PNP to continue enforcing face shield rule until issuance of new guidelines – Eleazar
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) will continue enforcing the protocol on the use of face shields as recommended by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID), police chief General Guillermo Eleazar said Friday.
In a statement, Eleazar said he has instructed police officers to continue enforcing the face shield policy but refrain from imposing any sanctions on violators.
He said those who would be found not wearing face shields will only be cautioned and reminded that there are still no existing guidelines that allow the non-wearing of face shields.
“The latest recommendation of the IATF to the President is to continue making mandatory the wearing of face shields in enclosed spaces, commercial areas, public transport, terminals and even places of worship,” he said.
“With this, we will continue to enforce the existing policy until the President decides on the matter and the IATF amends the guidelines,” he added.
The PNP chief said they will wait for the issuance of new guidelines based on the President’s decision.
“Kung may pagbabago man, hihintayin po ng PNP na maibaba ang amended guidelines para iyon ang aming ipatupad. Sa ngayon, status quo muna at susundin muna namin kung ano ang isinasaad ng guidelines para maiwasan ang pagkakaroon ng kalituhan ang publiko sa bagay na ito,” he said.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Thursday said the existing policy on the use of face shields against COVID-19 will remain in effect pending the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte on the recommendation of the IATF to continue the use of face shields in enclosed or indoor spaces.
The task force met on Thursday afternoon to discuss the policy on the use of face shields after some senators shared their conversation with Duterte in Malacañang about the limited use of face shield.
Clusters of Delta variant cases seen in Northern Mindanao, Antique – DOH
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
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.
PNP chief Eleazar orders probe on slay of Cebu radio commentator Cortes
MANILA, Philippines – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Guillermo Eleazar on Friday said he has directed the Cebu Provincial Police Office to conduct a thorough investigation into the killing of radio commentator Reynante “Rey” Cortes.
Eleazar said police investigators will look into the killing of Cortes, including threats that the victim may have had received.
“All angles will be investigated to determine the motive in the crime, especially if this was related to his profession,” the PNP chief said in a statement.
“The local police will also investigate if there were threats to his life prior to the incident,” he added.
Initial investigation showed that Cortes was shot dead on July 22 by an unidentified gunman after his radio program.
He was killed in front of the station DYRB Radyo Pilipino along N. Bacalso Avenue in Barangay Mambaling, Cebu City.
Cortes was rushed to a hospital but was declared dead on arrival.
Eleazar said investigators are coordinating with Cortes’ family, friends, and colleagues for information that could help the probe.
He also joined calls for justice in the killing of Cortes and underscored that threats and attacks against journalists have no space in a democratic country.
“Nananawagan tayo sa mga maaaring makapagbigay ng impormasyon sa kasong ito, makipagtulungan kayo sa mga awtoridad upang agarang maresolba at mabigyan ng hustisya ang pagkamatay ni Cortes,” he said.