PCG deploys teams to help in evacuation, rescue ops amid onslaught of ‘Jolina’

Robie de Guzman   •   September 8, 2021   •   369

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Wednesday said its District NCR-Central Luzon has activated its deployable response groups to support local government units in the possible conduct of evacuation and rescue operations amid the onslaught of Severe Tropical Storm Jolina.

In a statement, PCG District NCR – Central Luzon commander Commodore Charlie Rances said all their search and rescue equipment and mobility assets are operational and serviceable for possible augmentation.

PCG stations and sub-stations have also been placed on heightened alert status and are continuously conducting precautionary measures to ensure the safety of the residents.

Some residents in the provinces of Quezon, Laguna, and parts of Western and Eastern Visayas regions have been evacuated due to heavy rains and flooding brought about by Jolina.

As of 8 a.m. Wednesday, the PCG said it has monitored a total of 742 stranded passengers, drivers, and cargo helpers in various ports in Bicol, Southern Tagalog, and Western Visayas Regions.

Around 15 vessels, 358 rolling cargoes, and 10 motorbancas, were also reported stranded in the said areas while 52 vessels and 52 motorbancas are taking shelter as Jolina continues to move over Batangas.

The state weather bureau, in its 11 a.m. bulletin, said that Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) No. 2 was raised over 15 areas as Jolina maintained its strength.

These areas include:

  • Marinduque
  • the northern and central portions of Oriental Mindoro (Bansud, Gloria, Pinamalayan, Pola, Socorro, Victoria, Puerto Galera, San Teodoro, Baco, City of Calapan, Naujan)
  • the northern and central portions of Occidental Mindoro (Abra de Ilog, Paluan, Mamburao, Santa Cruz, Sablayan)
  • Lubang Islands
  • the central and southern portions of Quezon (General Luna, Macalelon, Sampaloc, Unisan, Pagbilao, Sariaya, Alabat, Pitogo, City of Tayabas, Padre Burgos, Lucban, Gumaca, Agdangan, Plaridel, San Antonio, Candelaria, Atimonan, Quezon, Tiaong, Mauban, Perez, Lucena City, Dolores, Real, Infanta)
  • Batangas
  • Cavite
  • Laguna
  • Rizal
  • Metro Manila
  • the southern portion of Bulacan (Pandi, Bulacan, Marilao, Calumpit, Norzagaray, Plaridel, Santa Maria, Balagtas, Bocaue, Bustos, City of Malolos, Angat, Obando, City of San Jose del Monte, Pulilan, City of Meycauayan, Hagonoy, Paombong, Guiguinto, San Rafael, Baliuag)
  • Pampanga
  • Bataan
  • Zambales
  • Tarlac

 

TCWS no. 1 was raised over the following areas:

 

  • La Union;
  • the southern portion of Benguet (Sablan, Tublay, Bokod, La Trinidad, Baguio City, Itogon, Tuba, Kapangan, Atok);
  • the southern portion of Nueva Vizcaya (Alfonso Castaneda, Dupax del Norte, Dupax del Sur, Aritao, Santa Fe, Kayapa);
  • the southern portion of Aurora (Baler, Maria Aurora, San Luis, Dingalan);
  • Pangasinan;
  • Nueva Ecija;
  • the rest of Bulacan;
  • the rest of Quezon including Polillo Islands;
  • Camarines Norte;
  • the western portion of Camarines Sur (Ragay, Del Gallego, Lupi, Sipocot, Cabusao, Libmanan, Pasacao, Pamplona);
  • the western portion of Romblon (Odiongan, Romblon, Banton, Santa Maria, Concepcion, San Andres, San Jose, Looc, Ferrol, Alcantara, San Agustin, Calatrava, Corcuera, Santa Fe);
  • the rest of Oriental Mindoro; and
  • and the rest of Occidental Mindoro

PAGASA reported that Jolina made landfall over San Juan, Batangas at 9 a.m.

Afterwards, the tropical cyclone is expected to cross the Batangas-Cavite area before emerging over the mouth of Manila Bay this Wednesday afternoon or evening.

“This will be followed by another landfall in the vicinity of Bataan Peninsula. Frictional effects during its traverse of mainland Luzon will weaken ‘JOLINA’ down to tropical storm category,” PAGASA said.

Jolina is seen to emerge over the West Philippine Sea on Wednesday night or Thursday morning.

The tropical cyclone is forecast to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility on tomorrow evening or Friday early morning.

PH gov’t tracing 253 passengers from Africa amid looming threat of Omicron

Robie de Guzman   •   December 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine government is tracing and monitoring more than 200 travelers who arrived in the country from African nations in the last two weeks amid the threat of new COVID-19 variant called Omicron, the Department of Health (DOH) said Friday.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said they have traced a total of 253 passengers from South Africa who arrived in the Philippines from November 15 to 29.

“BOQ has started to locate these passengers,” Vergeire said in a virtual press forum.

Of the 253 passengers, 249 were returning overseas Filipinos and four were foreigners. Authorities have traced 71 of these individuals.

The number includes three foreigners still in quarantine in Western Visayas after yielding negative test results.

Vergeire said three of these passengers initially tested positive for COVID-19. One passenger came from South Africa, another from Burkina Faso, and the other from Egypt.

She said samples of these travelers may undergo genome sequencing for variant identification.

“We are still processing the batch that we are going to subject to whole genome sequencing for this week. Results might be tonight or maybe tomorrow,” she said.

“Meron pong dumating na 253 from South Africa noong Nov. 15 to 29, may tatlo galing Burkina Faso; and mayroon 541 galing Egypt. Each of these countries nagkaroon ng isang traveler who tested positive for COVID-19,” she added.

The Philippine government banned the entry of travelers – except for Filipino repatriates – from South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Eswatini, and Mozambique, Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, and Italy until December 15 as a precautionary measure against the Omicron variant.

The DOH said the heavily mutated variant and potentially more infectious than other coronavirus variants have now been detected in 35 countries.

The variant was first discovered in South Africa.

It has been designated as a variant of concern but the World Health Organization said further studies are needed to better understand the variant’s effect on vaccines, treatment, and the virus’ transmissibility.

Over 90 million COVID-19 vaccine jabs administered in PH – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   December 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines has administered over 90 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines since the government rolled out the immunization drive in March, Malacañang said Friday.

Citing the December 2 data from the National COVID-19 Vaccination dashboard, acting Presidential Spokesperson Karlo Nograles said a total of 90,259,621 doses have been administered nationwide.

Of said figure, 48.42 percent or 37.3 million individuals have been fully vaccinated, he added.

The total included some 52.4 million first doses and 432,301 booster doses.

The government aims to vaccinate 54 million by the end of 2021 and up to 70 million by March 2022 to attain population protection against COVID-19.

In a bid to scale up the country’s vaccination rate, the government launched a three-day mass vaccination campaign, which initially aimed to vaccinate 9 million.

The campaign covered at least 8 million individuals in three days. The Department of Health earlier said this figure is expected to go up as reports continue to come in.

Meanwhile, the government also announced that the expanded rollout of the administration of booster shots for all fully vaccinated individuals aged 18 and above has started on Friday.

This program includes the Phase 2 rollout of the booster and additional doses for priority group A3 (persons with comorbidities), Nograles said.

Tandaan natin na importanteng magpabakuna sa gitna ng banta ng Omicron variant,” he said.

“Sa milyun-milyong nabakunahan na mga Pilipino, 99%+++ ay walang naramdaman na adverse reaction, o kung mayroon man, mild lamang po ito. Wala pong namatay na direktang may kaugnayan sa COVID-19 vaccine jab,” he added.

8 million people immunized vs COVID-19 in PH mass vaccination drive – NVOC

Robie de Guzman   •   December 3, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – At least 8 million individuals out of the 9 million target vaccinees were vaccinated against novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during the three-day mass vaccination drive, the National Vaccination Operations Center (NVOC) said Friday.

Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje, who chairs the NVOC, said a total of 2,709,344 COVID-19 shots were administered on the first day of the campaign; 2,475,479 on day 2; and 2,829,928 on Wednesday.

Based on current data, the running total of administered doses was at 8,014,751 as of 6 a.m. Friday.

Cabotaje said the figure is expected to increase when reports from local government units come in.

The NVOC chair said the top performing regions in terms of the number of jabs administered were Calabarzon, Central Luzon, and Central Visayas.

“Together, they have accounted for about a third of the 8 million jabs that have been produced during the three days,” she said in a televised public briefing.

Provinces with the highest vaccination outputs during the three-day drive were Cebu, Negros Occidental, and Cavite.

Authorities initially aimed to inoculate at least 9 million individuals during the three-day vaccination drive from November 29 to December 1.

The vaccination program has been extended until Friday.

Another round of nationwide immunization against COVID-19 will be held from December 15 to 17.

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