Two Filipino COVID-19 patients in Singapore recover; active cases down to 9

UNTV News   •   March 19, 2020   •   752

Photo courtesy of Pexels

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), through the Philippine Embassy in Singapore, has announced the recovery of two Filipino nationals from coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

This brings the total active cases of Filipinos infected by COVID-19 down to nine, the Embassy reported.

The first Filipino patient who recovered from COVID-19 was discharged from the hospital on February 28 while the second Filipino has been cleared of the disease and was released on March 14.

Meanwhile, the Embassy also reported the case of the 11th Filipino national to be diagnosed with COVID-19; the island state’s 256th confirmed case of the viral disease.

According to the information provided by Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH), Case 256 is a 32-year-old female Filipino national who is a Singapore Work Pass holder.

She was confirmed positive for COVID-19 on March 17 and is currently confined in an isolation room at the National Center for Infectious Disease (NCID).

She has no history of recent travel to COVID-19 affected countries and regions but her case is linked to Case 205, a 30 year-old female Filipino national who travelled from the Philippines and stayed in Singapore from February 27 to March 6 and was confirmed positive for COVID-19 on March 14.

“The Embassy is in close coordination with the Ministry of Health (MOH) of Singapore and stands ready to extend assistance to the COVID-19-positive Filipino nationals as needed,” the Philippine Embassy assured through the DFA.

On Wednesday (March 18), the MOH announced additional 47 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection in the country.

Majority of these newly diagnosed active cases are considered as imported cases, the MOH said. – Marje Pelayo

Duterte on reopening the economy: ‘We cannot afford to gamble’

Marje Pelayo   •   July 9, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The country is not yet ready to fully reopen its economy, according to President Rodrigo Duterte.

The Chief Executive said the government is doing the process gradually, otherwise the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections would spike that could lead to a bigger problem.

He said he cannot follow the example of other countries because the Philippines does not have as much resources if the situation gets worse.

“Tayong pobre we cannot afford really a total epidemic or pandemonium. Mahirap tayo. Hindi tayo puwedeng sumugal (As a poor country, we cannot afford really a total epidemic or pandemonium. We are poor. We cannot afford to gamble),” the President said during his public address on Tuesday evening (July 7).

President Duterte cited situations in the United States and Brazil where despite being powerful and wealthy, are not spared from the impact of the pandemic.

“Although they opened their economy for money to come into the government coffers, there was a spike. They were having a problem of almost a relapse — in the totality of the number,” he added.

Meanwhile, the President expressed doubts that the country has entered the second wave of COVID-19 outbreak.

“Now we do not even know if the number of 34, 178 of active cases is still a part of the first wave or have we arrived at the second wave. I don’t think so. We are still grappling with the first wave,” he argued.

He urged Filipinos to obey strict health protocols and have more patience as the government works to combat the pandemic.

Mga kababayan ko, ako mismo gusto ko nang lumabas. Ayoko nang magpapigil. Kung gusto ko nga makipag-away na ako. Ang problema iyon ang gusto ko, pero ang gusto ko ay hindi makakabuti sa ating lahat,” he said.

(My fellow countrymen, I personally I want to go out. I don’t want to be barred from doing so. I am even ready to fight over this. The problem is, what I want is not good for everyone.)

“We have to be very circumspect in reopening the economy. Dahan-dahan lang (Let’s do it gradually), because if you open the entire Philippines and thousands upon thousands of new cases would happen, then we are in deep s***. Talagang mahirapan tayo (We will seriously struggle),” he said. MNP (with inputs from Rosalie Coz)

74 new COVID-19 cases reported among overseas Filipinos — DFA

Marje Pelayo   •   July 9, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) reported 74 new cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection among overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), bringing the total number to 8,762 as of Wednesday (July 8).

Most of the new cases reported are in the Middle East, the DFA said. 

Meanwhile, the total number of OFWs under treatment has reached 2,932.

Nineteen new recoveries were also reported, bringing the total of OFWs who have recovered from the disease to 5,237.

However, 13 new deaths were recorded in the Middle East bringing the total number of COVID-19 fatalities among OFWs to 590.

With the resumption of international flight operations at NAIA Terminal 3 on Wednesday,  the DFA expects a rise in repatriations.

The agency assures its steadfast commitment to effectively facilitating and coordinating the safe return of Filipinos affected by the pandemic.

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New York City schools to reopen with in-class, remote learning, mayor says

UNTV News   •   July 9, 2020

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday (July 8) unveiled a plan for reopening the country’s largest school system in September with a “blended learning” schedule that would have students alternating between classrooms and their homes.

“So many New Yorkers desperately need to get back to work. For a lot of people, that means they have to get back to a workplace and they need to know that their kids will be safe and secure, getting a chance to be educated much more deeply,” de Blasio told reporters during news conference.

De Blasio said the city’s rate of positive COVID-19 tests was at 1%, the lowest level it has reached since the coronavirus epidemic began. (Reuters)

(Production: Catherine Koppel)

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