Presidential yacht ready to accept COVID-19 patients

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 13, 2020   •   479

The Presidential yacht BRP Ang Pangulo is now ready to accept coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients after its conversion into a floating quarantine facility.

The Philippine Navy (PN) said it can accommodate a total of 28 patients with five medical personnel.

“Three exclusive compartments were prepared by PN personnel for the patients with temporary division in place observing 3-meter distance between them. Patients and medical staff are given different access points,” their statement reads.

The Navy added that the crew will remain onboard while the ship is being utilized as a quarantine facility.

PPEs were provided for the crew and rapid antibody tests were also conducted on them.

The ship’s remodeling began 48 hours after President Rodrigo Duterte said he wants to utilize the ship for COVID-19 patients. AAC

DOH asks hospitals to increase bed capacity to accommodate more COVID-19 patients

Marje Pelayo   •   July 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) is asking hospitals across the country to increase their bed capacity to accommodate more coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients.

This is because most major hospitals in Metro Manila are already in the danger zone or nearing full capacity due to the surge of COVID-19 cases. 

Administrative Order No.2020-0016 states that hospitals must allot 30% bed capacity for COVID-19 cases; but currently, public hospitals are utilizing 20% bed capacity while 9% in private hospitals.

Commitment po ng mga private hospitals po na maglaan ng 20 percent ng kanilang total functional bed capacity for COVID. Nakiusap ako na kung pwedeng kung kailangan ay dagdagan pa ng 10 percent para maging 30 percent,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said. 

[It is the commitment of private hospitals to allot 20 percent of their total functional bed capacity for COVID. I asked them, if possible, to increase their capacity by 10 percent to make it 30 percent.]

Samantala ang atin pong mga pampublikong mga hospital ay atin pong pinakiusap ay yung 30 percent naman nila na allocated for COVID ay kinakailangan up to 50 percent ng kanilang bed capacity,” he added.

[Meanwhile, our private hospitals were also asked to increase bed capacity from 30 percent and make it 50 percent for COVID patients.]

At present, four major hospitals in Metro Manila have declared full capacity and can no longer accept COVID-19 patients. 

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) expressed concern over the Philippines’ problems with bed capacity for COVID-19 cases. 

WHO Active Country Rep. Dr. Rabindra Abesayinghe recommends that only the severe and critical cases who needed critical care in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) be accepted to address the matter. 

“Other measures that need to be done and the government is practicing now is encouraging the management of mild cases or asymptomatic positives in so called isolation centers, rather than admitting them to hospitals,” he said. 

“Because mild or asymptomatic people don’t require the facilities available in a hospital to manage them,” he added. MNP (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

Defense chief Lorenzana to go on quarantine after staff contracts COVID-19

Robie de Guzman   •   July 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Tuesday said he would go on self-quarantine after a member of his staff tested positive for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Lorenzana, who heads the National Task Force Against COVID-19, said his staff learned of his positive swab test result when they landed together in Jolo, Sulu on Monday.

He said his aide was also with him when they went to Subic, Zambales last Friday.

The Defense chief, however, assured that the said staff member did not interact with President Rodrigo Duterte during their Jolo trip.

Lorenzana said he already underwent swab testing and will await the result while on quarantine.

This is not the first time that Lorenzana went on quarantine as he voluntarily went on isolation in May for having close contact with Armed Forces of the Philippines chief General Felimon Santos Jr. who contracted and recovered from the disease.

Duterte satisfied with the dismantling of oligarchy in PH sans declaration of martial law

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 14, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday (July 14) said he is satisfied with the dismantling of oligarchy in the country without having to declare martial law.

In his speech during his visit to Jolo, Sulu, Duterte said his campaign against the oligarchy will be more bloody as his term ends in two years.

“I am very happy. Alam mo bakit? Sabi ko, ‘Without declaring martial law, I dismantled the oligarchy that controlled the economy of the Filipino people,'” he said.

Senator Kiko Pangilinan criticized Duterte’s statement, saying the supposed oligarchy problem was just made up to distract the public from the government’s poor response against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.

“Inimbento lang ang problema na oligarchs para linlangin ang taumbayan dahil sa totoo lang wala silang maipakitang ni katiting na magandang resulta sa pagsugpo sa lalo pang kumakalat na COVID, sa gutom at sa kawalan ng trabaho ng milyon-milyon nating mga kababayan, he said in a statement.

Malacañang on the other hand clarified that Duterte was not referring to the owner of ABS-CBN Corporation but those who have questionable contracts with the government and are not paying their dues.

“He must be referring to oligarchs which he named and actually threatened to destroy but he reconsidered,” according to Roque.

Roque also said said the President has reconsidered his stance against companies including the Manila Water and Maynilad, owned by the Ayala Corporation, and MVP Group. Both companies did their part in the country’s fight against the COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the Palace official added that business tycoon, Lucio Tan has already paid his dues

“Unang-una Lucio Tan, nagbayad ng pagkakautang sa airport. Pangalawa, MVP at Ayala Group po dahil sa matindi nilang pagtulong sa panahon ng COVID,” said Roque. AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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