MANILA, Philippines – Authorities on Thursday denied information circulating online that the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) is raiding private hospitals and confiscating stocks of personal protective equipment amid novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.
“May kumalat po na fake news that some hospitals were raided by government, specifically OCD, to confiscate their supplies and equipment para ipamigay sa ibang hospitals. Fake news po yan,” Mark Timbal, spokesperson of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (NDRRMC), said in a message to reporters.
The OCD is the implementing arm of the NDRRMC.
On Wednesday night, information about the supposed raid made rounds on social media. The confiscated medical supplies were allegedly being consolidated to be distributed to other health facilities with attributions to a senator.
In a social media post, the Medical City denied the occurrence of such an incident.
“There are news circulating that a raid of PPEs occurred in our premises on the evening of April 1. We deny this and encourage everyone to be careful in spreading unverified information,” the post read.
Senator Bong Go, whose name surfaced in social media posts in connection with the purported incident, denied the allegation.
“Claims circulating that I am involved in handling donations intended for the government are utterly false, deliberate disinformation, and black propaganda,” Go said in a statement.
“Nais ko po klaruhin na wala po akong kinalaman sa operasyon at mandato ng OCD. Wala rin pong kinalaman ang opisina ko sa distribution ng government resources,” Go said.
According to Timbal, the OCD, like what was done in previous disaster response operations, has been gathering resources through procurement and donations.
“In the case of the COVID-19 response, OCD procured PPEs and other medical supplies and received donations from various donors. These are then provided to various hospital recipients,” he said.
“We are very grateful po to all our donors and the member-agencies of the NDRRMC who provide logistical support for the transport of the various items that we are giving to hospitals across the country,” he added.
He also thanked the media for helping the agency in its fight against false information.
Nine people died and hundreds of buildings collapsed in southeastern Turkey on Sunday (February 23) after a magnitude-5.7 earthquake struck near the border with Iran, injuring dozens in villages and towns in both countries, government officials said.
Three of those killed were children and 37 Turks were injured, including nine critically, Turkey’s health ministry said.
The shallow tremor caused more than 1,000 buildings to collapse in Turkey, prompting a brief rescue effort to find those trapped under rubble.
The quake damaged buildings some 90 km (56 miles) to the west in the Turkish city of Van, and to the east in dozens of villages in Iran, where state TV said 75 people were injured including six in hospital, though there were no fatalities.
Crisscrossed by major fault lines, Iran and Turkey are among the most earthquake-prone countries in the world.—Yesim Dikmen via Reuters Connect
MANILA, Philippines – A magnitude 5.4 earthquake rattled parts of Davao Occidental on Thursday afternoon, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) reported.
In its bulletin, Phivolcs said the epicenter of the quake that struck around 5:54 p.m. was traced 35 kilometers southeast of Jose Abad Santos in Davao Occidental.
It had a depth of 190 kilometers and tectonic in origin.
The tremor was felt at intensity III in General Santos City, Tupi and Polomolok in South Cotabato, and Alabel, Saranggani; intensity II in Maasin and Malapatan, Sarangani, and Davao City, while intensity I was felt in Tampakan, South Cotabato.
Phivolcs said there was no reported damage but aftershocks should be expected.
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