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COVID-19:WHAT IS OUR GOVERNMENT DOING AND WHAT SHOULD WE DO?

Thread Content:
1.Keep Calm/Do not panic/Stay Safe.
2.Believe in our government.
3.Learn how to protect ourselves.
4.Seek Help if you feel sick.
5.Exchange ideas on how to avoid catching COVID-19.
6.Share your COVID-19 experience and help people better understand the facts about COVID-19.
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Comments

  • TrollmasterTrollmaster PEx Rookie ⭐
    There's no need to be calm because it is the End of The World anywaysss   :rofl:  
  • jeniffer26jeniffer26 PEx Rookie ⭐
    Source: Manila Bulletin(Published March 26, 2020, 5:33 AM)

    Don’t fan the flame of fake COVID-19 news!

    With news about COVID-19 dominating the internet, fake news proved that it can spread even faster than the virus itself. The problem lies really in the fact that with the advent of the internet, many people believe they can function as news reporters yet they neglect to check the veracity of information they share online, particularly in social media.

    Research showed that people are more likely to share fake news than real news. Soroush Vosoughi, a postdoctoral associate at the MIT Media Lab and a fellow at the Berkman Klein Center at Harvard University, led a research that discovered “real human Twitter users are 70% more likely to retweet fake news than truthful stories.”

    As more and more people use the internet to spread lies and misinformation, here are some tips to avoid being a victim or carrier of fake news, especially in this critical time.

    ·Check, check, check – Readers are encouraged to apply as many layers of filter as possible when searching online, more so when looking for medical or health information. It’s dangerous to apply a fake cure, sourced out from a fake information source, to treat a real medical ailment. Sharing fake news at a time of a perilous medical situation is not funny at all.

    ·It’s not a race – Many consider sharing online news as a race, a chance to “out-scoop” netizens when sharing ground-breaking news first to gain more “likes.” In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, netizens should realize that it doesn’t matter whether they were first or last in sharing the latest information; the more important matter is what they shared are truthful and fully verified.

    ·Develop a “truth” community – in an article on  fmch.bmj.com, it advised to build a personal digital community, a “closed” group composed of “trusted” individuals who are able to control and appraise any information found in the network, where personal experiences are used to determine the authenticity of the information, especially medical ones.

    There are consequences in spreading fake news. Recently, the Philippine National Police appealed to the public to “refrain from sharing unvalidated social media reports of alleged incidents that only add to public apprehensions and fear surrounding COVID 19.” The PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group will track authors of fake news, like supposed cases of “purported robbery, burglary and public unrest incidents in certain areas, which turned out to be a hoax.” It said that those who will propagate false reports, especially if committed during a national emergency, will suffer stiff penalties.

    Fake information on the internet spreads like wildfire and can be further amplified by others who inadvertently help fan the flame. This is why Globe Telecom continues to strengthen its cyber wellness efforts to educate the general public on the responsible use of the internet.

    In line with this, Globe is offering free data access to official government websites:

    1. the Department of Health

    2. National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council

    to encourage Filipinos to only visit official sites for news about COVID-19 and not rely on data that may not have been validated or recognized as true.

    [Don’t believe anything you read until you verify yourself and you’re content!]


  • jeniffer26jeniffer26 PEx Rookie ⭐
    How are you doing? Is your city generally safe from COVID-19? Do you have available medical access? Are you still going to school or work? Do you know the latest COVID-19 news? Share your COVID-19 story in this thread and help out each other!WE ARE GONNA MAKE IT IN THE END!
  • jeniffer26jeniffer26 PEx Rookie ⭐
    There's no need to be calm because it is the End of The World anywaysss   :rofl:  
    Nah. I always believe in stay positive. :)
  • jeniffer26jeniffer26 PEx Rookie ⭐
    Source: ABS-CBN News (Posted at Mar 28 2020 09:56 PM | Updated as of Mar 29 2020 04:33 PM )

    Nearly 600 doctors, nurses volunteer for COVID-19 fight in PH

    MANILA - Nearly 600 Filipino doctors and nurses have volunteered to support the fight against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), answering the call of the health department for support as the number of cases in the Philippines continues to rise.

    As of 6 p.m. Saturday, 593 "health warriors" had signed up to be assigned in three government hospitals designated by the Department of Health (DOH) for COVID-19 patients, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a press briefing.

    She earlier named the Philippine General Hospital in Manila, the Jose M. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital in Caloocan City, and the Lung Center of the Philippines in Quezon City as referral centers for COVID-19 patients.

    Vergeire said they will implement a "two-weeks-on, two-weeks-off" policy for volunteer health workers. She explained that a medical frontliner should go on two weeks of quarantine after treating COVID-19 patients for also two weeks.

    "Sa bawat dalawang linggong duty, ang healthcare worker ay kailangang sumailalim sa two-week quarantine period pagkatapos," she said.

    The DOH's call for volunteers followed an appeal from several overwhelmed private hospitals whose staff and resources have been swamped by an influx of COVID-19 patients and suspected cases in their facilities.

    "And now we are going to call on volunteers po, magpo-post po kami, volunteer doctors, nurses… for the augmentation of staff para sa tatlong ospital po na ito," Vergeire said in an earlier interview.

    (And now we are going to call on volunteers, we will post about this, volunteer doctors, nurses... for the augmentation of staff for these three hospitals.)

    As of Saturday, the Philippines has logged 1,075 cases of COVID-19, with 68 deaths and 35 recoveries.



  • jeniffer26jeniffer26 PEx Rookie ⭐
    Source: ABS-CBN News (Posted at Mar 29 2020 11:36 PM)

    Pinoy speech pathologists develop 'communication boards' for intubated COVID-19 patients

    MANILA — A group of Filipino speech pathologists launched on Sunday a "communication board" to aid healthcare workers in communicating with COVID-19-stricken patients unable to speak due to intubation or other escalated respiratory support.

    "Patients who are unable to communicate cannot effectively participate in medical decision-making and may not effectively communicate their needs and symptoms. This could greatly impact on their care," the Philippine Association of Speech Pathologists (PASP) said in a statement.

    The communication kit was developed by PASP's Augmentative and Alternative Communication Special Interest Group.

    Speech pathology is a branch of rehabilitation concerned with individuals who may have articulation, hearing, voice, fluency, swallowing difficulties and language disorders.

    WHAT'S IN THE KIT?

    There are 9 visual materials included in the kit, among them are pain scales and boards that ask questions regarding general needs, medical needs, and personal needs.

    The communication kit, available in both English and Filipino languages, is free and accessible in a Google drive managed by PASP.

    Healthcare providers, especially those attending to COVID-19 patients, are encouraged to use the communication device.

    "Some hospitals in the Philippines possess tools that alleviate these communication barriers in acute care settings, but many other hospitals — including those in the provinces — may lack these tools," PASP said.

    'VERY USEFUL'

    According to anesthesiologist Nylene Arizala of Capitol Medical Center, the visual materials developed by PASP are "very useful."

    "When a patient is put on a ventilator, definitely he/she cannot verbalize anymore. What he/she can do is write in a piece of paper or slate board... That is a very helpful visual aid to patients who can’t verbalize," Arizala told ABS-CBN News.

    Arizala shared that she once attended to a person under investigation (PUI) for COVID-019, who eventually turned out positive for the pathogen.

    "Madalas (Often) we are called to do the intubations to PUIs. Almost all of intubations are being done by anesthesiologists and sometimes we get called 2 to 3 times a day to do intubation either in ICU or ER," Arizala said.

    However, the anesthesiologist warned of the limitations of such visual aid, since the intubation procedure more or less requires patients to be sedated.

    "Most of our patients na naka-intubate are sedated kaya ang chart na 'yan is helpful only to awake and stable patients. 'Yung iba kasing patient nag-struggle kaya sini-sedate or pinapatulog," she said.

  • jeniffer26jeniffer26 PEx Rookie ⭐
    Source: CDC

    Symptoms of Coronavirus


    Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

    These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure (based on the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses).

    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath
    When to Seek Medical Attention

    If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:

    • Trouble breathing
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • New confusion or inability to arouse
    • Bluish lips or face

    *This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

  • jeniffer26jeniffer26 PEx Rookie ⭐
    Source: Inquirer.net

    New app tracks people who need COVID-19 testing


    Graduate students from the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) have created a new app to identify which people need testing for COVID-19 infection, potentially saving time and resources for hospitals across the country.
     
    Community-driven medical information app ENDCov – developed by students from AIM’s Master of Science in Innovation and Business – was launched on Friday.

    The app enables prospective patients to answer a survey that follows the algorithm that medical practitioners use for triage of people with possible COVID-19 infection. It is now available for download at Google Play and will soon be available at App Store.

    ENDCoV aims to help the Department of Health (DOH) and hospitals maximize their resources by enabling them to prioritize the patients in need of testing and immediate care. Through preliminary surveillance, the app creators also hope to allay people’s fears brought by the pandemic.

    “In the past couple of weeks, our team observed that it is important for people to access accurate and up-to-date information on their personal health, for them to feel more secure amid the pandemic,” said Charles de Belen, co-founder of ENDCoV. “They just want to know if they’re okay, if they’re safe.”

    The app complies with the Mandatory Disclosure of Notifiable Diseases Act (R.A. 113322) and the Data Privacy Act (R.A. 10173), as well as the policies issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force and the Office of the President. The survey included in the app is also consistent with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) latest surveillance definition of the disease.

    The app seeks to crowdsource interactive and locational data from users themselves. If ENDCoV’s algorithms detect that a user had interacted or was in close contact with a COVID-19-positive patient in the past two weeks, the app will notify the user to access the triage function, which will determine whether they should stay home for self-quarantine or seek testing.
     
    “During our classes, we’ve been studying innovation as a means to improve the lives of people. So we wanted to come up with a solution that would ease the burden of this crisis on Filipinos, moreso our tireless health workers,” De Belen said.
     
    The team is looking to add more functions after the app launches, such as heat maps that show high-risk areas to avoid, a telemedicine feature that allows online consultations with doctors,  and a printable e-copy of the triage results which can be sent directly to hospitals or the DOH.

  • jeniffer26jeniffer26 PEx Rookie ⭐
    Source: Manila Bulletin

    DOST: Locally developed COVID-19 test kits ready this week


    The field validation of the locally developed COVID-19 test kits funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and made by scientists at the University of the Philippines-National Institute of Health (UP-NIH) is expected to be finished by April 1, DOST’s top official announced on Monday.

    A Certificate of Product Registration (CPR) from the Food and Drug Administration Philippines (FDA) is expected to be issued by Friday, DOST Secretary Fortunato dela Peña said.

    “We have also informed the FDA that submission of requirements for CPR will be made on Wednesday, April 1 at the latest,” de la Peña added.

    The secretary said in his Facebook page that a total of 120,000 test kits will be manufactured by The Manila HealthTek Inc. The company has also reported that the first batch of reagents arrived, which will enable them to start the manufacturing process.

    From April 4 to 25, he added that there will be a field implementation for the 26,000 testing kits funded under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the University of the Philippines-National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH) Project.

    The DOST will prioritize production of 26,000 test kits for field implementation and distribution to the Philippine General Hospital, Makati Medical Center, The Medical City, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, Southern Philippines Medical Center, and Baguio General Hospital.

    The remaining 94,000 testing kits will be sold commercially by Manila HealthTek at around P1,300 per kit which is cheaper than the units currently being used in hospitals which cost about P8,000. The Manila HealthTek said they have enough orders from the private sector which are intended to be donated to the DOH and various hospitals.

    The SARS CoV-2 PCR Detection Kit technology was developed by local scientists led by Dr. Raul V. Destura of UP-NIH.

  • jeniffer26jeniffer26 PEx Rookie ⭐
    Source: CDC

    How to Protect Yourself?

    1. Know How it Spreads

    • There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
    • The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
    • The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
      • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
      • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
    • These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

    2.Take steps to protect yourself

    *Clean your hands often

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

    *Avoid close contact

    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
    • Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community.

    3.Take steps to protect others

    *Stay home if you’re sick

    • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.

    *over coughs and sneezes

    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
    • Throw used tissues in the trash.
    • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

    *Wear a facemask 

    • You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room.

    *Clean and disinfect

    • Clean AND disinfect frequently tuched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
    • If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

    To disinfect:
    Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work. Use disinfectants appropriate for the surface.

    Options include:

    • Diluting your household bleach.
      To make a bleach solution, mix:
      • 5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water
        OR
      • 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water

      Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.

    • Alcohol solutions.
      Ensure solution has at least 70% alcohol.
  • jeniffer26jeniffer26 PEx Rookie ⭐
    Source: Philstar

    DOH asks Filipinos to protect healthcare workers after reported attacks vs frontliners       

     MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health asked the public to extend compassion to healthcare workers leading the country’s fight against the new coronavirus as it vowed to investigate the reported violence and discrimination against frontliners.

    In a statement Sunday, DOH condemned the acts of physical assault, harassment and discrimination committed against healthcare workers.    

    The department, in particular, denounced the attack on a nurse in Sultan Kudarat. A group of five individuals “ganged up” on the healthcare worker and splattered bleach on his face.


    DOH also said it has received reports of healthcare workers being refused access to public transport and laundry, blocked and fined at checkpoints and evicted from their homes.


    “These acts cannot be tolerated. We are mobilizing our own personnel in efforts to ascertain more details and hold perpetrators of these attacks liable and reporting these incidents to the Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19 for proper investigation and resolution,” the agency said.


    It also urged the Philippine National Police, the Department of Transportation, the Department of the Interior and Local Government and local governments to keep frontliners safe from harm and discrimination.


    “We appeal to the public to extend understanding and compassion to our healthcare workers. Our healthcare workers have responded to our country’s need with dedication, courage and selflessness. This is not the time for us to turn our backs on them,” DOH said.


    It added: “It is not enough that we thank them. We need to protect them too.”


    At least 690 medical professionals have volunteered to work for two weeks in government hospitals after the DOH called for volunteers.


    The DOH earlier extended the call to hospital doctors, nurses, nursing assistants and other medical professionals. They will be assigned in the three designated COVID-19 hospitals: Lung Center of the Philippines, Philippine General Hospital or Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Hospital.


    At least twelve doctors in the Philippines have died from the new coronavirus as hospitals in the country were overwhelmed with the surge in cases


    The DOH on Sunday reported 343 new COVID-19 cases, marking the country’s largest daily increase in infections.

      
  • jeniffer26jeniffer26 PEx Rookie ⭐
    Source:ABS-CBN News

    How PH goverment seeks to reduce COVID-19 infection rate through lockdown

    MANILA - A health expert explained Monday night that with implementation of the ongoing lockdown in Luzon and other parts of the country, the government hopes to make the infection rate of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as low as possible.

    Speaking to DZMM, infectious diseases expert Dr. Edsel Salvaña said he forecast is that the Philippines will have about 75,000 COVID-19 cases, using a model that 1 infected person may infect 2 more.

    "'Yung 75,000 na 'yun po, low projection po 'yun. Kasi ang inaassume po noon, is 'yung reproductive number, o tinatawag na R-naught, ibig sabihin, kung isang tao, ilan ang nahahawa niya kapag nagkasakit siya," he said.

    However, the numbers may increase since there is also a possibility that 1 infected person may infect 4 others.

    "So ang R-naught na ginamit doon sa 75,000, ang isang tao, nakakahawa ng dalawang tao. Pero may ibang estimates na 'yung R-naught ng COVID-19, lalo na sa early phase, can be as much as four. In other words, isang tao, apat yung nai-infect. So mas malaki lalo 'yun, geometric 'yung progression na 'yun," Salvaña explained.

    Since the Philippine government has implemented a lockdown on Luzon, Salvaña said the goal is to stop the epidemic "in its tracks" by bringing the infection rate to below 1.

    "Sa ngayon, kung gagamitin natin 'yung 75,000 at kung na-shutdown natin ang city, ang hinahanap po natin ay kung 'yung R-naught ay bumaba below 1," he said,

    "Kasi kung ang 1 tao, nakainfect ng 1 tao, tuloy-tuloy pa rin 'yun. Pero if it's below one, masa-stop 'yung epidemic in its tracks kasi hindi na siya kumbaga self-sustaining. As long as you don't infect more than 1 person, hindi na yun self-sustaining," Salvaña explained.

    The country is entering the third week of the enhanced community quarantine, and according to Salvaña, the next weeks will be crucial as they will determine whether the implementation of the lockdown was successful in stopping the spread of the disease.

    "The next 1 to 2 weeks will be really crucial. Kasi ganito 'yun, nagsimula tayo ng enhanced community quarantine, March 12 po. We're going on our 3rd week ngayon. 'Yung incubation ng virus, 5 days pero puwedeng umabot ng 14 days," he explained.

    "So 'yung nakikita natin na cases, either 5 days old or more, up to 14 days. So nagsisilabasan 'yun, natatapos pa lang 'yung mga cases na nagiging symptomatic ngayon ay na nagsimula or nahawa before the quarantine," Salvaña also said, adding that the effects of the quarantine will be seen on the third and fourth weeks of the lockdown.

    Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire earlier said the number of COVID-19 cases in the country may peak from 70,000 to 75,000 cases within 3 months, based on modelling forecasts.

    Luzon was placed on a month-long lockdown until April 12 to arrest the spread of COVID-19. People were told to stay at home, and mass transportation was suspended.

    Officials have yet to comment on possibly extending the lockdown, with many hopeful that the country could contain the situation by April 12. 

    As of Monday, the Philippines has a total of 1,546 confirmed COVID-19 cases. Of this number, 78 have died while 42 others have recovered.


  • jeniffer26jeniffer26 PEx Rookie ⭐
    Source: CDC

    How Coronavirus Spreads

    1.Person-to-person spread

    The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

    • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
    • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

    These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

    Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

    • People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
    • Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

    Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects

    It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

    How easily the virus spreads

    How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.

    The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (“community spread”) in some affected geographic areas.

    Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected.

  • jeniffer26jeniffer26 PEx Rookie ⭐
    Source: CDC

    Caring for Yourself at Home

    10 things you can do to manage your health at home

    If you have possible or confirmed COVID-19:

    1. Stay home from work, school, and away from other public places. If you must go out, avoid using any kind of public transportation, ridesharing, or taxis.
    2. Monitor your symptoms carefully. If your symptoms get worse, call your healthcare provider immediately.
    3. Get rest and stay hydrated.
    4. If you have a medical appointment, call the healthcare provider ahead of time and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19.
    5. For medical emergencies, call 911 and notify the dispatch personnel that you have or may have COVID-19.
    6. Cover your cough and sneezes.
    7. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
    8. As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people in your home. Also, you should use a separate bathroom, if available. If you need to be around other people in or outside of the home, wear a facemask.
    9. Avoid sharing personal items with other people in your household, like dishes, towels, and bedding
    10. Clean all surfaces that are touched often, like counters, tabletops, and doorknobs. Use household cleaning sprays or wipes according to the label instructions.

    When to Seek Medical Attention

    If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include*:

    • Trouble breathing
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • New confusion or inability to arouse
    • Bluish lips or face

    *This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

  • jeniffer26jeniffer26 PEx Rookie ⭐
    Source: ABS-CBN News

    Duterte announces P200-B aid for poor families affected by Luzon lockdown

    MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night announced that his administration is allotting P200 billion to help low-income households affected by the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

    Duterte touted this as "the largest and widest social protection program in our country’s history."

    “Pinakamalaki itong tulong na ibibigay ng gobyerno sa mamamayan sa history natin, eh ngayon lang tayo nagkaroon ng problemang ganito, to make up for the loss of economic opportunities due to quarantine measures in the place of COVID-19,” the President said in his televised address.

    "We have alloted P200 billion for low income households who are badly affected by the current crisis. Sila ang nasa informal sector, and those who live day-to-day on subsistence wages or no work, no pay," he added.

    According to Duterte, members of the informal sector will be receiving two month's worth of emergency fund, based on the existing regional minimum wage rates.

    "Arrangements, beneficiary households will receive emergency support for their two months based on the regional minimum wage," he added.

    The President appealed to the private sector to extend its help for the poor during the crisis.

    “To those who have more in life, I implore you to share in the cost of taking care of the less fortunate and keeping our society intact. They have also contributed to our prosperity in one way or the other, so let us support them in this crisis. Let it be said that in the hour of our country’s greatest need, we all look out for and help each other. Buksan natin ang ating puso sa nangangailangan,” he said.

    During his speech, the President also promised to help micro, small, and medium-scale enterprises, as well as farmers and fisherfolk deal with the effects of the lockdown.

    “The government will provide a recovery package especially to SMEs to help deal with the economic effects of this pandemic. My economic deal is already creating the guidelines for this as I speak,” he said.

    “To our farmers and our fisherfolk, we have not forgotten you and government is now employing quick response measures to help you during the crisis as well as ensure food productivity, availability and sufficiency during the period of the pandemic. Andito ang gobyerno para sa inyo,” he continued.

  • jeniffer26jeniffer26 PEx Rookie ⭐
    Source: Manila Bulletin

    Urgent appeal to close all live animal markets in PH

    Animal welfare advocates appealed to authorities on Wednesday to permanently close all live animal markets or “wet markets” across the Philippines, which are possible breeding grounds for deadly viruses.

    The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ (PETA) sent a letter of “urgent” appeal to the Department of Agriculture (DA) on Wednesday.

    “It’s a matter of when—not if—the next pandemic will occur, as long as live-animal markets are permitted to continue endangering both humans and other animals,” PETA senior vice president Jason Baker said.

    “PETA is urging the Philippines to take the next logical step and close these dangerous operations,” he added.

    While some live-animal markets in China have closed, which could be temporary, many continue to operate throughout Asia, including the Balintawak Public Market and Farmers’ Market in Manila, PETA pointed out.

    The group noted that deadly outbreaks of swine flu, avian flu, severe acute respiratory syndrome, human immunodeficiency virus, Ebola, hoof-and-mouth disease, mad cow disease, and other maladies have stemmed from capturing or farming animals for food.

    It added that live-animal markets are perfect breeding grounds for diseases, which can jump from various other species to humans, since stressed, injured, and sickly animals are commonly caged in public areas and on sidewalks where feces, blood, and offal can contaminate buyers and sellers and be tracked into restaurants or homes.

  • jeniffer26jeniffer26 PEx Rookie ⭐
    Source: Manila Bulletin

    No worries, we have enough food

    The public has nothing to worry about the country’s food supply since it remains sufficient, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Wednesday amid the public health emergency arising from the coronavirus pandemic.

    Nograles has assured the people that the country has rice inventory to last for the next 75 days, citing plans to import more rice to further boost stocks.

    “According to the Department of Agriculture we should not be concerned as basic food requirements nationwide such as rice, fish, pork, chicken, and vegetables are sufficient––with the national rice inventory this quarter enough to last for the next 75 days,’ he said during a virtual press conference Wednesday.

    “And with additional procurement of 300,000 metric tons of rice, wag po tayo mag-alala; tuloy-tuloy po ang suplay ng pagkain. (Let’s not worry. The food supply is continuous),” said Nograles, spokesman of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

    The task force recently recommended to President Duterte the importation of 300,000 metric tons of rice to further boost the country’s supply amid the coronavirus outbreak. The rice importation, proposed by the Department of Agriculture, will be undertaken by the Philippine International Trading Corporation through government-to-government arrangements for contingency purposes.

    Nograles has reminded anew law enforcement agencies and local government units to ensure the unimpeded movement of cargoes as well as workers from the food and agriculture sectors during the quarantine period. Such movement seeks to avert any threat of shortage of basic food, essential hygienic products and medical products.

    The task force earlier allowed food companies to operate with up to 50 percent of their workforce subject to social distancing requirements during the quarantine period. The Department of Trade and Industry is authorized to approve any temporary increase of workforce capacity if the supply level of a basic food product warrants a higher capacity.

    Loans for small businesses

    Once the quarantine restrictions are lifted, Nograles said the trade department is prepared to provide loan assistance to help revitalize small businesses. He said they recognized that the health crisis has an impact not only on public health, but also on the health of small businesses across the country.

    “The Department of Trade and Industry is currently preparing the implementation of the P1-billion Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) Enterprise Rehabilitation Financing (ERF) program, which includes restart and/or restock of businesses to avoid foreclosure of their business assets. This program will start once quarantine restrictions are lifted,” he said.

    Luzon remains under enhanced community quarantine to stem the rapid spread of the new coronavirus disease. Some provinces in Visayas and Mindanao have also imposed quarantine measures as a precaution against the coronavirus.


  • jeniffer26jeniffer26 PEx Rookie ⭐
    Source: CDC

    Household Checklist

    As a family, you can plan and make decisions now that will protect you and your family during a COVID-19 outbreak.

    1.Stay informed and in touch

    • Get up-to-date information about local COVID-19 activity from public health officials
    • Ask your neighbors what their plan includes.
    • Create a list of local organizations you and your household can contact in case you need access to information, healthcare services, support, and resources.
    • Create an emergency contact list including family, friends, neighbors, carpool drivers, healthcare providers, teachers, employers, the local public health department, and other community resources.

    2.Prepare for possible illness

    • Consider members of the household that may be at greater risk such as older adults and people with severe chronic illnesses.
    • Choose a room in your house that can be used to separate sick household members from others.

    3.Take everyday preventive steps

    • Wash your hands frequently
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
    • Stay home when you are sick.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
    • Be prepared if your child’s school or childcare facility is temporarily dismissed or for potential changes at your workplace.

    4.Watch for symptoms

    • Stay home and speak to your healthcare provider if you develop any of these symptoms:
      • Fever or
      • Cough or
      • Shortness of breath
    • If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately
    • Emergency warning signs include*:
      • Trouble breathing
      • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
      • New confusion or inability to arouse
      • Bluish lips or face

    *This list is not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

    • Keep away from others who are sick
    • Limit close contact with others as much as possible (about 6 feet)

    5.If someone in your home is sick

    • Continue to practice everyday preventive actions
    • Keep the ill person in a separate room from others in the household
    • If caring for a sick household member, follow recommended precautions and monitor your own health
    • Keep surfaces disinfected
    • Avoid sharing personal items
    • If you become sick, stay in contact with others by phone or email
    • Stay informed about the local outbreak situation
    • Notify your work if your schedule needs to change
    • Take care of the emotional health of your household members, including yourself

    6.Those at higher risk of severe illness

    Take additional precautions for those at higher risk, particularly older adults and those who have severe underlying health conditions.

    • Consider staying at home and away from crowds
    • Make sure you have access to several weeks of medications and supplies in case you need to stay home
    • When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick and limit close contact with others
    • Practice good hand hygiene

    7.Children

    • Notify your child’s school if your child becomes sick with COVID-19
    • Keep track of school dismissals in your community
    • Discourage children and teens from gathering in other public places
  • jeniffer26jeniffer26 PEx Rookie ⭐
    Source: Philstar

    Duterte vows to lock up abusive local execs 


    P200-B COVID aid set for poor households

    MANILA, Philippines — After announcing a massive aid package for low income households reeling from the effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), President Duterte has warned that he would not hesitate to lock up local executives – including barangay officials – who would be found misusing funds entrusted to them for distribution to their constituents or for purchase of relief goods.

    “If you do that in crisis… you really deserve to be jailed. You should be jailed. I won’t release you; I don’t believe in the filing of cases. Let me go to jail in the future if I were found to be wrong,” Duterte said in a televised public address late Monday.

    “I told you… don’t cheat now, don’t resort to corruption by stealing the food or not giving relief to others… You know, people sometimes think that they own whatever they receive from government. This is not yours, neither is it mine,” Duterte said.

    He said he has directed the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate and file charges against local officials who “willfully disregard, contravene or violate national guidelines on community quarantine” set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

    In his address, Duterte said the P200-billion aid package is the “largest and widest social protection program in our country’s history” for low-income households and other sectors badly hit by stringent quarantine measures intended to contain COVID-19.

    The P200-billion aid package will provide each household-beneficiary P5,000 to P8,000 in emergency support for two months, depending on the regional minimum wage.

    “This is the largest assistance provided by the government to our people in our history. It’s only now that we are facing a problem like this... (The package seeks) to make up for the loss of economic opportunities due to the quarantine measures in place for COVID-19,” the President said.

    The President also said he has laid down the responsibilities of each department, in an order issued through Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.

    “I have given them their marching orders, emphasizing the need for sufficient authority, so that they do not have to go back to me and ask for clearance for each and every action they have to take,” Duterte said. 

    “All of the details of our actions will be part of my report, which will be submitted to Congress pursuant to the Bayanihan Act,” he added.

    One of the directives contained in the order is the submission of an inventory of private assets that can be used for efforts to contain COVID-19 and address the disease’s impact on different sectors.

    “The DOH (Department of Health), the DOTr (Department of Transportation), the Department of Tourism and the OCD (Office of Civil Defense) are directed to submit to the Office of the President an inventory of all available or potential assets, and proposed guidelines to exercise such power,” the memorandum, signed by Medialdea last March 28, read.

    Based on guidelines, the President’s power to direct the operation of private entities should conform to the limits set by Article XII, Section 17 of the Constitution, the memorandum said.

    Malacañang also urged agencies and the private sector to “negotiate in good faith,” as the government exercises its power to require businesses to prioritize and accept contracts, subject to fair and reasonable terms, for materials and services needed to promote the national policy on COVID-19.

    “Should any contracting party for contracts over such materials or services refuse to give such contract a priority, anyone who has personal knowledge of the contract and the acts of the offending party is enjoined to report the same to the Office of the President to enable the President to exercise the foregoing power,” the memorandum read.

    Duterte has placed the entire Luzon under enhanced community quarantine to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, a pandemic that has infected more than 720,000 people worldwide and is widely seen to push economies into recession. The disease, which has afflicted about 2,000 persons in the Philippines, may cause the country’s economy to slow this year, economists said.

    Because of the lockdown, which started last March 17 and will end on April 13, a majority of Luzon’s 57 million population have been forced to stay at home, including daily wage earners who now rely on government dole-outs for their basic needs.

    “We have P200 billion given by Congress for us to spend. I will use it and everyone will benefit... Those who do not have jobs, those who have jobs, those who are working part-time. The rich are excluded,” Duterte said.

    Aid for small business

    The President also vowed to help small businesses and the agriculture sector cope with the impact of the pandemic.

    “The government will provide a recovery package especially to micro, small and medium enterprises to help deal with the economic effects of this pandemic. My economic team is already creating the guidelines for this as I speak,” the President said. 

    “To our farmers and our fisherfolk: we have not forgotten you and government is now employing quick response measures to help you during the crisis as well as ensure food productivity, availability and sufficiency during the period of the pandemic. The government is here for you,” he added.

    Malacañang has also directed the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to provide subsidies to low-income households as part of temporary emergency measures.

    The memorandum signed by Medialdea said the emergency subsidy would be extended to 18 million low-income households.

    The subsidy received from the existing conditional cash transfer program and rice subsidy would be considered in the computation of the emergency subsidy.

    The DSWD has also been tasked to expand the government’s existing cash transfer program or come up with another scheme that would provide cash, cash voucher or goods to households who have no incomes or savings from which they could draw, including those working in the informal economy or are not recipients of existing government aid.

    The amount to be distributed must be “adequate to restore capacity to purchase basic food and other essential items during the duration of the quarantine,” the memorandum read.

    Earlier, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) warned that the COVID-19 pandemic may slow economic growth to 4.3 percent or may even lead to contraction of the Philippine economy by 0.6 percent this year if mitigation measures are not implemented. 

    ‘No one goes hungry’

    While the government is rolling out a multibillion-peso aid package, Duterte appealed to private institutions and individuals to help in uplifting the condition of those severely affected by the health crisis.

    “I still count on everyone to also look after their fellowmen – their countrymen. To those who have more in life, I implore you to share in the cost of taking care of the less fortunate and keeping our society intact,” the President said. 

    “They have also contributed to our prosperity in one way or (another). So, let us support them in this crisis. Let it be said that, in the hour of our country’s greatest need, we all looked out for and helped each other. Let us open our hearts to the needy,” he added.

    He also assured local governments of assistance and promised to ensure that nobody would go hungry during the quarantine period.

    House leaders – ways and means committee chairman Joey Salceda and Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero – said the distribution of dole-out funds is the most crucial element of the special powers granted by Congress to President Duterte under Republic Act 11469 (Bayanihan to Heal as One Act).

    Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano has proposed a house-to-house distribution of the cash assistance.

    “Let’s do it house-to-house to minimize the crowd, there should be little to no contact between the beneficiaries and relief workers, maximize the use of technology for documentation and record-keeping.”  – Edu Punay, Delon Porcalla, Mayen Jaymalin                          

        


                         

  • jeniffer26jeniffer26 PEx Rookie ⭐
    Source: Rappler

    BOC implements tax-free importation of PPEs, medical emergency supplies

    Customs Administrative Order 07-2020 will speed up the clearance of tax and duty-exempt importation of urgently needed personal protective equipment and medical goods amid the coronavirus pandemic .

    MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has issued the guidelines for the tax and duty-free importation of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical emergency supplies as provided under Republic Act No. 11469 or the Bayanihan To Heal As One Act.

    The BOC issued Customs Administrative Order (CAO) 07-2020 that will serve as the guidelines for the implementation of Section 4(O) of RA 11469 on the tax and duty-exempt importation of the items to help stem the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

    “The aim of this CAO is to expedite customs clearance of tax and duty-exempt importations of PPEs and medical goods which are urgently needed by the country’s citizens, frontliners, and medical supplies manufacturers in this public health emergency we are currently facing,” the BOC said in a statement on Wednesday, April 1.

    Following the BOC order, the Bureau of Internal Revenue issued Revenue Memorandum Order 10-2020 which no longer requires an Authority to Release Imported Goods (ATRIG) for the importation of PPEs and medical emergency supplies.

    The BOC outlined the following main points of CAO 07-2020:

    • Commercial importers of PPE and medical equipment are exempted from presenting the Certificate of Product Notification (CPN) or Certificate of Product Registration (CPR) issued by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) prior to release from the BOC, provided that they present a copy of their License to Operate (LTO) and proof of application for product notification with the FDA.
    • Those importing ventilators, respirators, and their respective accessories for commercial purposes only need to present a copy of their LTO.
    • Imported health products for donation which are certified by regulatory agencies or accredited third party organizations in the originating countries shall be automatically cleared.
    • FDA clearance will not be required prior to release of foreign donations of PPEs, ventilators, respirators and their respective accessories which will be used in treating COVID-19 patients.
    • Imported goods under Section 4(O) of RA 11469 which are released under Provisional Goods Declaration are subject to the submission of Tax Exemption Indorsement (TEI) issued by the Department of Finance-Revenue Office (DOF-RO) after April 12, 2020, or upon lifting of the declaration of the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon, whichever comes earlier.

    The speedier importation process is expected to help ease the shortage of PPEs and other medical emergency supplies in the country's hospitals, as coronavirus cases continued to spike. (IN NUMBERS: What hospitals need to treat COVID-19 patients)

    The lack of protective gear have prompted many frontliners to improvise, using readily available materials.

    As of Tuesday, March 13, the Philippines has 2,084 coronavirus cases, with 88 deaths and 49 recoveries. – Rappler.com

       
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