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Duterte to consider expert advice whether to extend or lift ECQ

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MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte will be considering expert advice in deciding whether to lift or extend the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to contain the spread of the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

In a virtual presser on Monday, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Duterte will deliberate on the recommendation made by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

The task force will decide on the possible lifting or extension based on trends in the Covid-19 epidemiological curve including the doubling time, acceleration, and deceleration of new cases, he said.

He said the IATF-EID will also decide based on the health care system’s capacity including the number and availability of quarantine, isolation, and treatment facilities; the capability to mount contact tracing; availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) to front-liners; and the testing capacity of the country.

Social, economic factors, and security factors will also be considered, he added.

“We would like to reiterate that an IATF Technical Working Group (TWG) led by the DOH (Department of Health) has been directed to apply the parameters for deciding on the eventual total or partial lifting of the ECQ in Luzon, the possible extension of its duration, or its expansion to other areas outside the contained area, subject to the approval, amendment or modification by the IATF,” he said.

He said the task force will be meeting Monday afternoon to discuss the possible lifting or extension of the quarantine.

Despite the task force’s recommendation, he said Duterte will have the final say.

“We will make the recommendations to the President. But ultimately, ultimately, si Pangulo po ang magdedesisyon (It will be the President to make the decision),” he said.

He also urged the public to support whatever the final decision of the President.

Kung anuman ang magiging desisyon namin (Whatever will be our decision) whether it’s today or tomorrow or sa makalawa or sa susunod na mga araw ay magkaisa po tayo at suportahan po natin ano man ang maging desisyon na iyan (the following day or days, let’s unite and support whatever decision it is),” he said.

Earlier, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte will make his decision “in due time.”

He said Duterte recognizes that lifting the quarantine as scheduled on April 12 “might wipe out the gains we have so far achieved in containing the virus.”

“The President is all ears and eyes on this unfolding reality and expert opinions. He is evaluating the best option to take that will effectively ensure the success of our war against this wily and faceless global enemy. He will make his decision in due time,” he said in a statement.

Earlier, Peace Adviser and National Task Force (NTF) Covid-19 chief implementer, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., said the government is currently studying whether to extend the quarantine for another 15 to 20 days after its scheduled end on April 12.

He said the next two weeks will be critical for observation since it has yet to be seen whether the quarantine has resulted in any significant flattening of the curve or decrease in the cases of infected persons.

The government is expected to start mass testing on April 14 to help the government efficiently identify, isolate, and treat those patients who have tested positive for the disease.

As of Sunday, there are a total of 3,246 confirmed Covid-19 cases with 152 deaths while 64 have recovered from the disease. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

DOLE distributes P600-M assistance to nearly 200K workers

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Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello

MANILA – Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello on Monday said almost 200,000 formal and informal workers received PHP600 million cash assistance from the government.

In a Laging Handa briefing over PTV-4, Bello said workers affected by the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine to contain coronavirus disease (Covid-19) received one-time PHP5,000 cash assistance each.

“As of yesterday, we have already approved the application of 102,855 formal workers and we already paid PHP514 million. Sa informal workers we already approved 72,703 beneficiaries and we already paid them PHP107 million,” he said.

The workers from formal sector benefited from the Covid 19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) while those from informal sector were compensated under Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD)-Barangay ko, Bahay Ko (BKBK) program.

Bello said DOLE is still targeting 350,000 workers by the middle of April.

“We are still targeting 115,000 formal workers up to April 14. Sa informal workers we are targeting 235,000,” he said.

He said the anti-Covid-19 measures are expected to affect 1.8 million workers.

“Kaya siguro (That’s why) we will have to ask for additional budgets allotment from the national government,” he said.

Laudable move

Meanwhile, a labor group lauded the move of the government to increase the DOLE’s budget for cash assistance and cash for work schemes for affected workers by the one-month quarantine.

“The additional budget will help minimize restiveness among a huge swath of unemployed employees and their families desperate for cash assistance and those on the brink of starvation and poverty,” said Gerard Seno, executive vice president of the Associated Labor Unions (ALU).

Seno said there is still a wide deficit on the number of beneficiaries who have yet to receive the cash from DOLE three weeks into the lockdown due to constraints in payroll submission and other stringent requirements.

He urged the government to trim down such requirements and allow companies to submit their certified list of employees with verifiable contact numbers so that remittance center immediately verify recipients. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

DOH: Too early to say if trend of COVID-19 cases in PH going down

in Latest News

MANILA, Philippines — It is too early to tell if COVID-19 cases in the country are on a downtrend, the Department of Health said Monday, as it appealed for more time to determine if the situation is really easing.

Health Secretary Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire noted during a virtual press briefing that the government has just expanded the country’s capacity for COVID-19 tests.

“Hindi pa natin masasabi kung bumababa na ang curve o ang bilang ng mga kaso ng COVID-19 sa ating bansa,” she said. “Maaga pa upang makapagsabi tayo kung bumababa na o patuloy na tumataas ang bilang ng kaso… Kailangan pa natin ng mas masusing pag-aaral.”

(We cannot say yet if the curve has al…

Keep on reading: DOH: Too early to say if trend of COVID-19 cases in PH going down

DFA: Total COVID-19 cases among overseas Filipinos now 535

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Published April 6, 2020, 8:13 PM

By Roy Mabasa

The Philippines has recorded 10 new cases of Filipinos abroad who have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the latest total number to 535 as of April 6.

Based on the latest infographic released by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the 10 new cases involving Filipino nationals comprise 6 deaths, three undergoing treatment, and one who has recovered or was released from the hospital.

In terms of overall deaths, the DFA noted a “sudden spike with an increasing trend” in the Americas since the start of of April compared to all other regions as reported by the World Health Organization.

As for COVID-19’s effect on Filipinos abroad, the DFA said the week started with a reduced number of

Read More DFA: Total COVID-19 cases among overseas Filipinos now 535

Photo Credit: Manila Bulletin

Trump sees limits of presidency in avoiding blame for virus

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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is confronting the most dangerous crisis a U.S. leader has faced this century as the coronavirus spreads and a once-vibrant economy falters. As the turmoil deepens, the choices he makes in the critical weeks ahead will shape his reelection prospects, his legacy and the character of the nation.

The early fallout is sobering. In the White House’s best-case scenario, more than 100,000 Americans will die and millions more will be sickened. At least 10 million have already lost their jobs, and some economists warn it could be years before they find work again. The S&P 500 index has plunged more than 20%, and the U.S. surgeon general predicted o…

Keep on reading: Trump sees limits of presidency in avoiding blame for virus

SoCot hospital for Covid-19 PUIs now fully-functional

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Dr. Rogelio Aturdido Jr., head of the South Cotabato Integrated Provincial Health Office. (PNA GenSan file photo)

GENERAL SANTOS CITY — The South Cotabato provincial government opened on Sunday a dedicated hospital that will handle patients with suspected severe symptoms of the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

Dr. Rogelio Aturdido, head of the South Cotabato Integrated Provincial Health (IPHO), said Monday the Upper Valley Community Hospital (UVCH) in Surallah town is now “fully functional” and ready to accept referrals for Covid-19 patients under investigation (PUIs).

Aturdido said the “Covid hospital,” manned by government and private doctors, has an initial capacity of 20 beds and complete intensive care unit or ICU setup but these could be expanded later on depending on the need and available resources.

Aturdido said the facility has a delivery room for pregnant patients and they are working on the installation of a dialysis machine for those needing such treatment.

“Our only problem right now is the additional human resources, especially doctors and nurses,” he said in a press briefing in Koronadal City.

The official said the hospital, which had transferred its previous patients to other facilities in the province, will mainly accommodate new Covid-19 PUIs, especially those with severe acute respiratory illness (Sari) symptoms.

He said patients will be referred to the facility upon the assessment and recommendation of the IPHO and Municipal Health Offices (MHO).

Aturdido made it clear that the hospital will not accommodate walk-in patients and advised residents suffering from suspected symptoms to seek help first with their barangay health emergency response teams (BHERTS).

The BHERTS will then endorse them to the MHOs and the IPHO for proper examination, he said.   

As of 5 p.m. Sunday, Aturdido said the province has a total of 47 PUIs, with 25 having severe acute respiratory infection symptoms and admitted in various hospitals.

He said 27 patients have already tested negative for Covid-19 while the test results of 16 others were still pending at the Southern Philippines Medical Center laboratory.

Among those who tested negative were two of the nine PUIs in the province who died due to suspected disease symptoms. Four of the deceased patients were not tested for the disease.

The province’s lone confirmed Covid-19 case, a 52-year-old male from Tboli town who had travel history to Manila, remains in stable condition and currently undergoing strict home quarantine.

Aturdido said they have completed the contact-tracing of persons who had made contact with the patient and none of them showed any sign and symptom of the disease so far.

“We don’t have a local or community transmission of Covid-19 as of this time,” he added. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

Zambo jail gives out relief goods to poor families

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AID TO POOR FAMILIES. Bureau of Jail Management and Penology personnel assigned at the Zamboanga City Jail distribute food packs to poor families in Barangay Zone 1, Zamboanga City on Sunday (April 5, 2020). The aid seeks to cushion the impact of the enhanced community quarantine imposed to contain the 2019 coronavirus disease. (Photo courtesy of SJO1 Rey Laurence Comprendio)

ZAMBOANGA CITY — The Zamboanga City Jail (ZCJ) has provided aid to 80 poor families through its ‘Tulong Para sa Bayan” initiative to cushion the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Senior Jail Officer 1 (SJO1) Rey Laurence Comprendio said Monday they launched the outreach program in response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s call of “malasakit” spirit amid the health crisis.

Comprendio said the beneficiaries of the relief goods’ distribution on Sunday were the residents of Barangay Zone 1, where the ZCJ is located.

Comprendio said the food packs came from the contributions of the ZCJ personnel.

He said the program also forms part of the jail management’s social responsibility “to give back to the community for their support, especially this time of crisis”.

The relief goods distribution was initiated by Chief Insp. Nathaniel Aljas, warden of ZCJ, a Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP)-administered facility. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

CDO pastor nabbed for defying quarantine rules to post bail

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ARRESTED. Police officers escort Pastor Alfred Caslam out his church in Cagayan de Oro City on Sunday (April 5, 2020) for defying quarantine protocols aimed to contain the spread of 2019 coronavirus disease. The church service was attended by around 500 people, breaching the physical distancing protocol. (Photo by Reynan Baylin/City Information Office)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY — The religious leader who was detained on Sunday for breaching quarantine protocols is set to post bail, police said.

Capt. Sebastian Chua Jr., chief at the Divisoria police station, said Monday, that the lawyer representing Pastor Alfred Caslam has already petitioned a local court for bail that would give the pastor temporary liberty while his case is being heard.

Several complaints have been filed against the church leader who allegedly defied government regulations on mass gathering and physical distancing by holding a worship service involving some 500 parishioners.

Chua said Caslam is facing a case for alleged violation of section 9 (d) of Republic Act 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act.

The law prohibits “non-cooperation of persons and entities that should report and/or respond to notifiable diseases or health events of public concern”.

Chua said Caslam is also facing charges for violating local executive orders prohibiting mass gatherings of people and observance of social distancing to contain the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

It was not immediately known if Caslam’s petition for bail was granted by the court Monday afternoon.

In a text message sent to reporters late Sunday, the Cagayan de Oro Evangelical Council (CEC) condemned Caslam’s arrest.

“The CEC supports Pastor Alfred Caslam, who was arrested by authorities because of the divine service his ministry conducted,” the group said.

“We feel that constitutional provisions which state the Freedom of Religion was violated, and the principle of the Separation of the Church and State was disregarded,” it added.

The CEC said, “no executive order or statutes can supersede the Constitution for it is the Supreme and fundamental laws of the land.”

“Rev. Caslam was arrested and handcuffed as if he is a criminal. We strongly condemned such atrocity for shaming the servant of God. We rally behind Rev. Caslam even in the court of law,” it said. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

Faithful urged to observe Holy Week via online 'Visita Iglesia'

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MANILA – The faithful can observe Holy Week practices through an online Visita Iglesia as the enhanced community quarantine against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) remains in effect.

Monsignor Pedro Quitorio, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Media Office director, said the online Church activity was introduced nine years ago to cater to Filipinos overseas who are away during the annual Church occasion.

“Since 2011, Visita Iglesia has been serving Filipinos in foreign countries where going to physical church or parish was difficult or impossible. It also helped Filipino seafarers, the sick and those, for one reason or another, could not make it to churches during Lent, Holy Week and Easter,” he said in a statement.

Considering the present situation where all liturgy in physical churches are closed, Quitorio said Visita Iglesia continues to be a portal for online retreats, catechesis, and liturgical celebrations.

Aside from virtually visiting churches, he said the faithful can also attend live Eucharistic celebrations.

“In online Visita Iglesia, one can pray the ‘pasyon,’ stations of the cross, virtually visit churches on Holy Thursday, and attend live online celebrations masses and other liturgical activities,” Quitorio added.

The online Visita Iglesia can be accessed at

This year’s Holy Week observance falls from April 5 (Palm Sunday) to April 12 (Easter Sunday).

Earlier, the CBCP has launched an online platform where the faithful can request for Mass intentions while the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine is still in effect.

The people may submit their prayer requests for thanksgiving, petitions, and for the repose of the soul, at the CBCP News website. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

Duterte won’t need to get retested for Covid-19

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Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo 

MANILA – There won’t be a need for President Rodrigo Duterte to undergo a second round of testing for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), Malacañang said on Monday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte remains “fit and healthy” and does not exhibit any symptoms of Covid-19 such as colds, cough, fever, sore throat or shortness of breath.

He said Duterte was not exposed to Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, the first Cabinet Secretary who tested positive for Covid-19.

“No need for a 2nd Covid test. He was not exposed to Sec. (Eduardo) Año prior to March 26 when the latter was exposed to four persons confirmed infected with the virus,” he said in a message to reporters.

Last March 12, Duterte and former aide, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, underwent tests for Covid-19 at Bahay Pagbabago in Malacañan. Both their results came out negative.

Go said it was only “prudent” for them to get tested since at least two Cabinet members announced that they would go on self-quarantine after having exposure to infected persons.

Malacañan Palace, particularly areas frequented by Duterte, was temporarily closed for disinfection on March 12.

Duterte decided to stay at Malacañan Palace during the month-long enhanced community quarantine to oversee his administration’s efforts to reduce the transmission of Covid-19.

The Luzon-wide quarantine set to expire on April 12.

Panelo said Duterte will decide whether to lift or extend the community quarantine based on the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID). (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

Gov’t praises health workers days before Day of Valor

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MANILA – The government praised health workers anew for working despite the constant threat to their lives posed by the 2019 coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), just days before the country commemorates the Araw ng Kagitingan (Day of Valor) on April 9.

Cabinet Secretary and Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) Spokesperson Karlo Nograles said that despite Day of Valor being remembered as a time to honor the sacrifices of soldiers during World War II, history shows that every generation produces “its own set of heroes”.

“For the past few weeks, as the country and the whole world has grappled with the Covid-19 pandemic, our heroes have been our health workers and all our front-liners who continue to work despite the constant threat to their lives and their well-being. They are our real-life, real-time heroes,” he said in a virtual presser on Monday.

Besides health workers, he also considered overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) as modern-day heroes for keeping the economy afloat through their remittances.

He denounced anew acts of discrimination inflicted upon front-liners and Covid-19 cases, whether confirmed or suspected, recovered or undergoing treatment, patients under investigation (PUI) and persons under monitoring (PUM).

Earlier, he said the IATF-EID approved a resolution, urging the local government units (LGUs) to impose appropriate sanctions against persons who discriminate health workers, Covid-19 patients, suspected carriers, and even OFWs.

He said the government will act on cases of discrimination after the Department of Justice (DOJ) earlier offered health workers with legal assistance if they have experienced discrimination.

Violators will also be slapped with criminal, civil, and administrative charges, he added.

Last Friday (April 3), stones were hurled at the residence of a family after they admitted that four more members tested positive for Covid-19. The 70-year-old patriarch had died from the viral disease last March 29.

RapidPasses not required

While RapidPasses may be used by front-liners and other individuals exempted from the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine to facilitate faster travel through quarantine checkpoints, Nograles said these are not required.

“The RapidPass will be available to everyone but it will not be required. Puwede pa rin magpakita ng ID o documents para makadaan sa checkpoint (They can still show their ID or documents to pass through checkpoints),” he said.

Front-liners including health workers, those transporting essential goods, even without RapidPasses, are already allowed to pass through checkpoints with minimal interference with or without RapidPasses.

Nograles said exempted individuals can apply for RapidPasses on the website

Once their application is verified and approved, they will receive a QR code, which they can either print or save on their device.

Those without IDs can simply present their control number to the checkpoint personnel along with a valid ID, he added.

The RapidPass System was developed by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Information and Communications Technology, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, and DEVCON Community of Technology eXperts (DCTx), a non-profit digital solutions developer.

It will be available in all 56 checkpoints in National Capital Region (NCR) but will be first rolled out in the busiest checkpoints, such as the one at the Marikina-Marcos Highway.

This system will only last until the end of the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon on April 12 unless an extension is approved. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

BARMM LGUs use cutting-edge maps for Covid-19 emergency response

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The administrative building of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in Cotabato City. (Photo by BPI-BARMM)

COTABATO CITY – Several local government units (LGUs) n Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao are now using thematic overlay maps as graphic indicators for 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) hotspots, among others.

The new tools were made possible through the help of International Alert Philippines (IAP), a peacebuilding non -government organization, which produced the large format printed digital maps.

The maps show the spatial features of provincial, municipal, and barangay boundaries, road and river networks, geohazard vulnerabilities, and conflict flashpoints in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

“Places where Covid- 19 cases emerge or are concentrated, can then be superimposed into these maps, enabling LGUs to respond more effectively and quickly to areas and communities where virus infections, local vulnerabilities, and violent tensions and pressures converge,” the IAP said in a statement Monday.

IAP further said that local Covid-19 inter-agency task forces using the advanced maps in the BARMM so far are the LGUs) of Marantao, Piagapo, and Saguiaran in Lanao del Sur, and also the LGUs) of Parang, Barira, Buldon, and Matanog in Maguindanao.

Najib Zacaria, municipal disaster risk reduction officer and operations chief of Marantao, Lanao del Sur, reported that the physical maps with satellite imagery helped him and his team identify patients under investigation (PUIs) and persons under monitoring (PUMs) in the area.

“The maps also ensured that we were covering all the communities in our outreach areas, thereby preventing complaints and disputes,” Zakaria said.
May Quesada, municipal planning and development officer of Parang, Maguindanao, said that the maps enabled the Barangay Health Emergency Response Team (BHERT) to mark communities where the PUIs and PUMs are from and locate the nearest rural health units as possible isolation facility.

Nikki de la Rosa, IAP country manager, said that the maps were crafted from the outputs generated during a series of resource use and management planning (RUMP) workshops conducted in the aforementioned areas in 2019.

The RUMP program seeks to enable communities to employ geographic information system mapping technology in assessing local resources, surface land-related issues, and agree on utilization strategies informed by local conflict dynamics.

“The conflict maps included in the compendium provide information on conflict incidents and causes, whether these are violent extremist incidents, clan wars, illegal-drugs, and illegal-weapons related, common crimes, or killings related to political contestation,” De la Rosa said.

Saripada Pacasum Jr., head of the Early Response Network of Lanao del Sur (ERN-LDS) noted that they are seeing tensions rise because the virus has taken away the capacity of people to earn, deepening the hardship of people in Marawi who are already impoverished by war and displacement.

“Credible data should be the backbone of any planning and monitoring activity. The maps will certainly help planners allocate limited human and funding resources well,” Pacasum said.

ERN-LDS, a partner of IAP, is composed of local disaster risk reduction officers and volunteers across the province that monitors critical events in their localities and coordinate response to natural and human-induced disasters.

The IAP, which has been working alongside LGUs in the BARMM on various initiatives, receives funding support from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. (PNA)

Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency

DOH Bicol lists 2 new COVID-19 cases, including region’s first fatality

in Latest News

GUINOBATAN, Albay—The Department of Health (DOH) in Bicol recorded two new cases of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on Monday (April 6) including the first fatality in the region.

Naga City Mayor Nelson Legacion said a patient from Calauag village died only three hours after he was brought to a hospital in the city due to breathlessness and fever.

DOH Bicol confirmed this as the twelfth COVID-19 case in the region.

The patient, a 66-year-old man, was brought to Naga Imaging Center Cooperative Doctors Hospital (NICC) at 10 p.m. on April 2.

Around midnight, the patient was transferred to Bicol Medical Center where respiratory samples were taken from him, the mayor said.

Keep on reading: DOH Bicol lists 2 new COVID-19 cases, including region’s first fatality

PH carriers add wings to PPE deliveries, to get 170,000 sets from China

in Latest News

MANILA, Philippines — Local carriers Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific this week will airlift at least 170,000 sets of personal protective equipment (PPE) that the Philippine government had bought from China and direly needed by health workers in the fight against COVID-19.

Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr, chief enforcer of the National Task Force COVID-19, said that on Monday (April 6) and Wednesday (April 8) there would be flights from PAL and Cebu Pacific to pick up the PPE sets from China.

The shipment of 93,000 PPE sets on Monday and Wednesday would be for Luzon and National Capital Region hospitals, said Galvez.

Another shipment of 84,000 PPE sets on Thursday and Friday would …

Keep on reading: PH carriers add wings to PPE deliveries, to get 170,000 sets from China

Vietnamese hat seller turns to homemade face shields in virus fight

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Updated April 6, 2020, 8:01 PM

By Reuters

HANOI – For nearly three decades, Quach My Linh has sold hats at Ba Chieu market in Vietnam’s bustling Ho Chi Minh City.

But following a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the 42-year-old vendor has turned to making plastic face shields for frontline medical workers instead.

Quach My Linh, a hat vendor at Ba Chieu market, shows the plastic face masks with stickers that she makes to donate to hospitals during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, April 5, 2020. (REUTERS/Yen Duong/FILE PHOTO/MANILA BULLETIN)

“I was once a patient myself and I feel like my family owes doctors a lot”, said Linh, who received hospital treatment a few

Read More Vietnamese hat seller turns to homemade face shields in virus fight

Photo Credit: Manila Bulletin

Germany draws up plans to end lockdown after April 19

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Published April 6, 2020, 7:58 PM

By Reuters

BERLIN – Germany has drawn up a list of measures, including an obligation to wear masks in public, limits on public gatherings and the rapid tracing of infection chains, that officials think should allow life to return to normal after lockdown’s scheduled end on April 19.

An almost empty street is pictured as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Ruedesheim, Germany April 5, 2020. (REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/FILE PHOTO/MANILA BULLETIN)

The proposals, contained in a draft action plan compilied by the Interior Ministry document and seen by Reuters on Monday, say the measures should be sufficient to keep the number of people infected by each person below 1 even as public life is allowed gradually to resume.

Read More Germany draws up plans to end lockdown after April 19

Photo Credit: Manila Bulletin

Pump prices down for sixth week

in World News

In Photo: A gasoline attendant tends to customers at a petrol station in Makati City.

PUMP prices are still going down.

Oil firms said Monday they would implement a P0.35-per-liter reduction in gasoline products, P0.70 per liter for diesel and P0.75 per liter for kerosene.

Pilipinas Shell, Seaoil Philippines, Petro Gazz, PTT Philippines, Total Philippines and Phoenix Petroleum said they will implement the oil-price reduction at 6 am of April 7.

Other oil firms are expected to implement the same price adjustment.

This week’s oil-price adjustment is the sixth consecutive week of rollback.

Earlier, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi appealed to the local government units (LGUs) to allow at their checkpoints the delivery trucks transporting petroleum products.

Cusi reminded the LGUs that the transportation of energy and power products should not be hampered amid the enhanced community quarantine. These include diesel, liquefied petroleum gas,

Read More:

Photo Credit: BusinessMirror

DOH records 414 new COVID-19 cases, total in PH now 3,660

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Published April 6, 2020, 7:56 PM

By Betheena Kae Unite

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines jumped to 3,660 Monday after the Department of Health reported 414 new cases, 11 deaths, and nine new recoveries.

The total number of patients who died of the disease is now at 163 while the number of recoveries rose to 73.

In a virtual press briefing, Health Undersecretary Dr. Maria Rosario Vergeire said it is still “too early to say that the curve of COVID-19 cases in the country is descending.”

“Base sa trend na nakita natin nitong nakaraang linggo, hindi pa natin masasabi kung bumababa na ang curve o ang bilang ng kaso ng COVID-19 sa ating bansa. Maaga pa para makapagsabi tayo kung ito ay bumababa

Read More DOH records 414 new COVID-19 cases, total in PH now 3,660

Photo Credit: Manila Bulletin

PNP gears up for imminent extension of Luzon-wide quarantine

in Latest News

MANILA, Philippines — Even if the government has yet to decide on the extension or expansion of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Monday it is already preparing for such a probability.

According to PNP,among its preparations is the creation of the PNP Administrative Support to COVID-19 Operations Task Force (ASTF), which will ensure the “efficient” delivery of administrative support for the ongoing operations of Joint Task Force COVID-19 Shield.

PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa has designated Deputy Chief for Administration Lt. Gen. Camilo Cascolan as the task force commander with Directorial Staff chief Maj. Gen. Cesar Binag as a…

Keep on reading: PNP gears up for imminent extension of Luzon-wide quarantine

Global coronavirus death toll tops 70,000

in News

Published April 6, 2020, 7:33 PM

By Agence France-Presse

The new coronavirus has killed more than 70,000 people across the globe, the majority in Europe, according to an AFP tally Monday at 1100 GMT.

Out of a total of 70,009 killed in the pandemic, 50,215 are in Europe, according to figures compiled from official government data and the World Health Organization.

Italy is leading the global death toll with 15,877 fatalities, followed by Spain with 13,055, the United States with 9,648 and France with 8,078.


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Read More Global coronavirus death toll tops 70,000

Photo Credit: Manila Bulletin

UK PM Boris Johnson hospitalized with virus

in World News

In this November 22, 2019 file photo, Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson (right) and Health Minister Matt Hancock visit Bassetlaw District General Hospital on their General Election campaign in Worksop, England. Matt Hancock has tested positive for the new coronavirus on Friday, March 27, 2020, the same day as Johnson was confirmed to have Covid-19.

LONDON—British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to a hospital on Sunday for tests, his office said, because he is still suffering symptoms, 10 days after he was diagnosed with Covid-19.

Johnson’s office said the admission to an undisclosed London hospital came on the advice of his doctor and was not an emergency. The prime minister’s Downing St. office said it was a “precautionary step” and Johnson remains in charge of the government.

Johnson, 55, has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with

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