Manileños hopeful as more barangays now free of Covid-19

MANILA – Manila City residents expressed high hopes that the coronavirus pandemic will soon be defeated in the city after 172 barangays were declared Covid-19 free.

“Konti na lang, sana mawala na ang Covid o makahanap na ng gamot (we’re now close. I hope the pandemic ends now or a vaccine will become available soon). So we can bounce back. So many people are not only financially crippled but also facing mental issues brought about by difficulties right now,” Laurie Leslie Lee Tan said in a Facebook post.

Tan made this comment in response to a post of the Manila Public Information Office that many barangays have remained Covid-19 free since Sept. 1.

Despite this, Manila Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso reminded his constituents not to be too complacent and still follow the minimum health standards.

Domagoso urged everyone to continue taking extra precautions, wear face mask and shield, wash their hands, and observe safe physical distancing.

To recall, Domagoso announced on Aug. 31 that the city government of Manila will give PHP100,000 to any barangay with zero Covid-19 infection until the end of October.

Meanwhile, the Manila City government continues to intensify its Covid-19 response by providing free mass swab testing.

It has also given support to medical front-liners by improving healthcare facilities, intensifying contact tracing, and continuously building quarantine facilities.

On Wednesday, Domagoso led the opening of the city’s improved San Andres Sports Complex Quarantine Facility with a 54-bed capacity.

Domagoso said the new facility has bigger cubicles, proper ventilation, and own comfort rooms.

He added this is to assure that confirmed Covid-19 patients will be comfortable while under quarantine.

“Thank God. I hope that all barangays in Metro Manila and eventually in the whole country soon becomes Covid-19 free so we could all go back to normal,” Ofelia Gablino said in her post written in a mix of English and Filipino. (PNA)

DFA says 10 more overseas Filipinos recover from Covid-19

MANILA – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Wednesday said 10 more Filipinos recovered from coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the Asia Pacific, which brought the total number of recoveries to 7,244.

The DFA’s daily bulletin also showed eight new infections in the Asia Pacific and the Americas, raising the confirmed cases among Filipinos overseas to 11,186.

At present, there are about 3,127 active cases, at least 508 are undergoing treatment in the Asia Pacific, 168 in Europe, 2,295 in the Middle East/Africa, and 156 in the Americas.

No new fatality was recorded by the agency, with the death toll standing at 815.

“To date, the total number of countries and regions with confirmed cases among Filipinos remains at 81,” it said.

“The DFA, together with its Foreign Service Posts, remains fully committed to monitoring and assisting our nationals abroad amidst this ongoing battle against the Covid-19 pandemic,” the statement read. (PNA)

PH Covid-19 recoveries climb to 311,506

MANILA – The total number of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) recoveries nationwide has reached 311,506 with 911 new recovered cases reported on Wednesday.

In its latest case bulletin, the Department of Health (DOH) also reported 1,509 new confirmed cases, pushing the overall tally of active cases to 43,990.

Of the active cases, about 83 percent are mild, 11.6 percent are asymptomatic, 2 percent are severe, and 3.4 percent are in critical condition.

The majority of the newly announced cases are from Rizal with 83, Cavite with 82, the City of Manila with 66, Baguio City with 65, and Iloilo City with 57 infections.

The DOH added that there are 60 deaths logged Wednesday, which brought the death toll to 6,747.

Of the 60 deaths, 45 or 75 percent occurred in October, seven or 12 percent in September, and eight or 13 percent in August.

“Some 41 duplicates were removed from the total case count and 31 of these were recovered cases and three were deaths. Moreover, 16 cases previously tagged as recovered were reclassified as deaths after final validation,” the DOH said.

As of Tuesday, the 114 licensed reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) laboratories and 33 licensed GeneXpert laboratories have conducted a total of 4,187,385 tests nationwide.

DOH said it has 21,500 total bed capacity dedicated to Covid-19 patients.

Occupied are around 47 percent of 1,900 intensive care unit beds; 42 percent of 13,600 isolation beds; and 37 percent of 6,000 ward beds.

It added that around 24 percent of 2,200 ventilators are in use. (PNA)

UHWU, Defend Jobs PH stage die-in protest

The University Hotel Workers Union (UHWU) and Defend Jobs Philippines stage a die-in protest at the University of the Philippines in Quezon City, Diliman campus as they made an appeal with the Inter-Agency Task Force and the Duterte government to allow full capacity operations of hotels amid the pandemic in the coming holiday season.
The two labor groups said the government should now allow full capacity operations of hotels to save their jobs, wages, and benefits threatened by the prolonged community quarantines amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
On the same occasion, Defend Jobs Philippines also launched a “13th Month Pay Labor Hotline” 09150052082 (Globe) or 09995542533 (Smart) where workers can update and report the status of their 13th-month pay benefits. Workers can send their complaints and reports via SMS on a 24/7 basis and Defend Jobs said they can also accept calls from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday-Friday. They can also accept reports and inquiries on the official Facebook and Twitter accounts of Defend Jobs Philippines.


Palawan opens 1st GeneExpert laboratory, isolation facility

By Glen S. Ramos

DOH-MIMAROPA and the Provincial Government of Palawan last week formally inaugurated the first GeneXpert Laboratory and Isolation Facility for COVID-19 in the province located inside the Narra Municipal Hospital compound in Bgy. Antipuluan, Narra, Palawan.
The facility will strengthen the province’s Covid-19 response and treatment against the virus.
It is equipped with a GeneXpert machine which can easily and rapidly conduct laboratory test in real-time.
Governor Jose C. Alvarez stated that the province needs more laboratories to handle testing of positive cases and more isolation facilities where mild and asymptomatic individuals can be accommodated and receive the treatment and care they needed.
Alvarez said that the newly-completed isolation facility was funded under the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act. We will be establishing more isolation facilities to be placed in strategic areas of the province to combat the increasing number of covid cases.”
He also added that the Palawan government is looking to put up isolation facilities in other hospitals such as Aborlan Medicare Hospital, Southern Palawan Provincial Hospital in Brooke’s Point, Roxas Medicare Hospital and at Coron District Hospital.
The blessing ang inauguration of the Narra Covid Isolation Facility was attended by Palawan Governor Jose Ch. Alvarez, DOH-MIMAROPA Provincial Team Leader Dr. Peter H. Curameng, Narra Acting Mayor Crispin Lumba, Jr., and Narra Municipal Hospital Chief Dr. Maria Arlin Josue.
As of October 19, 2020, the DOH reported a total of 361 cases for the province of Palawan with 282 recoveries and 3 deaths. (Photo by Benjie Cuaresma)

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