Metro Manila to have shorter curfew hours starting Sept. 16 – MMDA

Robie de Guzman   •   September 14, 2021   •   299

MANILA, Philippines – Unified curfew hours being implemented in Metro Manila will be shortened when the pilot implementation granular lockdowns and quarantine alert levels system starts on Thursday, Sept. 16, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said Tuesday.

In a Palace briefing, MMDA chairperson Benjur Abalos said curfew hours in Metro Manila will be adjusted to 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. starting Thursday.

Current curfew hours in Metro Manila under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) classification are from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m.

“Ito ho’y inuusad na. Nagbotohan kami (Metro Manila mayors), ilalabas namin ang resolution na ang implementasyon isasabay sa pilot, magiging 10 ng gabi hanggang 4 ng umaga,” Abalos said.

Earlier in the day, the national government announced Metro Manila’s shift to a new quarantine system but stressed that this is just a pilot test.

Based on the system’s guidelines issued on Monday night, cities of municipalities will be classified under Alert level 1 to 5, depending on the COVID-19 infection rate. The alert levels per area will be determined by the Department of Health.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año said mayors in Metro Manila agreed to place the region under Alert Level 4 as a whole. This level covers areas with high COVID-19 case counts or high utilization rate of total ward and ICU beds.

Under Alert Level 4, the following are prohibited from going outside their residence:

  • Persons below 18 years old
  • Persons over 65 years old
  • Those with immunodeficiencies, co-morbidities, or other health risks
  • Pregnant women

Residents will only be allowed to leave their homes when accessing essential goods and services, or going to work in permitted industries and offices.

The guidelines also stated that intrazonal and interzonal travel for persons not otherwise required to remain at their residences may be allowed subject to the reasonable regulations of the LGU of destination.

Individual outdoor exercises shall be allowed for all ages regardless of comorbidities or vaccination status but shall be limited within the general area of their residence provided, that the minimum public health standards and precautions such as the wearing of facemasks, and the maintenance of social distancing protocols are observed.

Outdoor or al fresco dine-in services in restaurants and eateries shall be allowed at a maximum of 30% venue/seating capacity regardless of vaccination status. Indoor dine-in services may be allowed at a limited 10%.

Indoor dine-in services may be allowed at a limited 10% venue/seating capacity but will cater only to individuals fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in addition to their allowed outdoor or al fresco capacity.

The guidelines also said that in-person religious gatherings shall be allowed at a maximum of 30% venue/seating capacity if conducted outdoors regardless of vaccination status. These gatherings may be allowed at a limited 10% venue/seating capacity but may accommodate only individuals who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in addition to their allowed outdoor capacities.

Provided, that pastors, priests, rabbis, imams, or other religious ministers and the assistants of these religious congregations have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment, funerals for those who died of causes other than COVID-19 shall be allowed, provided that the same shall be limited to immediate family members, upon satisfactory proof of their relationship with the deceased and with full compliance with the prescribed minimum public health standards.

 

Mga pauwi ng probinsya para sa long weekend, dumarami na – PITX

Robie de Guzman   •   October 28, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Unti-unti nang dumadagsa sa Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) ang mga pauwi ng probinsiya para samantalahin ang long weekend.

Sa PITX naka-himpil ang mga bus na may biyaheng Katimugang Luzon.

Ayon kay Jayson Salvador, ang nangangasiwa sa PITX, mahigit sa 60,000 pasahero ang inaasahang nilang darating sa mga terminal para bumiyahe ngayong weekend.

“Yung pasahero natin during the intense lockdown ay nag-a-average tayo ng 20,000 to 25,000. Ngayon, simula nang nilagay tayo sa Alert Level 3, pumapalo na po tayo sa 50,000 to 55, 000 passengers a day and we anticipate that going towards the long weekend na Undas that it might reach 60,000 to 65,000,” ani Salvador.

Tiniyak naman ng Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) na nakahanda na ang ahensiya sa inaasahang pagdami ng mga pasahero.

Tinututukan rin nito ang mga malalaking terminal sa Metro Manila upang masegurong maayos ang sitwasyon at naipatutupad ang health protocols laban sa COVID-19.

“Taon-taon naman, may pandemic o wala, mayroon po tayong tinatawag na Oplan Undas. Yung Oplan Undas po, takes about in the context of having to monitor and inspect the units as well as inspect and prepare the terminals—yung mga bus terminals—para sa pagdagsa ng mga pasahero,” ang wika ni LTFRB chairman Atty. Martin Delgra.

Samantala, tiniyak naman ng Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) na nagsasagawa na rin ito ng inspeksyon sa PITX upang mapa-alalahanan ang mga driver at kondukto, pati na rin ng mga pasahero na sumunod sa physical distancing, at health protocols upang maiwasan ang hawaan ng COVID-19.

“Ang MMDA, nagbibigay ng mga alcohol test sa mga drivers. Tinitingnan kung mga naakainom o hindi. Kaya I would say na talagang handang handa na tayo maging sa mga sasakyan sa mga pagbyahe sa mga probinsya,” ani MMDA chairman Benhur Abalos.

Payo ng PITX sa mga pasahero, bumili ng ticket 48 oras bago ang petsa ng pag-biyahe upang makaiwas sa pila at abala.

Alamin rin ang requirements ng local government unit sa lugar na pupuntahan upang maihanda ang mga kailangang dokumento at proseso gaya ng pag-secure ng antigen test. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

300K anti-viral pills na molnupiravir, darating sa bansa sa Nobyembre

Robie de Guzman   •   October 27, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Magiging available na sa bansa ang oral antiviral pill na molnupiravir pagpasok ng buwan ng Nobyembre.

Ito ay matapos pagkalooban ng compassionate special permit (CSP) ng Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ang local importer at pharma company na Medethix Inc. para sa importasyon at distribusyon ng nasabing gamot para sa COVID-19 patients

Ayon kay Medethix Inc. co-founder at President Monaliza Salian, noong Setyembre pa sila nabigyan ng CSP.

Molnaflu aniya ang brand name ng gamot. Nasa 300,000 bote na naglalaman ng 40 tableta ang darating sa bansa sa susunod na buwan.

Ang Indian manufacturer na Aurobindo Pharma ang magsusuplay ng parating na molnupiravir sa Pilipinas.

May lisensiya ito mula sa MSD, ang pharmaceutical company na developer ng molnupiravir.

Ayon sa JackPharma, na siyang mangangasiwa sa sales ng Molnaflu, hindi aabot sa 700 US dollars o P35,000 ang presyo ng bawat pill gaya sa Amerika.

Mas mura din umano ang presyong ibibigay sa mga ospital ay local pharma companies na may CSP.

“At least for an estimate anywhere between on the market itself hopefully somewhere in the vicinity of about to P100-P130 per pill,” ani Meneleo “Meny” Hernandez, ang president ng JackPharma.

Ang recommended dose ng molnupiravir ay apat na capsule dalawang beses kada araw sa loob ng limang araw.

Kinumpirma ni Philippine Food and Drug Administration director general Eric Domingo na limang pharmaceutical companies na ang may aprubadong CSP para sa importasyon at distribusyon ng molnupiravir.

Nasa 31 ospital din aniya ang may CSP para magamit ang molnupiravir sa COVID-19 patients.

“So far, itong mga na-approve natin na CSP, iimport sila tableta, capsule na siya at registered na ito sa country kung saan siya manggagaling,” ani Domingo.

“Kapag kumuha ka kasi ng compassionate special permit nakalagay doon iyong hospital at kung sino ang licensed importer that will import the drug. Nung tinitignan ko iyong hospitals natin na may CSP, iyong mga nakikita kong importer na andito is about five,” dagdag pa niya.

Sa datos ng mga ekspertong nagsagawa ng clinical trials sa iba’t ibang bansa kabilang ang dalawang ospital sa Pilipinas, lumalabas na mabisa ang molnupiravir upang maiwasan ang pagka-ospital at pagkasawi dulot ng COVID-19 infection

Kumpara sa ibang COVID-19 investigational drugs, ang molnupiravir ay dinisenyo para sa early treatment ng COVID-19 patients. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni correspondent Aiko Miguel)

DOH: Minors with health risks inoculated vs. COVID-19 now at 18K

Robie de Guzman   •   October 27, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Over 18,000 minors with co-morbidities have so far received their first dose of vaccine against COVID-19 since the program was launched on Oct. 15, the Department of Health (DOH) said.

In a statement, the DOH said that a total of 18,666 children aged 12 to 17 years old have been inoculated during the initial phase of the pediatric vaccination in the National Capital Region (NCR).

The vaccination drive is now on its second phase with 26 hospitals administering COVID-19 vaccines to the pediatric sector.

The DOH said the nationwide rollout of COVID-19 vaccination among children will begin on Nov. 3.

“Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will still be used among children during the nationwide rollout,” DOH Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire said in the same statement.

“Further details and the guidelines with regard to the nationwide expansion of pediatric vaccination will be released once finalized,” she added.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), there are around 12.7 million children aged 12 to 17 in 2021.

Meanwhile, the DOH continues to urge the adult population, especially those belonging to priority groups A2 and A3, to get vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to achieve the cocoon effect, which protects the children at home.

The department further emphasized that “choosing to get vaccinated will not only protect the person itself but also those around, along with the strict and religious adherence to minimum public health standards and other preventive measures implemented.”

The National Task Force against COVID-19 earlier said that the national government aims to complete the vaccination of children within this age group by December.

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