Task Force Davao boosts security after North Cotabato bombing incident

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 29, 2021   •   651

The Task Force Davao said it will heighten security in Davao City following the bombing incident in Tulunan, North Cotabato on Wednesday (January 27).

TF Davao Commander Consolito Yecla reported that additional personnel have been deployed to various checkpoints and buses that enter the city are thoroughly inspected.

“We immediately alerted our checkpoints and we conducted a thorough inspection, especially the bus passengers entering Davao City. We inspected the buses utilizing canine dogs and deployed additional personnel in the checkpoints, especially in the Sirawan checkpoint,” he said.

They also advised the management of the Davao City Overland Transport Terminal (DCOTT) to implement the policy of not picking up of passengers outside the terminal.

Meanwhile, Davao City Police Office Chief Colonel Kirby John Kraft said beginning next week, all police stations in the city will have 24-hour checkpoints.

Travelers are also encouraged to cooperate during inspections and residents are reminded of the “no-unattended-baggage” policy, especially at terminals.

One elderly and seven others were hit by shrapnel from an explosion near a Yellow Bus unit on Wednesday. AAC 

Davao City temporary limits COVID-19 swab tests due to lack of kits, lab repair

Robie de Guzman   •   September 14, 2021

The Davao City government on Tuesday said it has temporarily limited the conduct of COVID-19 RT-PCR tests for close contacts or F1 and individuals with flu-like illnesses (ILI).

In a statement, COVID-19 Task Force spokesperson Dr. Michelle Schlosser said that Davao City is currently experiencing a limited supply of detection kits.

The molecular laboratory extraction machine that runs swab specimens at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) is also under repair.

With this, the free RT-PCR swab testing for individuals who do not fall under F1 and ILI will not be accommodated from Monday, September 13, until further notice.

These include people tagged through the Safe DQR, surveillance and community swabbing for high-risk areas, and individuals who are getting an RT-PCR result for their health certificate.

“Ang atoang unahon is katong mga high risk individuals. Mao ni atoang close contacts or F1, katong naa jud direct contact sa known positive ug katong mga patients nga naga show og Covid-related symptoms. Typically naga positive gyud ni sila so unahon gyud nato sila,” Schlosser said.

(We will be prioritizing high-risk individuals. These are the close contacts or F1, those who are direct contacts of a known positive, and those patients showing Covid-related symptoms. Typically they turn out positive so we prioritize them.)

As the SPMC molecular laboratory is ongoing repair, specimens will be processed through the Los Amigos Molecular laboratory which can only run 450 specimens per day, as supposed to 1,500 specimens per day with the combined capacity of the two (2) molecular laboratories.

The public is also advised to expect a slight delay in the turnaround time of swab results.

In the meantime, Schlosser said that individuals may opt to go to a private COVID-19 laboratory at their own expense should they need an RT-PCR test result.

She assured residents that this will only be temporary and that the city is doing all it can to secure additional supplies.

91% of COVID-19 cases in Davao City are unvaccinated — Mayor Sara

Robie de Guzman   •   September 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Majority of COVID-19 cases recorded in Davao City last week have not received anti-coronavirus vaccines, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said.

In a statement, Duterte said that 91.13 percent of the city’s 3,304 cases from Sept. 5 to 11 were unvaccinated while 8.86 percent are vaccinated.

Of the 293 vaccinated COVID-19 cases, she said 148 received Sinovac shots, 72 got AstraZeneca, 62 got Pfizer, six with Moderna, four got Johnson & Johnson, and one had Sputnik.

Duterte-Carpio said most of the vaccines rolled out in the city were Sinovac, which explains the recorded number of cases and the brand they received.

She also stressed that all of the vaccinees who contracted COVID-19 only manifested mild symptoms or are asymptomatic.

Makita nato numbers ni sya nga gikuha nato sa positive cases nato sa COVID-19. Dunay dako nga diperensya kung vaccinated ka o unvaccinated ka. This should guide us nga magdecide magpabakuna na,” Duterte-Carpio said in an interview over the city-run radio station on Monday.

(We see the numbers of our COVID-19 positive cases. There is a big difference if you are vaccinated or unvaccinated. This should guide us to decide to get inoculated.)

Meanwhile, from September 5 to 11, Davao City logged 59 deaths. Of this number, 55 or 93.22 percent were unvaccinated while four or 6.77 were vaccinated.

Of the four vaccinated deaths, two got Sinovac jabs while the other two received Pfizer shots. Some vaccinated individuals who either become severe or critical COVID-19 cases and eventually die, usually have not completed their second doses.

Dili na ta kinahanglan mupili og bakuna because there’s that chance sa tanang klase sa bakuna nga magpositive gihapon ka sa COVID-19,” Mayor Sara said.

(We don’t need to choose a vaccine brand because there’s that chance that all kinds of vaccines will still not prevent you from getting infected with COVID-19.)

Ang importante lang dapat masabtan sa tanan dili ta severe or critical case nga kinahanglan ta musulod dinha sa ospital og magpakitabang sa atong mga doctors og mga health care workers nga overwhelmed na, gikapoy na sila, wala na silay pahulay, nangahadlok na sila. And in fact, very recently, namatyan sila diha sa SPMC og health care worker,” she added.

(What’s important is for everybody to understand that we won’t be a severe or critical case that would need to be hospitalized and get help from our doctors and health care workers who are already overwhelmed, tired, without rest, and scared. Just recently, an SPMC health care worker died.)

Duterte-Carpio also stressed the need for people to understand that with the COVID-19 response, the hospitals need not be overwhelmed since hospital beds, oxygen tanks, doctors, and nurses can no longer take more patients.

Magpabakuna ba ko bisag there is a chance nga mag positive ko? Yes! Kay makatabang nga dili ka maging severe or critical case,” she said.

(Will I still get vaccinated even if there is a chance that I’ll be infected with COVID-19? Yes! Because it would help you not to become a severe or critical case.)

She also reminded the public not to be complacent and to continue adhering to social distancing, and other public health protocols since 90 percent of the city’s population has yet to be vaccinated.

As of September 12, Davao City has logged 8,700 active cases of the total 43,039 COVID-19 cases since March 2020 with 33,027 total recoveries and 1,312 deaths.

Davao City enforces mandatory WFH, skeleton workforce setup in all gov’t offices

Robie de Guzman   •   September 9, 2021

The Davao City government has ordered the implementation of a fully operational work-from-home (WFH) and skeleton workforce arrangement in all government offices based in the city.

Under Executive Order No. 44, Mayor Sara Duterte ordered the enforcement of the policy from Sept. 8 to 26 due to the massive surge of COVID-19 infections.

The Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) and other private hospitals have reached full capacity with all kinds of patients, including COVID-19 cases.

“The Health Group of the Response Cluster of the Davao COVID-19 Task Force recommended to put essential workers on a work-from-home arrangement,” Mayor Sara said in a statement, adding that the recommendation was modified to be mandatory for government offices only so as not to disrupt businesses and private offices.

She, however, said that the WFH and skeleton workforce arrangement may be voluntarily adopted by private offices and establishments.

Mayor Sara also underscored that the policy must not delay the delivery of government services.

“All offices must create a system wherein government service is accessible to all those in need despite the WFH and skeleton workforce arrangement,” she said.

Offices should have online platforms where clients can access and direct their queries, with a real-time feedback response system, she added.

The order also states that all meetings involving government offices shall use online platforms and that all meetings of more than five attendees are prohibited.

Exempted from the directive are personnel working in the vaccination program, COVID-19 response, solid waste management program, implementation projects, and emergency response.

E.O. 44 also provides that all disaster and social services personnel may also adopt a WFH arrangement, provided that they are on-call and on a shifting arrangement 24 hours a day.

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