Military official, wife and two police officers confirmed positive for COVID-19

Marje Pelayo   •   March 25, 2020   •   320

Military official, wife and two police officers confirmed positive for COVID-19

MANILA, Philippines – A military official and two police officers have tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19), military and police authorities revealed Wednesday (March 24).

According to Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Felimon Santos Jr. confirmed that a military official and his wife contacted novel coronavirus.

General Santos confirmed that the couple had recently travelled overseas though the AFP Chief refused to reveal further details.

The couple has been confined in isolation at the V. Luna Medical Center in Quezon City since March 15.

The AFP leadership has ordered contact tracing to identify the persons with whom the couple interacted.

General Santos said that even though he is currently on self-quarantine — as he himself had interacted with the official in one of their conferences —his condition is stable.

All gates at the AFP Headquarters have been closed except for two gates to closely monitor all individuals entering the camp and curb further infection.

Meanwhile, a member of Manila Police District also tested positive for COVID-19.

This was confirmed by National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Chief Police Major General Debold Sinas on Wednesday saying the police officer has been considered a patient under investigation (PUI) in March 17.

All persons who had close contact with the Manila cop have been ordered to self-quarantine.

Disinfection was also rendered to the station were the positive case was assigned.

Likewise, one personnel from the Philippine National Police (PNP) Chaplain Service also tested positive for COVID-19.

PNP General Hospital Spokesperson Police Major Duds Santos said the patient is now confined in isolation at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig City after he was released from the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

 “Improving condition. He was critical a few days ago. Now, wala na siyang life support tinanggal na, (His life support has been taken off),” Santos told reporters.

The patient, Santos said, had no travel history abroad but had interaction with two foreign visitors from Europe.

“We did 100 percent contact tracing with that particular patient,” Santos assured.

“So all of them finished their quarantine because they started March 8. We quarantined them for 14 days and then (they completed on) March 22,“ he concluded. MNP (with reports from Lea Ylagan)


Metro Manila to likely transition to GCQ after May 31 —Palace

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 28, 2020

Metro Manila has a possibility to transition to General Community Quarantine (GCQ) from Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) after May 31, according to the Malacañang.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said there is a chance that the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) restrictions might ease in Metro Manila and other parts of the country.

The Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) held a meeting on Wednesday (May 27) to determine if the MECQ should continue after May 31.

“Chances are we will, in fact, be transitioning to GCQ in Metro Manila, according to the chief implementer and the DILG [Department of the Interior and Local Government] Secretary,” Roque said in a statement.

The Metro Manila Council (MMC) is also recommending to the IATF to put the National Capital Region under GCQ.

Once Metro Manila transitioned to GCQ, Roque said public transportation will resume operations but will have limited capacity.

He also appealed to the private and public sectors to finalize their work scheme where 50% will resume in worksites and 50% will work from home.

“We are appealing to both private and public sectors to ensure at least 50-50 workforce,” he said. –AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Mandaluyong City beefs up rapid testing after COVID-19 infects 277 tricycle drivers

Marje Pelayo   •   May 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Mandaluyong City government cannot decide yet on whether or not to allow tricycle drivers to operate come June 1.

This, after 277 of the 3,115 tricycle drivers who underwent rapid testing were confirmed positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The Mandaluyong City Health Office is continuously conducting rapid tests among 7,000 tricycle drivers in the city to ensure their safety and the safety of their passengers.

Those who were infected are now under isolation in the city’s quarantine facility while waiting for the confirmatory tests using the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test.

“Nagko contact tracing pa ho kami kasi scattered po ito eh. Hindi po ito kasi by area. So mina-map out pa po namin kung saan sila marami (We are doing contact tracing because these are scattered. It is not just in one area. So we are mapping out where the most number of cases are),” said Dr. Alexander Sta, Maria of the city health office.

The LGU, meanwhile, clarified that the increase in the number of confirmed cases in the city is a result of the mass testing which allowed for the immediate tracking of COVID-19 probable patients and their prompt isolation to curb further spread.

“This is coordinated kasi meron po tayong in-charge sa buong TODA. Then before po ito ni-launch, na-meeting po ang lahat ng presidente ng kanilang mga TODA so binigyan po sila ng schedule (This is a coordinated effort. There is someone in charge of the whole TODA. Before this was launched, we held a meeting with their respective presidents and all of them were given a schedule),” Sta. Maria added.

The city government will test jeepney drivers next once the tests among tricycle drivers is completed. MNP (with reports from Vincent Arboleda)

House panel approves P1.5-T fund to create jobs amid COVID-19 pandemic

Aileen Cerrudo   •   May 28, 2020

The House Defeat COVID-19 Committee has approved a bill seeking to provide a P1.5-trillion fund to create sustainable jobs amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

House Bill 6709 or the proposed “COVID-19 Unemployment Reduction Economic Stimulus (CURES) Act of 2020″ is set to fund infrastructure projects in rural areas to help curb unemployment amid the pandemic.

The CURES Act of 2020 shall also be undertaken with the “Balik Probinsya Bagong Pag-asa Program” and the immediate funding of CURES projects shall target the construction of health centers, school buildings, vocational learning centers, as well as improving fish ports and trading centers at barangay levels.

The House Bill is expected to be sponsored on Thursday (May 28) for its 2nd reading approval in the plenary on Thursday afternoon. It will have to go through a 3rd and final reading before it can hurdle the House.

Meanwhile, representatives of other government agencies such as the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) also endorsed the approval of the proposed CURES Act of 2020. –AAC


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