PCG: No report on travelers slipping through PH backdoor amid threat of Delta variant

Robie de Guzman   •   July 21, 2021   •   116

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Wednesday said it has yet to monitor any incident of individuals or vessels slipping through the country’s backdoor amid the threat of the highly infectious Delta COVID-19 variant.

PCG Spokesperson Commodore Armand Balilo said they have enforced intensified maritime surveillance on the Philippine borders to prevent the entry of the Delta variant that has been causing the surge of COVID-19 cases in neighboring countries.

“Sa kasalukuyan, wala pa po tayong report na natatanggap na merong nakalusot [sa backdoor] pero mabigat po ang bilin ni Sec. [Arthur] Tugade sa Coast Guard na talagang ipatupad itong pagbabantay sa ating borders,” Balilo said during the Laging Handa public briefing.

He said the PCG is monitoring borders in General Santos City, which is near Indonesia, as well as in Tawi-Tawi, which is near Malaysia.

So far, authorities have not faced any challenges during their maritime border patrol, he added.

“Doon naman sa Tawi-Tawi, meron naman tayong authorized na repatriation doon pero yun po ay mino-monitor at istriktong tinitingnan yung pagpapatupad ng quarantine measures sa pagbaba nila sa Zamboanga,” Balilo said.

He said the PCG is conducting intensified maritime border patrol in coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police.

“Inuudyukan rin natin ang ating mga kababayan, ang publiko na makipagtulungan sa mga law enforcement agency, na maging proactive sa information na kung meron kayong nakita na maaaring papunta sa ating mga sasakyang pandagat na sa tingin niyo ay suspicious at hindi dadaan sa health authorities ay i-report po sa local government authorities, sa Philippine Coast Guard, sa PNP o maging sa PNP,” he said.

The PNP earlier said that the Philippines shares border with Indonesia and Malaysia in Mindanao, and the porous border in the south is reportedly being taken advantage for smuggling activities, including those who want to easily enter and exit the Philippines.

Metro Manila LGUs, naghahanda na sa posibleng paglobo ng COVID-19 cases dahil sa Delta variant

Robie de Guzman   •   July 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Naglagay na ng dagdag na isolation facilities ang iba’t ibang local government units (LGU) sa Metro Manila bilang paghahanda sa posibleng pagdami ng COVID-19 cases bunsod ng Delta variant.

Ayon kay Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos, 83 isolation facilities na ang inihahanda sa iba’t ibang lungsod sa Metro Manila at maging sa mga hotel.

Ani Abalos, kailangang maihanda ang mas maraming facility beds para maiwasan na ang nangyaring siksikan sa mga ospital nang magkaroon ng surge ng COVID-19 cases sa unang bahagi ng taon.

“We’ve had this experience before eh remember nung South African and UK variant nung tumaas in just two weeks, kumalat kaagad. Yun talaga, nagsiksikan ang mga ospital, nagsiksikan ang isolation, pero in a way kinaya naman. Talagang naghanap tayo ng mga hotels,” ang pahayag ni Abalos.

Una nang nanawagan ang Department of Health (DOH) at ilang eksperto sa mga lokal na pamahalaan na higpitan pa ang pagpapatupad ng health protocols at contact tracing upang maagapan ang pagkalat ng Delta variant lalo na sa Metro Manila.

Hinimok din ng DOH ang publiko na patuloy na sundin ang mga polisiya sa pagsusuot ng face mask at face shield at social distancing at iwasan ang mass gathering.

Samantala, inihayag naman ni Department of Interior and Local Government spokesperson Jonathan Malaya na pinag-iisipan na ng Metro Manila mayors na ipagbawal ang home quarantine upang maiwasan ang hawahan ng COVID-19 sa isang pamilya.

“Home quarantine is no longer recommended especially dun sa mga areas na may Delta variant. Pag kayo ay nakahalubilo, kailangan dalhin kayo sa facility,” ani Malaya.

Pinaiigting na rin ang operasyon ng One Hospital Command Center upang agad matugunan ang mga kababayang mangangailangan ng atensiyong medical sa gitna ng pandemya. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent JP Nunez)

Clusters of Delta variant cases seen in Northern Mindanao, Antique – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   July 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday reported that clusters of Delta COVID-19 variant cases have been observed in Northern Mindanao and the province of Antique in Western Visayas.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the cluster of infections in the Northern Mindanao was seen in a family while different clusters of infections were observed in Antique.

She said one family cluster may have stemmed from an individual who came home from work and infected the household.

“Ito pong ating cluster of infection na isa, dito sa may Delta variant, nakitaan natin na mayroon isang kapamilya na nagtratrabaho sa isang lugar at umuwi sa kanilang pwesto, at doon sila po ay nagkaroon ng pagkakahawa-hawa. There is a link,” Vergeire said in a press forum.

The DOH earlier confirmed the local transmission of the highly contagious variant following the phylogenetic analysis conducted by the University of the Philippines – Philippine Genome Center, and case investigation by the DOH Epidemiology Bureau and the regional and local epidemiology and surveillance units.

The number of Delta variant cases in the Philippines rose to 47 after 12 more local cases were detected. Of these cases, three died while eight remain active.

The DOH reminded the public to continue adhering to COVID-19 health protocols, such as the wearing of face masks and face shields, social distancing and avoiding unnecessary travels and gatherings.

They must also get vaccinated against COVID-19 when it is their turn.

The DOH likewise urged local government units to shorten the duration of case detection to isolation and immediately isolate symptomatic patients, and ramp up their vaccination and prioritize the senior citizens and people with underlying conditions.

Philippines lists 6,845 new COVID-19 infections; active cases up to 55,069

Robie de Guzman   •   July 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday reported that the Philippines has logged 6,845 new cases of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), pushing the cumulative tally to 1,537,097.

The DOH said that the country’s number of active cases rose to 55,069.

Of this, 93.4 percent are mild, 1.3 percent are asymptomatic, 1.6 percent are moderate, 2.3 percent are severe, and 1.4 percent are in critical condition.

The DOH noted in its report that two accredited testing laboratories failed to submit their data on time.

The DOH also reported 2,330 more patients who have recovered from the disease, bringing the total recoveries to 1,455,137.

The death toll remained at 26,891 as there were no reported new fatalities.

Data from the DOH also showed that 52 percent of the country’s ICU beds are occupied and 36 percent of ventilators are being used.

In the National Capital Region, 42 percent of the ICU beds are occupied while 32 percent of the ventilators are in use.

The DOH also noted a positivity rate of 12.3 percent out of 43,668 tests reported last July 21.

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