PH House lawmaker confirms he has COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   March 25, 2020   •   294

ACT-CIS party-list Representative Eric Go Yap

MANILA, Philippines – ACT-CIS party-list Representative Eric Go Yap on Wednesday confirmed he has tested positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“It is with a heavy heart that I share to all of you that I tested positive for coronavirus,” Yap, who chairs the House Committee on Appropriations, said in a statement.

Yap also admitted that he recently met with top government officials, including leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives, and even attended a meeting in Malacañang despite experiencing coronavirus symptoms.

The lawmaker said he took a test for COVID-19 on March 15 after he got exposed to people who may have come in contact with those who later tested positive for the respiratory illness.

Yap said that on March 10, he led a panel hearing on a bill pushing for the supplemental budget for the DOH, and that it was “business as usual” for him after that.

“Since March 10, ilang tao pa ang nakasalamuha ko kabilang na ang ilan na maaaring na-expose sa mga known positive cases of COVID-19,” he said.

The lawmaker further said that on March 21, he was called to attend a meeting in Malacañang to tackle the government’s response against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Bago tayo magpunta doon, nagtanong ako kung may resulta na ang aking test, pero wala pa daw. I attended the meeting and was careful the whole time knowing na I could potentially be a carrier of the virus,” he said.

Yap also attended the House of Representative’s special session on March 23.

“Earlier that day, bago magtungo ng Kongreso, nagtanong ako kung may resulta na ang aking test, pero wala pa rin daw. That was 8 days after my test,” he said.

He admitted that he became paranoid for his mild cough but he felt that “it was normal” for him.

“Mas nag-ingat tayo dahil wala pang resulta ang test ko. Those who know me personally know that I practice good personal hygiene. But it didn’t spare me from this virus,” he said.

When he was informed of his positive test result, Yap said he felt angry with himself for putting those around him at risk.

“Humihingi ako ng patawad at pag-unawa mula sa mga taong nakasalamuha ko,” he said.

“Wala pong kinikilalang pulitika, kapangyarihan, o kayamanan ang sakit na ito. Pantay pantay po tayong lahat. Kung gusto nating sugpuin ang pagkalat ng virus, kinakailangan na magkaisa tayo. Sama sama, kaya natin ito,” he added.

Yap also appealed to the public to remain at home, maintain proper hygiene and keep the surroundings clean.

“Hindi naging sapat na malinis lang ang katawan ko dahil kinailangan kong lumabas at makisalamuha sa tao dahil sa tungkulin ko. Sabi nila, senior citizens are the most at risk. Stop going out and stop socializing; ‘lower risk’ does not mean ‘no risk’,” he said.

“This is a minor setback for me but it will not stop me from fulfilling my duties and responsibilities. Let’s all rise from this together,” he added.

Swiss graffiti artist pays tribute to frontline worker ‘super-heroes’

UNTV News   •   April 7, 2020

Swiss artist David Perez alias “S.I.D.” paid tribute on Sunday (April 5), to the “everyday super-heroes” working on the frontline during the COVID-19 pandemic, by painting a giant portrait representing a cashier on Gland town’s walls.

“Today, I will especially pay tribute to cashiers. They are on the frontline with nurses and others. So, it is for our everyday super-heroes”, the 35 years-old graffiti artist told Reuters.

All the residents of the Swiss town of Gland, located between Lausanne and Geneva, who pass through this underground tunnel can also admire a portrait of a nurse that SID did two weeks ago.

A few meters away, there is now a cashier wearing a mask and scanning a bottle of liquid soap, which took the artist 5 hours to make.

“The symbolic is very strong and this is really beautiful”, said local resident Coline Bovet, who was on a walk with her husband and had the surprise to find SID at work.

The cashier was modelled by one of SID’s friends, 25 years old Manuela Perrone, who does not work at a supermarket but just wanted to pay tribute to workers in contact with the public and possible contamination.

On the bottle of soap that the cashier is holding, the artist wrote “thank you”.

SID said he plans to draw other giant portraits of workers in the coming weeks, such as construction workers or garbage collectors. (REUTERS CONNECT)

(Production: Cecile Mantovani and Denis Balibouse)

PNP to implement 50-50 work scheme due to COVID-19

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 6, 2020

The Philippine National Police (PNP) will implement a 50-50 work scheme among personnel who are based at the national headquarters in Camp Crame.

This is due to the rising number of PNP personnel who have become patients under investigation (PUI) and persons under monitoring (PUM) of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) threat.

The 50-50 work scheme would use 50 percent or the first batch of personnel to go on duty at the administrative office until April 19 while the second batch will go on duty from April 20 to May 3.

According to a memorandum issued on April 4, the heads of offices/units with essential functions shall determine the work scheme applicable to the personnel, as long as they should observe a 14-day self-quarantine/isolation as part of the PNP’s health protocol.

“Maaaring magpatupad sila ng kani-kanilang scheduling para hindi naman maapektuhan ang ating normal functions,” said PNP Spokesperson Bernard Banac.

Meanwhile, police personnel who are aged 45 years old and above will have to be pulled out from the checkpoint areas.

“Mas vulnerable sila sa COVID-19 (They are more vulnerable to COVID-19),” Banac said.

The PNP will also launch Admin Support to COVID-19 Task Force (ASCoTF) to ensure an organized and speedy logistics, response, and development of frontliners.

The PNP has already recorded 19 police personnel that tested positive for COVID-19 with two deaths.

The total number of persons under monitoring (PUMs) in the PNP has already reached more than 1,300. — AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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UK PM Johnson admitted to hospital as Britain enters third week of lockdown

UNTV News   •   April 6, 2020

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was in hospital in London on Monday (April 6) suffering persistent coronavirus symptoms 10 days after testing positive for the virus, but Downing Street said he remained in charge of the government.

Johnson, 55, had been isolating in Downing Street after testing positive for the virus last month, was taken to hospital on Sunday night because he still had a high temperature and his doctors felt he needed additional tests.

Meanwhile, Britain entered its third week in lockdown with authorities warning they will have to impose further restrictions on outdoor exercise if people continued to flout rules designed to curb transmission of the virus.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it was “unbelievable” to see a small minority flouting the government’s advice to maintain social-distancing.

Hancock said if people did not follow the rules, which allow people to walk, run or cycle outdoors once a day but not sunbathe, he would have to ban exercise of all forms outside the home.

He said the timetable to ease restrictions – the lockdown exit strategy – could only be agreed once the spread of the coronavirus had been brought under control.

Other European countries such as Italy and France have imposed tougher restrictions on people leaving their homes. (REUTERS CONNECT)

(Production: Gerhard Mey, Ben Makori.)

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