QC to conduct tests, tracing in Commonwealth area after transient tests positive for new COVID-19 variant
Robie de Guzman • February 11, 2021 • 308
MANILA, Philippines – The Quezon City government on Thursday said it will conduct contact tracing and testing after learning that a COVID-19 patient temporarily staying in Barangay Commonwealth have tested positive for a coronavirus variant first detected in the United Kingdom.
The Quezon City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit said it received information from the Department of Health (DOH) on Wednesday that a 35-year old man, quarantined for COVID-19, was staying in an apartment with another individual on Riverside St. in Barangay Commonwealth.
The patient and his companion will be transferred to a government quarantine facility immediately, the city government said.
“We are acting very quickly to isolate the two, and to conduct extensive contact tracing and testing in the area. It is unfortunate that we learned about this only now,” Mayor Joy Belmonte said in a statement.
The Department of Health (DOH) reported on Feb. 7 that the patient, who hails from Liloan, Cebu, was found with the B.1.1.7 variant first reported in the United Kingdom.
The DOH said the man, who was tagged as the country’s 8th UK variant case, is experiencing mild symptoms.
The QC government said the patient was a former overseas worker from Korea, who returned to the Philippines last August 2020 and stayed in Cebu.
He moved to Metro Manila in November 2020 and made frequent trips to a manning agency in Malate, Manila.
He tested positive for COVID-19 after taking a swab test in Pasay City on January 17. His samples were sent to the Philippine Genome Center for sequencing.
He stayed in a hotel in Manila until January 21, and thereafter his manning agency transferred him to an apartment in Quezon City.
On February 5, his genome sequencing results showed he contracted the B.1.1.7 variant and shortly developed a mild cough.
Belmonte said she is now seeking legal advice as to whether the manning agency is liable for not following health protocols.
“This agency placed an entire community at risk by bringing a COVID-19 positive patient to our city, considering that both their agency and the quarantine hotel are in Manila.”
She also urged the Bureau of Quarantine to determine why the hotel released the man to the agency several days after he tested positive.
Belmonte also reminded citizens to continue practicing health protocols such as wearing of face mask, frequent hand washing, and social distancing.
MANILA, Philippines — Steam inhalation or ‘suob’ has become popular as a home remedy to relieve patients having difficulty breathing particularly COVID-19 infected individuals since the pandemic started.
But the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Department of Health (DOH) do not endorse this method in treating COVID-19.
“Unang-una ang (suob) po is like a steam inhalation, so when you are doing it with your family na hindi kayo nasa inyong kuwarto, maaring maikalat pa nito ang infection,” explained DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.
“It aerosolized iyong air so iyong virus might stay longer in the air and your family member might get infected,” she added.
Health advocate Dr. Tony Leachon is among those who do not believe in steam inhalation for COVID-19.
“Makakasama pa nga iyan dahil magbubuga ka nyan ng mga droplets that will actually create more problems for the people,” he noted.
But for Dr. Dale Pasco, a proponent of steam inhalation believes it could play a vital role in treating COVID-10 patients.
He himself experienced its efficacy when he recommended it to his sister who had COVID-19 and to more than a hundred of his patients who consulted him.
Dr. Pasco also cites a study in Italy that showed a favorable result of steam inhalation to a COVID-positive patient.
“Iyong study na iyon they have proven. We have concluded na ang temperature na 56 degrees na nasa steam inhalation o nasa sa suob it really kills the virus,” he noted.
Dr. Pasco said he already sent a letter to the DOH, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and even to the Office of the President to conduct a study on the matter but to no avail.
“Kung sana naaprubahan yung proposal ko we could have already gone back to normal which I don’t think we do need vaccines anymore,” he concluded. –MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)
MANILA, Philippines—The Manila Local Government Unit (LGU) has begun the distribution of the fourth tranche of food box assistance under the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Food Security Program (FSP).
The distribution, through the joint efforts of the city’s Department of Public Services, Department of Engineering and Public Works, and the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau, began on May 8.
The target beneficiaries are about 700,000 families living in Manila. As of May 9 at 5:00 p.m., 139,000 food boxes have already been distributed to 122 barangays in District 1.
Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso said the program aims to ease the public’s economic burden amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Ito ay iyong pinasa naming batas, sa tulong ni Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna at mga konsehal noong Disyembre, upang ibsan ang inyong mga tustusin buwan-buwan at para lumaki naman ang inyong savings. Dahil sa epekto ng inflation or hirap ng buhay ng tao, nagmamahal ang produkto, hindi naman tumataas ang sweldo (This is the law we enacted with the help of Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna and the councilors in December to ease the monthly expenses and for families to increase their savings. Due to inflation or life’s difficulties, price of commodities increase but the salary is still the same),” he said.
Around P3-billion have already been allocated since the implementation of the FSP in February, wherein three kilos of rice, 16 pieces of canned goods, and eight sachets of coffee will be packed and distributed to Manila residents. The program will continue until July this year. AAC
MANILA, Philippines — New Philippine National Police (PNP) chief PGen. Guillermo Eleazar has assured that health protocol violators will not be shamed or be forced to exercise.
Eleazar clarified that individuals who are not wearing face masks or are not wearing face masks properly will be accosted but will be sent home after proper documentation and process. Violators will be taken to the nearest police station and will be investigated before receiving proper sanctions.
“Walang makukulong dahil sa hindi pagsusuot lamang ng mask. Walang masasaktan. Walang mag- eexercise. Walang ipahihiya (No one will be imprisoned just because of not wearing masks. No one will be hurt. There will be no exercise. There will be no shaming),” he said.
If violators will be fined, Eleazar said, they will be given a ticket. If they will do community service, it will be scheduled. Violators will not be charged unless necessary.
Eleazar said the PNP will coordinate with the local government to make sure the city has holding facilities so as not to crowd police stations.
“Ang bilin ko sa inyo, ang bilin ni Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año bago kayo mag-arestuhan tingnan nyo muna kung may paglalagyan kayo sa inyong opisina. Dahil ang ayaw naman natin kapag inaresto niyo iyan ay kumpol kumpol pa doon. So coordinate with your local government unit at barangay (My directive, as well as the directive of DILG Secretary Eduardo Año is, before any arrest, make sure there is a place in your office where you can put them. We don’t want them to cramp in one area once arrested. So, coordinate with your local government unit and the barangay),“ he said. -AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)
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