NTF clarifies flights from Hong Kong still allowed in Phl amid Omicron variant threat

Maris Federez   •   November 29, 2021   •   358

MANILA, Philippines — The National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 on Sunday (November 28) clarified that Hong Kong flights will still be allowed into the country amid threats of the new coronavirus disease variant.

The NTF clarified that “the inclusion of Hong Kong flights as part of inbound international flights temporarily suspended due to the emergence of the Omicron variant is not yet final.

The NTF said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) has not made any formal announcement on the matter as of date.

“We await the formal announcement from the IATF following a final recommendation from the Technical Working Group on COVID-19 Variants and from other agencies,” the NTF added.

The task force further said that the government will work “to ensure timely adoption of preemptive measures to prevent or delay the entry of new variants which have the potential for undermining public health.”

The NTF assured that until the IATF issues a formal announcement, Hong Kong flights will still be allowed entry to the country. —/mbmf

DOH reiterates recommendation to double face mask

Maris Federez   •   January 26, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) once again stressed the importance of taking extra effort to ensure one’s protection and safety against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

DOH Spokesperson Usec Maria Rosario Vergeire said the department is encouraging the use of double face masks to maximize the filtration of particulate matter.

“Mag-double mask upang ma-maximize ang protection at ang filtration. Atin din pong siguraduhin na hindi po maluwag at tama ang fit ng mask na ating susuotin,” Vergeire said.

Vergeire said air particles or viruses are tightly filtered if the face mask being worn is thick and is securely fit to cover the nose and the mouth.

Health officials also said that they still do not recommend the use of cloth masks alone.

“Iyong cloth, definately, ay dapat palitan ng surgical mask. Kung kaya pwede mag-doble ng surgical mask. At kung ikaw ay nagwo-work sa mga enclosed areas or iyong mga high-risk setting, iyong mga kausap mo ay talagang positive like sa mga laboratory or clinic maganda iyon KN-95,” said Dr. Ted Herbosa, a medical adviser of the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19.

Infectious disease expert Doctor Rontgene Solante said that if one wants to use a cloth mask, it must be worn on top of a surgical mask for a secured fit.

“Even a surgical mask is still okay. Iyong cloth mask pwedeng doblehin lang with a surgical mask para lang karagdagang proteksyon. Pero ang importante dito ay wearing it consistently and wearing it properly,” Solante said.

Solante added that while N-95 masks ensure more protection against viruses, due to limited supply, health workers must be given priority in using them as they are the ones directly in contact in taking care of COVID-19 patients.

“Kung gagamit man tayo ng KN-95 o N-95 baka mahirapan tayo sa supply. Itong mga mask na ito ay napaka-importante nito sa mga healthcare workers o healthcare facilities,” the health expert said. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Aileen Cerrudo)

 

Omicron sub-variant na BA.1 at BA.2 naitala na sa Pilipinas – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   January 25, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Kinumpirma ng Department of Health (DOH) na may napaulat nang kaso ng dalawang sublineage ng Omicron COVID-19 variant sa Pilipinas.

Ang BA.1 at BA.2 ang dalawang sub-variant ng Omicron na unang napaulat sa ibang bansa.

Ayon kay DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, ang BA.2 ang predominant ngayon sa mga kasong naitala sa sampung rehiyon sa bansa batay sa pinakahuling whole genome sequencing run.

Ang BA.1 naman aniya ay nakita sa mga nagpositibo sa COVID-19 sa Bicol Region ay returning overseas Filipinos.

Batay sa limitadong datos ukol sa nasabing sublineage, lumalabas na wala naman itong pagkakaiba sa epekto ng parent variant na Omicron.

“Sa ngayon, kailangan natin maipaalala at tandaan ng ating mga kababayan na walang nakitang significant difference sa clinical presentation ang BA.1 at BA.2,” ani Vergeire.

“Kinakailanga pa rin po ng masusing pagaaral dahil limitado pa rin naman ang mga obserbasyo na ating nakukuha,” dagdag pa niya.

Sa kasalukuyan ay nasa 535 ang kaso ng Omicron sa Pilipinas.

Una nang sinabi ng DOH na maituturing nang predominant variant ang Omicron sa National Capital Region at sa iba pang bahagi ng bansa dahil patuloy pa rin ang mataas na kaso ng COVID-19.

Gov’t. to start vaccination on children age 5 to 11 on Feb. 4

Maris Federez   •   January 25, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr. announced Monday night that the government aims to start inoculating children age 5 to 11 on February 4.

In President Rodrigo Duterte’s weekly Talk to the Nation, Galvez said the government is expecting to receive more vaccination supplies by the end of January that will give way to the rollout.

“Darating po next week ang mga supply at pwede na po tayong magrollout ng February 4, next Friday po,” Galvez said in his report to the President.

The National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 chief implementer said they will install two vaccination sites per city in the National Capital Region (NCR), and will expand the coverage of the rollout to other regions soon after.

Galvez reiterates to the parents that the vaccines that will be administered to the children are safe.

“Makaka-assure po tayo sa ating mga magulang na very safe ang ating gagamitin na bakuna dahil ito ay mas mababa ang formulation na angkop sa mga bata,” he said.

To provide assistance in the vaccination rollout, Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur Tugade said they will also set up vaccination areas at MRT stations.

“Magtatayo kami sa mga istasyon. We have pin pointed already 4 stations where we will have on-site vaccinations program. Ito yung Cubao, Shaw Boulevard, yung Boni at Ayala,” Tugade said.

Aside from the MRT, the DOTr also plans to install vaccination areas in airport terminals and seaports. This, he said, will be coordinated and will depend on the rules set by the Department of Health.

Meanwhile, Galvez reported that, to date, around 59.7 million Filipinos have already received their first vaccine doses, and around 57.2 million are already fully vaccinated. —/mbmf (with details from UNTV Correspondent Nel Maribojoc)

REACH US

The Philippine Broadcast Hub

UNTV, 915 Barangay Philam,

EDSA, Quezon City M.M. 1104

(+632) 8396-8688 (Tel)

info@untv-newsandrescue.com (General inquiries)

ABOUT UNTV

UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.