Zubiri says he tested positive for COVID-19 anew

Robie de Guzman   •   July 27, 2020   •   610

MANILA, Philippines – Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri on Monday said he once again tested positive for novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Zubiri received the result shortly before he was supposed to have headed to the Batasang Pambansa to hear President Rodrigo Duterte’s fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA).

In a message to reporters, he said his three rapid tests showed his body is possessing anti-bodies, and a swab test confirmed that he is positive once more for the viral disease.

“According to doctors, it is possible that the test detected the remnants of the dead virus cells in my body as I am a COVID survivor,” he said.

“So, I decided to forgo any other appointments and head back to my isolation room for quarantine,” he added.

Prior to getting confirmation that he is infected anew with the virus, Zubiri physically attended the opening of the second regular session of the 18th Congress on Monday morning where he interacted with other senators.

He was supposed to physically attend Duterte’s SONA presentation but decided to just witness the event via video conferencing.

Zubiri said he took another swab test on Monday afternoon to check if he really is infected again with the virus.

He also assured he is not exhibiting any symptoms of the dreaded viral respiratory disease.

“I’m hoping that it’s a negative result there to confirm what our infectious disease experts told me earlier. I feel absolutely fine, wala po akong nararamdaman at wala po akong sintomas,” he said.

“But it’s better to be safe and to keep everyone safe from this virus. And I will continue to work from isolation virtually until I get my consecutive negative results after quarantine. Thank you for everyone’s concerns,” he added.

Zubiri first tested positive for COVID-19 in March but he recovered from the disease in April.

5 COVID-19 patients in PGH die daily; full-bed capacity looming

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — At least five patients in the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) who are suffering from coronavirus disease (COVID-19) die every day.

During a public briefing on Wednesday (April 21), PGH Spokesperson Dr. Jonas Del Rosario reported that for the last two weeks, at least five patients succumb to the virus per day.

There are also times when it would even reach up to seven or 10 patients a day, he said.

Rosario also reported that they already reached full bed capacity.

Puno po ang ICU (intensive care units), that has been the case for some time – 30 beds po iyon. Sa emergency room, may 25 beds for COVID-19 at lagi rin pong puno. Mostly po severe to critical care iyong nagpupunta sa ER (The ICUs are full, that has been the case for some time – that’s 30 beds. In the emergency room, there are 25 beds for COVID-19 and it’s always full. Mostly, patients in the ER are severe to critical cases)” he said.

The PGH Spokesperson also said they are not in full support of easing quarantine classifications after April 30. He hopes that the number of patients that will be admitted to the PGH will decrease with the help of quarantine restrictions.

“Extension of the MECQ to us will probably help in further decreasing the transmission hopefully and then less people will get hospitalized,” Rosario said. AAC (with reports from Marvin Calas)

Philippines records 9,227 new COVID-19 cases; 19,699 recoveries

Robie de Guzman   •   April 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines on Wednesday registered 9,227 new novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases, bringing the total caseload to 962,307, the Department of Health (DOH) said.

The DOH said the latest tally pushed the country’s active cases to 116,434.

The tally, however, does not include data from eight laboratories that failed to submit their reports on time.

Ngayong 4 PM, Abril 21, 2021, ang Department of Health ay nakapagtala ng 9,227 na karagdagang kaso ng COVID-19….

Posted by Department of Health (Philippines) on Wednesday, April 21, 2021

The DOH also announced 19,699 new recovered patients, bringing the total number of recoveries to 829,608.

The death toll climbed to 16,265 with 124 new fatalities.

PH gov’t urged to build more facilities instead of using schools as quarantine sites, hospitals

Robie de Guzman   •   April 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Wednesday called on the national government to expedite the construction of quarantine centers and field hospitals, instead of using school buildings for COVID-19 patients, to ease the burden on the country’s health care system.

Gatchalian, who chairs the Senate Committee on Basic Education, Arts, and Culture, said that using schools as isolation facilities “is not sustainable and does not foster a culture of safety in the basic education system.”

“Ang mabilis na pagpapatayo ng mga field hospitals at mga quarantine centers ang isang paraan upang mabigyan natin ng agarang atensyon ang mga kababayan nating nagkakasakit,” he said in a statement.

“Imbes na masanay tayong gumamit ng mga paaralan bilang isolation facilities o evacuation centers, ang dapat nating tiyakin ay ang pagkakaroon ng sapat at angkop na mga pasilidad para sa mga nangangailan ng tulong medikal,” he added.

The senator also pointed out that before the pandemic, the prolonged use of school facilities in times of disasters, such as evacuation centers during calamities, tends to delay the resumption of classes.

Gatchalian pitched anew his proposal to build an evacuation center in every city and municipality in the country, which is stated in Senate Bill No. 747 that he filed in 2019.

Under the proposed measure, these evacuation centers will provide temporary accommodation for people who have been evacuated or displaced from their homes due to emergencies, including the outbreak of illnesses and diseases.

The Department of Education earlier said it has allowed some schools in the country to be used as quarantine facilities for suspected coronavirus cases to help decongest hospitals from COVID-19 admission. Other schools were also being used as vaccination sites.

The department also stressed that its terms and conditions should be satisfied and that compliance with quarantine guidelines should be ensured before a school can be converted into a quarantine facility.

The use of public schools as a quarantine facility or vaccination site should also be the “last option,” stressing the need to ensure the safety of personnel who report for work on-site.

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