks, regular hand sanitation, and physical distancing.]

Likewise, the LGU is asking for help from the private markets in the city to conduct COVID-19 tests among their tenants.

The LGU added that private market owners can request from the city hall should they lack funds. —MNP (with details from JP Nunez)

3 options being considered for Duterte’s SONA, Sotto says

Robie de Guzman   •   July 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Congress is considering three scenarios for President Rodrigo Duterte’s 5th State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 27, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said.

In an online press conference, Sotto said the Senate and the House of Representatives have been discussing options on how to hold the SONA this year amid the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Option number one involves conducting a traditional SONA in the Batasang Pambansa, with the president and several members of the legislative branch in attendance but without guests.

Option number two is to have the president deliver his speech at the Malacañang while lawmakers convene in Batasang Pambansa.

Option number three will see the President staying in Malacañang while senators and members of the House convene in their respective session halls.

Sotto believes the Palace will prefer that the address be made in Malacañang to ensure the president’s safety amid the threat of coronavirus pandemic.

“Kung ano ang safest sa pangulo ang primary consideration sa pag-decide sa SONA setup,” he said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

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