NCRPO at LRT2, nagsagawa ng simulation exercise para sa posibleng pagbabalik-operasyon sa Lunes

Robie de Guzman   •   May 27, 2020   •   294

MANILA, Philippines – Nagsagawa ng simulation exercise ang National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) at ang management ng Light Rail Transit line 2 (LRT-2) bilang paghahanda sa posibleng pagbabalik-operasyon ng mga tren kapag isinailalim na sa general community quarantine (GCQ).

Sa simulation na isinagawa noong Martes (Mayo 26) 400 police recruits ang nagkunwaring pasahero ng tren upang maipakita ang ipatutupad na social distancing measures mula sa pila hanggang sa pagsakay sa mga bagon.

Sa loob at labas ng istasyon ng tren, may makikitang mga dilaw na marka sa sahig na indikasyon para sa mga mga pasahero kung saan sila dapat tumayo kapag nakapila.

Sa loob ng tren ay may makikita ring mga marka para malaman ng mga pasahero kung saan lang sila maaaring umupo o tumayo.

Ayon kay Jimmy Chua, ang manager ng LRT-2 Security and Safety Division, 160 pasahero lamang ang maaaring isakay sa bawat biyahe ng tren alinsunod sa mga panuntunang inilabas ng pamahalaan.

Sa unang istasyon ng tren, 90 pasahero lang ang papayagang sumakay upang mabigyan pa ng pagkakataong makasakay ang iba pang pasaherong naghihintay sa kasunod na mga istasyon.

Batid ng LRT-2 management na malaki ang malulugi sa kanila pagdating sa koleksyon ng pasahe pero pagtitiyak ni Chua, hindi sila magtataas ng singil.

“Financially, malaki ang magiging loss namin, it’s a government-owned (facility) naman, government-operated, so naka-depende kami sa government para sa subsidy para sa tuluy-tuloy na pagserbisyuhan ang pasahero,” ani Chua.

Upang matiyak namang maipatutupad ng maayos ang physical distancing, nasa 12 hanggang 15 security guards ang idadagdag ng LRT-2 para magbantay sa loob at labas ng tren.

Sinabi rin ni NCRPO director Police Major General Debold Sinas na maglalagay sila ng shift ng apat hanggang 32 pulis bawat istasyon ng tren, depende sa dami ng mga pasahero.

“Habang hindi pa nasanay ang mga kababayan natin kung papaano sumakay, we have estimated already lahat lahat na ay around 500 for the different station lang depende sa request kasama ng istasyon ng PNR ay naghingi din ng minimum ng 2 to 4,” ani Sinas.

Maliban sa physical distancing, magpapatupad rin ang LRT-2 ng ‘no mask, no entry’ policy.

Hindi rin papapasukin ang mga pasaherong may temperaturang mas mataas pa sa 37.8 at nagpapakita ng sintomas ng coronavirus disease gaya ng ubo, sipon, lagnat at pananakit ng lalamunan.

Ang mga hakbang na ito ay kasunod na rin ng mga ulat na posibleng isailalim na sa GCQ ang Metro Manila at iba pang lugar na nasa ilalim ng modified enhanced community quarantine sa Hunyo 1.

Sa ilalim ng GCQ, maaari nang payagan ang limitadong pagbabalik-operasyon ng ilang pampublikong transportasyon kabilang na ang tren pero kailangang nakasunod ang mga ito sa nakatalagang health at safety protocols upang maiwasan ang pagkalat ng COVID-19.

Nakatakdang magpulong ngayong Miyerkules ang mga miyembro ng Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases para isapinal ang kanilang mga rekomendasyon na isusumite kay Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

DOH asks hospitals to increase bed capacity to accommodate more COVID-19 patients

Marje Pelayo   •   July 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) is asking hospitals across the country to increase their bed capacity to accommodate more coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients.

This is because most major hospitals in Metro Manila are already in the danger zone or nearing full capacity due to the surge of COVID-19 cases. 

Administrative Order No.2020-0016 states that hospitals must allot 30% bed capacity for COVID-19 cases; but currently, public hospitals are utilizing 20% bed capacity while 9% in private hospitals.

Commitment po ng mga private hospitals po na maglaan ng 20 percent ng kanilang total functional bed capacity for COVID. Nakiusap ako na kung pwedeng kung kailangan ay dagdagan pa ng 10 percent para maging 30 percent,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said. 

[It is the commitment of private hospitals to allot 20 percent of their total functional bed capacity for COVID. I asked them, if possible, to increase their capacity by 10 percent to make it 30 percent.]

Samantala ang atin pong mga pampublikong mga hospital ay atin pong pinakiusap ay yung 30 percent naman nila na allocated for COVID ay kinakailangan up to 50 percent ng kanilang bed capacity,” he added.

[Meanwhile, our private hospitals were also asked to increase bed capacity from 30 percent and make it 50 percent for COVID patients.]

At present, four major hospitals in Metro Manila have declared full capacity and can no longer accept COVID-19 patients. 

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) expressed concern over the Philippines’ problems with bed capacity for COVID-19 cases. 

WHO Active Country Rep. Dr. Rabindra Abesayinghe recommends that only the severe and critical cases who needed critical care in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) be accepted to address the matter. 

“Other measures that need to be done and the government is practicing now is encouraging the management of mild cases or asymptomatic positives in so called isolation centers, rather than admitting them to hospitals,” he said. 

“Because mild or asymptomatic people don’t require the facilities available in a hospital to manage them,” he added. MNP (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

Defense chief Lorenzana to go on quarantine after staff contracts COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   July 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Tuesday said he would go on self-quarantine after a member of his staff tested positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Lorenzana, who heads the National Task Force Against COVID-19, said his staff learned of his positive swab test result when they landed together in Jolo, Sulu on Monday.

He said his aide was also with him when they went to Subic, Zambales last Friday.

The Defense chief, however, assured that the said staff member did not interact with President Rodrigo Duterte during their Jolo trip.

Lorenzana said he already underwent swab testing and will await the result while on quarantine.

This is not the first time that Lorenzana went on quarantine as he voluntarily went on isolation in May for having close contact with Armed Forces of the Philippines chief General Felimon Santos Jr. who contracted and recovered from the disease.

Gov’t assigns anti-COVID-19 czars to boost fight against virus

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 14, 2020

The Duterte Administration assigned anti-COVID czars to intensify the country’s response against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The Malacañang admitted that the number of COVID-19 cases in the country continues to rise but it assured that the administration is still in control of the situation.

Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque, Jr. introduced the four anti-COVID czars, namely, Secretary Vivencio Dizon as Chief Testing Czar, Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong as Chief Tracing Czar, Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar as Chief Isolation Czar, and Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega as Chief Treatment Czar.

Roque explained that all four anti-COVID czars will be directly under the National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF) led by Chief Implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr.

Mas malawakang targeted testing, mas maraming isolation centers, mas matinding tracing, at mas matinding treatment para sa mga nagkakasakit. Lahat po yan sa ilalim ng NTF, sa ilalim ng ating Chief Implementer Secretary Galvez (More extensive targeted testing, additional isolation centers, improved contact tracing, and better quality of treatment for patients. All of these will be under the NTF, under Chief Implementer Secretary Galvez),” Roque said.

Chief Testing Czar Secretary Dizon reported there are now 85 COVID-19 laboratories nationwide, with nearly 1 million tests done as of July 11. Daily tests as of July 9 reached 25,000, nearing the 30,000 daily tests target by end of the month.

For tracing, Chief Tracing Czar Mayor Magalong said they are seeking to intensify skills training for contact tracers and use a contact tracing e-system composed of a COVID-19 data collection tool, a GIS (geographical information system) platform, and a Link Analysis Tool.

Chief Isolation Czar Secretary Villar said they plan to construct more quarantine facilities nationwide. Aside from the existing 129 regional evacuation centers, they are also building quarantine facilities in Region 7, Region 8, Region 10, and in Region 12.

Meanwhile, Chief Treatment Czar Dr. Vega said expanding hospital capacity will be one of his priorities. He also introduced One Hospital Command which will be in charge of both public and private hospitals and quarantine facilities in terms of planning healthcare capacity among others.

Galvez also said the NTF will also focus on the economy and social recovery of the country.

Nandito po tayo sa sitwasyon na dahan-dahan nating binubuksan ang ating ekonomiya. Bagaman nandito po ang threat ng virus, kailangan na nating i-recover ang ating mga ekonomiya para manumbalik po ang negosyo at trabaho ng ating mamamayan (We are in a situation where we are slowly opening our economy. Even though the threat of the virus is still there we still need our economy to recover so that businesses and jobs will reopen for our citizens), he said. –AAC

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