Some areas in Metro Manila could be placed under GCQ soon — Año

Robie de Guzman   •   May 7, 2020   •   484

MANILA, Philippines – Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año on Thursday said that some areas in Metro Manila could be placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) after the enhanced community quarantine lapses on May 15.

In a television interview, Año said there are cities in Metro Manila that may be ready to shift to GCQ due to improving situations. Among these are San Juan and Valenzuela.

Some areas in the country that have low- and moderate-risk from novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been placed under GCQ starting May 1.

Metro Manila remains under ECQ due to continuous upsurge in infections. ECQ is also in effect over Central Luzon (except Aurora), Calabarzon, Benguet, Pangasinan, Iloilo Province, Cebu Province, Bacolod City and Davao City.

According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, the decision to place other areas under GCQ would depend on the rate of infection, economic factors and the capacity to provide medical critical care.

“Malamang ito po ang naging mga basehan sa declaration ni Secretary Año na possible nang bumalik o magkaroon ng GCQ ang Metro Manila pero di lang po ako sigurado kung ito ay magiging para sa buong Metro Manila dahil may ibang syudad po na patuloy pa rin ang pagdoble ng sakit every two to three days,” he said.

Roque said data on matters relating to COVID-19 are still being evaluated, and the decision on whether to extend the ECQ or transition to GCQ may be released next week.

“The ECQ will end on May 15, so I suppose a few days before May 15 dahil kinakailangang mag-transition din tayo sa GCQ para sa mga areas na pwede nang mag-GCQ,” he said.

He also reiterated the government’s call to the public to follow quarantine protocols, strictly observe social distancing, and to stay at home to curb the spread of COVID-19. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

Global COVID-19 infections surpass 10.9 million

UNTV News   •   July 6, 2020

The global number of confirmed infections of COVID-19 reached 10,922,324 and the disease claimed 523,011 lives as of 14:31 CEST Saturday, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The WHO data showed the Americas reported the most confirmed COVID-19 cases in the world with the number reaching 5,575,482, followed by Europe and Eastern Mediterranean which confirmed 2,757,556 and 1,135,604 cases, respectively.

The United States topped all countries with 2,724,433 cases. The numbers of the confirmed cases in Brazil, Russia and India are also prominent, reaching 1.49 million, 674,515 and 648,315, respectively.

In Russia, the COVID-19 death toll surpassed 10,000 to reach 10,027 on Saturday. Moscow, the country’s worst-hit region, reported 680 new cases on the day, taking its tally of infections to 224,210.

Germany has launched fast-track COVID-19 testing in some airports for international travelers as it gradually recovers flights and tourism industry.

The test at an onsite laboratory costs 190 Euros per person. The results will come out in three to four hours.

In the United Kingdom, people welcomed “Super Saturday” as the country reopened barber shops, bars and restaurants.

Early in the morning on Saturday, long queues formed at the door of almost every barber shop as patrons lined up to finally have a haircut after being confined to their homes for more than three months.

Japan confirmed 114 new cases from 00:00 to 15:00 on Sunday, seeing the fourth consecutive day reporting more than 100 new cases in a single day.

The Iranian government has made wearing face mask in public places mandatory from Sunday amid increasing infections and fatalities brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It requires all people to wear face masks at public gathering places, indoor public places and in government offices providing public services.

In Turkey, shopping malls are grappling with the slowdown in business as the country faces an economic downturn due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The World Bank recently estimated Turkey’s economic growth to be 0.5 percent this year,0.3 percentage point lower than the bank’s prospect before the COVID-19 outbreak.

Egypt is seeing rising unemployment rate due to the pandemic. The rate has increased from 7.7 percent in this year’s first quarter to 9.2 percent in April, recording 2.6 million jobless people.

The bleak employment situation is also happening in South Africa. The country’s youth unemployment rate was close to 60 percent before the COVID-19 hit. The rate now is likely higher as the pandemic affects the country’s economy and creates fewer job opportunities. (Reuters)

Tawi-Tawi province records first COVID-19 case

Marje Pelayo   •   July 6, 2020

TAWI-TAWI, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) reported the first confirmed case of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection in Tawi-Tawi province on Sunday (July 5).

According to the announcement, the patient is a 44-year-old male personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

He is an identified locally stranded individual (LSI) with travel history from COVID-19 infected areas namely San Isidro in Quezon City, Zamboanga City and Basilan. He arrived at Bongao Port in Tawi-Tawi on June 30.

The patient is asymptomatic and currently in isolation.

As of July 3, the total number of PNP personnel infected with COVID-19 is at 815.

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Religious gatherings up to 10% of venue capacity to be allowed in GCQ areas after July 10 – IATF

Robie de Guzman   •   July 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Friday announced that religious gatherings involving attendees of up to 10% of the venue capacity will soon be allowed in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ).

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said this is based on the latest resolution approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases following calls for the partial reopening of places of worship.

Roque said the new policy will take effect next Friday, July 10.

“Magkakaroon muna po tayo ng dry run na 10% itong darating na linggo, pero yung 10% po na allowed na ang lahat ay magsisimula po ng July 10,” he said in a televised press briefing.

The Palace official stressed that public health standards such as physical distancing, wearing of face mask, disinfection and hand hygiene, should be strictly followed.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier announced that the following areas will be under GCQ from July 1 to July 15:

  • National Capital Region
  • Cavite
  • Benguet
  • Rizal
  • Lapu-Lapu City
  • Mandaue City
  • Talisay City
  • Towns of Minglanilla and Consolacion in Cebu Province
  • Leyte
  • Ormoc
  • Southern Leyte

Roque also announced that operation of travel agencies in GCQ areas will also be allowed but only limited to a skeleton workforce.

The Department of Trade and Industry will also release a set of guidelines on additional services that will be allowed in salons and barbershops.

The latest IATF resolution also states that practice and conditioning sessions for professional basketball and football teams will also be permitted.

Roque said the move comes after a joint administrative order was signed between the Philippine Sports Commission, Games and Amusements Board, and the Department of Health to allow limited physical activities amid the community quarantine. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Rosalie Coz)

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