Public urged to be more responsible when visiting leisure areas amid pandemic

Robie de Guzman   •   October 21, 2021   •   315

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday reiterated its call on the public to be more responsible when visiting public and leisure areas amid the enforcement of COVID-19 Alert Level 3 in Metro Manila.

PNP chief Police General Guillermo Eleazar made the appeal following reports of individuals ignoring public health protocols while visiting the Manila Bay Dolomite Beach.

“Paulit-ulit ang ating paalala sa publiko na mahigpit na sumunod sa minimum health standards lalo na kung nasa pampublikong lugar o pasyalan gaya ng Dolomite Beach,” Eleazar said in a statement.

“Nauunawaan ko ang kagustuhan ng ating mga kababayan na makalabas ng kanilang mga tahanan, subalit kung hindi tayo mag-iingat ay hindi malabong tumaas na naman ang kaso ng COVID-19 at mapilitan na naman ang gobyerno na maghigpit sa mga protocols,” he added.

The PNP chief said he has tasked concerned police offices and units to deply enough personnel to public areas to help the marshals in implementing safety standards and controlling the crowd.

“Inatasan ko na ang ating unit commanders na siguraduhin na sapat ang bilang ng ating kapulisan sa mga pampublikong lugar upang matiyak ang pagsunod sa minimum public health safety na siya din namang ipinapakiusap sa ating ng Department of Health,” Eleazar said.

He, however, reminded police officers to observe maximum tolerance, especially to those who will be caught violating the protocols.

The national government downgraded Metro Manila’s alert status to Level 3 amid the decrease in COVID-19 infections. This will be in effect until the end of October.

Under Alert Level 3, several establishments are allowed to operate at 30% indoor venue capacity only for fully vaccinated individuals, and 50% outdoor venue capacity, provided that all employees are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Solon calls for immediate EUA approval of molnupiravir

Maris Federez   •   December 9, 2021

 

MANILA, Philippines — House Committee on Ways and Means chairperson Joey Salceda on Thursday called on the Food and Drug Administration for the immediate approval of the emergency use authorization of COVID-19 retrovirals like molnupiravir.

Salceda said the opening of the economy will depend on the efforts of the government to not just prevent the spread of the virus but to eventually end it.

The lawmaker noted that some medical experts believe that it is possible that the day will come when COVID-19 may just be a seasonal disease that can be treated at home.

Economic managers, Salceda said, recommend that the government must take a new approach and focus on coming up with measures to treat COVID-19 the way common flu is treated.

“Recently, the economic managers have said that the approach must now shift from pandemic to endemic. That involves a shift from mobility restrictions that try to completely prevent any infection, to an approach that treats COVID-19 as a very normal, as normal as getting a flu,” Salceda said. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Nel Maribojoc)

1-year old child hit by stray bullet in Negros

Robie de Guzman   •   December 9, 2021

A one-year old baby girl died after she was hit by a stray bullet while playing inside their house in Negros Occidental, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said.

In a statement, the PNP said the victim was inside their house with her grandparents and other kin when she was hit by a stray bullet in the afternoon of December 5.

Police report stated that the baby’s family said they heard two gunshots followed by a loud sound from the galvanized iron corrugated wall. The next thing they saw, the baby was already lying on the floor with her head bleeding.

The baby was rushed to the hospital in Manapla town and transferred to another medical facility in Bacolod City. The victim died past 11 p.m. on December 6, 2021.

The PNP said Nomar Ayan Bero, 46, turned himself in to the authorities on December 7 after confessing that he was the one who fired the caliber .38 revolver in the area.

Bero is now under police custodial investigation following his surrender to authorities, it added.

“As we dig deeper into this, we would like to check on the documents of the suspects for carrying such firearm. Our investigators are already preparing all material and testimonial evidence to support the case,” PNP chief Police General Dionardo Carlos said.

“Bero will be charged accordingly, based on the appreciation of the prosecutor of the evidence presented by police investigators,” he added.

Carlos also directed Western Visayas PNP Regional Director, PBGEN Flynn Dongbo, to “closely monitor the progress of investigation to establish an airtight case leading to a successful prosecution.”

NCR hospitals report decreasing number of COVID-19 patients

Maris Federez   •   December 9, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Several hospitals in the National Capital Region (NCR) have reported a significant decrease in the number of patients admitted due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19), according to the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines (PHAPi).

PHAPi president Dr. Jose Rene de Grano said a number of private hospitals nationwide, particularly in Metro Manila, have reported not having COVID-19 patient confinements.

Hospitals that still have COVID-19 patients are of non-severe cases.

“Karamihan sa kanila halos kung hindi man zero, it’s less than 5 or 2 na nga lang yung iba eh. Meron din talagang zero or wala na. And yung cases nga, hindi na kagrabe katulad nung iba dati,” De Grano.

De Grano added that half of the more than 600 PHAPi member hospitals have recorded low COVID-19 admissions.

This, De Grano said, allows hospitals to focus their attention on non-COVID-19 patients.

“Yung mga private hospitals ngayon, nakaka-concentrate kami on non-COVID cases. But still, we are prepared just in case magkaroon tayo ng maraming COVID cases ulit,” he said.

“Mas nakakarelax ang ating healthcare workers, doctors and nurses. Actually, ang pino-focus nila ngayon is ang vaccination,” he added.

However, he warned hospitals not to be too complacent as there are still hospitals outside of the nation’s capital that still have COVID-19 cases.

He, nevertheless, assured that private hospitals are ready and prepared to accept COVID-19 patients, if and when warranted.

Meanwhile, government hospitals have also reported a decreasing number of COVID-19 patients admitted.

The National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) has reported that the number of COVID-19 cases confined in the hospital has reduced to only 18, with only one patient in the intensive care unit (ICU).

NKTI executive director Dr. Rose Marie Rosete-Liquete added that the hospital now has only one health worker under quarantine.

“Ang admission namin is zero to one a day. The past weekend, zero zero eh. Yesterday, one-one. Malaking bagay na nakababa kumpara before na nag-100 plus cases kami,” Liquete said.

“Malaking bagay na ito, nakakahinga na sila. Nakakahinga na kami,” she added.

Liquete said several rooms that have been transformed into COVID-19 rooms are not back to being non-COVID rooms.

The Philippine General Hospital, as of December 5 announced that the hospital now only has 59 COVID-19 patients confined.

Despite this development, PHAPi appealed to the government to keep the country under alert level 2 until the end of the year.

The group also reminded the public to still observe minimum health protocols at all times.

“We should still be careful dahil nandiyan pa rin ang COVID. Sakaling magkaroon tayo ng pagtitipon, kung maaari siguro sa close relatives na lang o sa family na lang. At iwasan na po natin yung maraming masyadong pagtitipon ng sa gayon ay ma-enjoy natin ang ating vacation,” De Grano said.

Liquete, on the other hand, advised the public to stay away from big groups. She also called on those who are not yet vaccinated to receive their jab.

“Iwasan ang big groups, at saka for those who are not vaccinated, magpabakuna na po,” Liquete said. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Harlene Delgado)

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