NTF adviser says free mass testing conducted in areas under granular lockdown

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 20, 2021   •   294

MANILA, Philippines—Free mass testing is being conducted in areas under granular lockdown, according to special adviser to the National Taskforce (NTF) against COVID-19 Dr. Ted Herbosa.

Herbosa on Monday (September 20) said that COVID-19 testing will be covered by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) if an individual is under the expanded targeted testing of the Department of Health (DOH). This include being in close contact with a COVID-19 patient and if the area is under granular lockdown.

The special advisor also clarified that individuals who just want to get tested would still have to pay the private laboratory and will not be covered by PhilHealth. He added that mass testing is best conducted during a granular lockdown due to the limited number of individuals to be tested.

Kapag ginawa natin ang mass testing sa buong Metro Manila mauubos ang pera natin […] na hindi naman kailangang gawin ang tests na yun (If we conducted mass testing in Metro Manila, our budget will run out over tests we don’t need really need to do),” Herbosa said.

Meanwhile, concerning calls from local government units (LGUs) to procure their own vaccine supply, Herbosa said that vaccine manufacturers are no longer accepting orders for 2021.

“They only want to deal with the national governments, iyong mga pamahalaan ng mga bansa o estado na bibili ng milyong milyong dose (governments of countries or states that will buy vaccine doses by the millions). Kasi ang presyo na pinag-uusapan. Hindi sulit kung ibebenta sa maliit na kumpanya (What is being considered here is the price. It would not be profitable to sell to small companies),” he said.

Herbosa assured there is no vaccine supply problem in the country. He reported that vaccine supplies continue to arrive in the country but the problem is  lack of manpower.

Ang mga doctor at nurses sa vaccination sites, sila po ang mga doctors at nurse sa mga hospitals. Kapag napupuno ang hospitals, napu-pull out sila sa vaccination sites para tumao doon sa mga ospital na maraming COVID-19 cases, (The doctors and nurses in vaccination sites are also the doctors and nurses in hospitals. So when a hospital reaches full capacity, these doctors and nurses are pulled out from vaccination sites to man hospitals with high COVID-19 cases),” he said.

He also added that medical students will be allowed to assist in vaccination sites. AAC

Phl logs lowest new COVID-19 cases since July 2020 at 665

Maris Federez   •   November 30, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) recorded 665 new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases Monday (November 29), the lowest single-day count since July 2020.

This brings the country’s tally since the onset of the pandemic to 2,832,375.

Meanwhile, active infections continued to dip to 16,289.

Of these cases, 48.1 percent are mild, 23.82 percent are moderate, 15.6 percent are severe, 6.6 percent are in critical condition and 6.0 percent have no symptoms.

Meanwhile, total recoveries rose to 2,767,585 after 993 more patients recuperated from the disease.

On the other hand, COVID-related deaths climbed to 48,501 with 141 new fatalities.

The DOH noted in its report that all accredited testing laboratories in the country were operational on November 27 but five laboratories failed to submit data on time.

Meanwhile, the Johns Hopkins University reported that the overall global COVID-19 caseload has reached 261,519,267; while the deaths have surged to 5,199,920.

The US, the report said, is the worst-hit country with the world`s highest number of cases and deaths at 48,229,273 and 776,639, respectively.

 

NCR to remain under COVID-19 Alert Level 2 until Dec. 15

Maris Federez   •   November 29, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) approved on Monday (November 29) the recommendation to still place the National Capital Region under COVID-19 Alert Level 2.

In an advisory released Monday night, acting presidential spokesperson, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said that the following areas have also been placed under Alert Level 2:

  • Cordillera Administrative Region: Benguet, Abra, Kalinga, Baguio City, Mountain Province, and Ifugao;
  • Region I: Dagupan City, Ilocos Sur, Ilocos Norte, La Union, and Pangasinan;
  • Region II: Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, and City of Santiago;
  • Region III: Angeles City, Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Olongapo City, Pampanga, Zambales, and Tarlac;
  • Region IV-A: Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon, and Lucena City;
  • Region IV-B: Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Puerto Princesa City, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan;
  • Region V: Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Masbate, and Naga City;
  • Region VI: Aklan, Antique, Bacolod City, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, Iloilo City, and Negros Occidental;
  • Region VII: Bohol, Cebu, Cebu City, Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City, Negros Oriental, and Siquijor;
  • Region VIII: Biliran, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Northern Samar, Ormoc City, Southern Leyte, Tacloban City, and Western Samar;
  • Region IX: City of Isabela, Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, and Zamboanga Sibugay;
  • Region X: Bukidnon, Cagayan de Oro City, Camiguin, Iligan City, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental, and Misamis Oriental;
  • Region XI: Davao City, Davao del Norte, Davao de Oro, Davao del Sur, Davao Occidental, and Davao Oriental;
  • Region XII: General Santos City, North Cotabato, Sarangani, South Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat;
  • Region XIII (Caraga) Butuan City, Surigao del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Sur, Dinagat Islands, and Agusan del Norte; and
  • The Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao: Basilan, Cotabato City, Tawi-Tawi, Sulu, Lanao del Sur, and Maguindanao.

The province of Apayao, however, shall be placed under Alert Level 3.

Nograles added that the said Alert Level shall be effective from December 1 to 15, 2021.

Border checkpoints, muling ipatutupad sakaling itaas ang alert level sa Metro Manila – PNP

Robie de Guzman   •   November 29, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Handa ang Philippine National Police (PNP) na muling ipatupad ang border checkpoints sakaling itaas ang alert level sa Metro Manila kasunod ng banta ng Omicrcon COVID-19 variant.

Ayon kay PNP chief Police General Dionardo Carlos, ilalagay ang checkpoins papasok at palabas ng Metro Manila upang malimitahan ang galaw ng publiko at mapigilan ang posibleng pagkalat ng bagong variant.

“As long as it will be of help maprevent natin ang variant natin ito, Kasama po kami ng buong gobyerno para pangalagaan po ang ating mamamayan para hindi na kumalat itong ating hindi nakikitang kalaban na COVID-19 virus,” ani Carlos.

Handa rin aniya ang PNP na muling ipatupad ang paggamit ng face shield kung ipag-uutos ito ng Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).

“We will always abide with the IATF kung yan ay makatutulong para maiwasan ang pagkalat ng COVID-19 virus, we will leave it up to the experts. Kaya nga po palagi kaming nagbabantay sa lumalabas na resolusyon ng IATF at nandyan naman po yan e, ang aming mga face shield ay inilagay lang muna namin sa tabi pero andyan pa din po anytime,” ani Carlos.

Sa kasalukuyan ay nasa Alert Level 2 ang Metro Manila sa gitna na rin ng patuloy na pagbaba ng COVID-19 infections.

Tiniyak rin ng PNP na paiigtingin ng Aviation Security Group sa pagbabantay sa mga paliparan sa bansa sakaling muling ipagbawal ang pagbiyahe ng mga eroplano sa iba’t ibang lugar.

Pina-alalahanan rin ni Carlos ang mga pulis na mag-doble ingat upang huwag mahawa ng viral respiratory disease. (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Lea Ylagan)

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