PH detects 10 more cases of COVID-19 India variant

UNTV News   •   May 15, 2021   •   457

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) on Saturday said it has detected more cases of Covid-19 variants in the country.

This was based on the latest whole-genome sequencing report of the Philippine Genome Center and the University of the Philippines-National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH) which included samples from the crew members of the MV Athens Bridge, returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs) with relevant travel history, and deceased severe or critical COVID-19 cases.

The DOH reported the detection of ten (10) B.1.617.2 (India) variant cases, thirteen (13) B.1.1.7 (United Kingdom) variant cases, seven (7) B.1.351 (South Africa) variant cases, and one (1) P.3 (Philippines) variant case among the thirty-seven (37) samples sequenced last May 14, 2021.

B.1.617.2 VARIANT CASES:

Of the 10 new B.1.617.2 variant cases, one is a seafarer who came from Belgium and the other nine are crew members of MV Athens Bridge.

The DOH said, the seafarer disembarked in Belgium and flew back to Manila via the United Arab Emirates (UAE). He arrived in the Philippines on a flight last April 24, 2021 and has completed his isolation period last May 13, 2021.

Meanwhile, four of the nine crew members remain admitted at a hospital in Manila and are currently in stable condition while the other five are currently in an isolation facility.

These 10 B.1.617.2 variant cases are in addition to the first two cases previously reported last May 11, bringing the total to 12.

The DOH reiterates that all of the close contacts of the first two cases of B.1.617.2, have completed the prescribed 14-day quarantine and have been discharged from their quarantine facility.

Of the three initially reported COVID-19 positive cases that are close contacts of the 2nd case in the plane, one was sent for sequencing but was not detected to harbor a variant of concern (VOC).

B.1.1.7 VARIANT CASES:

Of the 13 new B.1.1.7 variant cases detected, three (3) are ROFs and 10 are local cases. Based on the case line list, one case has died while 12 have been tagged as recovered.

B.1.351 VARIANT CASES:

Out of the additional seven B.1.351 variant cases, two (2) are ROFs, two (2) are local cases, and three (3) cases are currently being verified if they are local or ROF cases. Based on the case line list, two cases are still active while one has died and four have recovered.

P.3 VARIANT CASES:

The new P.3 variant case is a local case with an address in Region IX. The case died last February 28, 2021.

At present, the P.3 variant is not identified as a variant of concern. This variant is currently being investigated and information continually collected to determine its public health implication.

Amid implementation of stricter border control measures, the DOH reminded the public anew to observe minimum public health standards and immediately get vaccinated when it’s their turn.

The agency said, strict adherence to these measures can prevent infection and further mutation of COVID-19.

“A low transmission rate means fewer chances for the virus to mutate,” the DOH said.

NTF tells LGUs to ramp up COVID-19 vaccination to reach 1.5M target daily jab rate

Robie de Guzman   •   October 25, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines – The National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 has renewed its push for local government units (LGU) to further increase their COVID-19 vaccination output to help achieve the country’s target of 1 million to 1.5 million daily jab rate.

“Our goal is for LGUs to inoculate 70% of their eligible population with at least one dose by November. We cannot scale up our national vaccination output if we just settle with our current jab rate,” NTF chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr. said.

Galvez issued the statement during a meeting with local chief executives last Friday.

The NTF said it has identified highly-urbanized cities (HUCs) and regions that would lead the push in increasing the country’s daily vaccination output to 1.5 million doses.

This follows the influx of vaccine supplies from various manufacturers and the opening of the vaccine rollout to the general population including minors.

“With the steady arrival of bigger COVID-19 vaccine shipments, our LGUs must work double time to realize President Rodrigo Duterte’s directive, and that is, to continue to ramp up their vaccination rollout,” Galvez said.

“Nagpla-plateau tayo noong mga nakaraang araw to just 400,000 to 500,000 jabs daily. If this will continue, hindi natin makukuha ang 50 million [fully vaccinated individuals] by year-end,” he added.

Last Friday, the government recorded 724,294 COVID-19 jabs administered.

To date, the Philippines has received a total of 94,678,340 doses of COVID 19 vaccines since February.

Of these shipments, more than 58.7 million doses were procured by the government, 24.3 million doses were donations from the COVAX facility, 7.9 million were purchased by LGUs and the private sector, and 3.6 million doses were donations from bilateral partners, the NTF said.

PH to give third COVID-19 vaccine shot, boosters to health workers, elderly– DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   October 25, 2021


MANILA, Philippines –
The Philippine Department of Health (DOH) has green lighted the administration of booster and additional shots of COVID-19 vaccines to healthcare workers, senior citizens, and persons with co-morbidities.

The DOH said that the move was upon the recommendation of the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) and was later approved by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.

The booster and third jab may be given within the year, and by 2022 for eligible priority groups, it added.

Based on the recommendation, the booster shots should be given within the fourth quarter of the year to health workers, the elderly, and persons with health risks who received the jabs at least six months after the primary series.

The HTAC also recommended that the boosters should be based on the vaccine brands received by the individuals in the primary series.

If they received Pfizer-BioNTech, then they should also be given the same as a booster shot.

For those who got AstraZeneca, they may be given the same or preferably Pfizer-made jab for their booster shot.

Those who completed the Moderna primary series should also be given Moderna or Pfizer dose, while those inoculated with Sinovac’s CoronaVac shot may get Prizer or CoronaVac booster shot.

The HATC also pushed for the implementation of boosters for other eligible population in 2022 only if the A1 to A5 priority groups reach 50 percent in the primary series.

For the implementation of additional shots, particularly for immunocompromised individuals, the HTAC recommended that the dose will be given at least 18 days after they completed the initial COVID-19 vaccine series.

The third shot is recommended to be the same as those received in the primary series.

Based on data from the DOH, the Philippines has so far administered a total of   55,506,176 vaccine doses — 29,891,810 of which were given as first dose while 25,614,366 individuals were fully vaccinated.

Ilang pasyalan sa Metro Manila bukas na sa publiko pero mga bata, bawal sa ilang parke

Robie de Guzman   •   October 22, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Bukas na sa publiko ang ilang pasyalan sa Metro Manila kasunod ng pagsasailalim sa rehiyon sa COVID-19 Alert Level 3.

Kabilang sa mga binuksang pasilidad ay ang Quezon Memorial Circle, kung saan pinapayagan ang pagpasok ng mga bata basta’t may kasamang magulang o adult guardian.

Maaari ring kumain sa parke at bukas ang playground para sa mga batang gustong maglaro.

May mga nag-iikot namang security personnel upang masegurong nasusunod ng mga bisita ang ipinatutupad na public health protocols.

Malawak ang Quezon Memorial Circle at maaari itong pagdarausan ng individual exercise.

Bukas ang lugar mula alas-5 ng umaga hanggang alas-8 ng gabi.

Sa Maynila naman, bukas rin ang Luneta at Paco Park mula alas-5 ng umaga para sa mga nais mamasyal at mag-ehersisyo sa liwasan.

Ngunit ayon sa National Parks Development Committee (NPDC), bawal pa rin ang pagpasok sa Rizal Park ng mga menor de edad kahit sila ay mag-e-ehersisyo.

“Sa ngayon po, dahil po sa IATF guidelines ay hindi po muna natin ina-allow ang mga bata sa parks and then, yung pagdating naman din po sa pagkain, hindi pa rin po nag-a-allow ng picnic po sa park,” ang paliwanag ni Florizza Buclatin, ang chief of staff ng NPDC.

Sa Intramuros, tumatanggap na rin ng bisita ang Baluarte de San Diego at Fort Santiago pero bawal pa rin ang mga menor de edad.

Bukas ang Fort Santiago mula alas-9 ng umaga hanggang alas-7 ng gabi habang ang Baluarte de San Diego naman ay bukas mula alas-9 ng umaga hanggang alas-6 ng gabi.

Bukas ang mga pasyalang ito, bakunado man o hindi kontra COVID-19.

Paalala ng mga otoridad sa mga bisita, kailangan pa ring nakasuot ng face mask, iwasan ang overcrowding at panatilihin ang physical distancing. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Asher Cadapan Jr.)

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