COVID-19 Crisis: Around 100 million vaccine doses in stock for the entire Philippines according to Galvez

Recently vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr., stated that the Philippines has more or less one hundred million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in stock, according to a Manila Bulletin news report. What is clearly lacking, however, is the specific brands for the current vaccine stockpile.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Manila Bulletin report. Some parts in boldface…

More or less 100 million doses of vaccines against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are still in the government’s stockpile and will be used to vaccinate some 28 million to 30 million Filipinos who remain unvaccinated.

Sec. Carlito Galvez, Jr., vaccine czar and chief implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID-19, said the remaining doses are also enough for the booster shots of 25 million Filipinos.

“Mayroon po tayong babakunahan pa na primary series o ‘yung unang bakuna sa 28-30 million na katao (We have 28 to 30 million people who are on our primary list or those who are yet to receive the vaccines,” said Galvez.

“Though ‘yung 100 million doses na nasa stockpile po natin ay sapat sa remaining primary series ng unvaccinated at para sa 25 million na eligible ngayong quarter for boosters (The 100 million doses in our stockpile are enough for the remaining primary series of unvaccinated and for the 25 million who are eligible for booster this (first) quarter),” he added.

As of January 10, a total of 114,263,805 vaccine doses have been administered nationwide. Of this number, 52,856,932 individuals are already fully vaccinated.

The vaccination and booster shots that are being eyed to be completed with the first quarter of this year (January to March) is part of the first milestone of the NTF Against COVID-19.

Galvez said they are also eyeing the completion of its target of vaccinating 90 million by the end of the second quarter.

As seen in the above article, there was no breakdown as to what brands of vaccines are part of the current national supply. As it is believed that the Omicron variant is the cause behind the current COVID-19 surge around the country, the national authorities as well as the local government units (LGUs) should seriously consider acquiring a lot more Sputnik vaccines (for more on Sputnik vaccines effectiveness against Omicron variant, click here and here) to really help entire nation. It’s high time for the Philippines to negotiate with their Russian counterparts for more Sputnik vaccines. Take note that the nation of Tunisia approved the use of the single-dose Sputnik Light vaccine as their universal booster.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Do you think that the current supply of COVID-19 vaccines for the entire Philippines will be fully used by the end of June 2022? Are you very conscious about what brands of vaccines the government keeps on ordering and receiving? Are there people in your local community who remain unvaccinated because of phobia towards vaccines or needles?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

COVID-19 Crisis: Philippine economy expected to grow 6% to 7% this year

Even though there are lots of news reports and social media updates about the current COVID-19 surge here in the Philippines, there is still the expectation that the national economy will grow 6% to 7% this year, according to an article published by the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Philippine News Agency article. Some parts in boldface…

The Philippine economy is expected to return to its 6 to 7-percent growth trajectory in 2022 after nearly two years of grappling with the pandemic despite the threat of the Omicron variant, according to the investment banking arm of the Metrobank Group.

First Metro Investment Corporation (FMIC) said this year’s economic growth will be driven by sustained domestic demand, easing inflation, election expenditures, and accelerated government spending on infrastructure projects.

“Notwithstanding the ongoing pandemic, and Omicron sparking the third wave of infections, we are still optimistic that Philippine growth will further accelerate and get back on its trajectory of 6-7 percent in 2022,” FMIC president Jose Patricio Dumlao said in a virtual briefing Tuesday.

Dumlao said the economy registered a 4.9-percent growth in the first three quarters of 2021 and the growth momentum likely spilled over in the fourth quarter given further economic reopening and easing mobility restrictions.

He added business and consumer confidence are also cautiously positive given wider availability of vaccines and relaxation of lockdowns, quarantine measures, and mobility restrictions.

University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) economist Dr. Victor Abola said the 6 to 7 percent gross domestic product (GDP) projection this year will be led by the industry sector –both construction and manufacturing.

Abola said services will still be the lagging sector as the pandemic measures hit hotels and restaurants.

“The Philippine situation is that there is recovery but still on the way to reach the pre-pandemic levels,” he said.

The country’s GDP posted a -9.5 percent full-year growth rate in 2020 compared to its 5.9 percent pre-pandemic performance in 2019.

Abola said the business process outsourcing (BPO) is a major contributor to the resiliency of the economy amid the pandemic.

“And it’s not the same as usual call centers, etc. You can see there are new, emerging segments and that is what companies are focusing on,” he said, citing insurance, life sciences, healthcare, and data analytics, among others.

Aside from BPO revenues, FMIC chairman Francisco Sebastian said the overseas Filipino workers (OFW) remittances are boosting the economy.

It would be nice to see such economic expectations come true because the Philippines still has yet to recover the massive economic loss of 2020 (the first year of the pandemic). Apart from COVID-19 infections, there is also the factor of governance linked with declaring restrictions that can get in the way of economic recovery and make things harder for everyone. Do not forget the August 2021 sudden ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) declaration (additional reference here) and the ban on outdoor exercise within the national capital region that the Metro Manila Council (MMC) and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) are responsible for. There was also the national government’s flip-flop on declaring quarantine statuses of September 2021. Think about all the economic damage caused by those three developments!

With the May 2022 national and local elections coming, we can only hope that those in government – especially the Metro Manila local government units – will set aside their egos and make decisions wisely. The nation’s economy cannot afford another massive lockdown as well!

With regards to the Omicron variant that was believed to be a factor behind the current COVID-19 surge around the country, the authorities should seriously consider acquiring a lot more Sputnik vaccines (for more on Sputnik vaccines effectiveness against Omicron variant, click here and here).

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Do you think that the Philippine economy will grow 6% to 7% this year even though there is a COVID-19 surge of new infections happening? Do you believe that government officials will do better in making hard decisions related to the current surge?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

COVID-19 Crisis: Muntinlupa City Council passes ordinance regulating movement of unvaccinated individuals

The Muntinlupa City Council passed an ordinance limiting the mobility of unvaccinated individuals following the consensus of Metro Manila mayors to enforce such restrictions.

Majority Floor Leader Coun. Raul Corro said the city council has approved an ordinance on Monday adapting MMDA Resolution No. 22-01 series of 2022 which urges Metro Manila Local Government Units to enact ordinances on the enhanced restrictions of the unvaccinated individuals and regulation of their mobility.

Corro added that the initiative is due to the alarming rise in active cases of COVID-19 and aims to pre-empt the adverse impact of the highly-transmissible Omicron variant.

Under the local ordinance, all unvaccinated individuals Muntinlupa shall “remain in their residences at all times except for the procurement of essential goods and services.”

Unvaccinated residents are also prohibited in indoor and al fresco dining in restaurants, food establishments, malls, hotels, event venues, sports and country clubs.

In addition, those who are not vaccinated will not be allowed domestic travel via public transportation by land, sea, and air except for the procurement of essential goods and services subject to the production of proof to support and justify such travel.

While those in the workforce who haven’t received their COVID-19 vaccine yet shall be required to undergo an RT-PCR test every two (2) weeks at their personal expense and present a COVID-19 negative result prior to being admitted for work onsite consistent with the guidelines, rules, and regulations issued by the IATF and the Department of Labor and Employment.

However, in the event that the RT-PCR test or result is not immediately available, a Rapid Antigen Test may be utilized in lieu thereof.

Under the new ordinance, vaccination cards or RT-PCR tests will also be required from the public and government officials. Those availing the services of the City and Barangay shall be required to present Vaccination Card or RT-PCR result, physical or digital copy, showing proof of their full vaccination or negative COVID-19 status before entering any government office.

Elected officials and employees of the City and Barangay Government are also enjoined to follow the new regulation.

Violators will be penalized with a fine of P5,000.00 or imprisonment of one year. Under Republic Act No. 11332, a fine of Php 20,000.00 to Php 50,000.00 or imprisonment of not less than one (1) month but not more than six (6) months may also be imposed to violators.

Meanwhile, those who will falsify COVID-19 vaccine cards shall be prosecuted under Act No. 3815 or the Revised Penal Code, as amended, pursuant to Section 12 of Republic Act No. 11525 or the COVID-19 Vaccination Program Act of 2021.

The restrictions shall also cover individuals who reside outside of Muntinlupa but who work and travel to the city. The ordinance will be in effect during Alert Level 3 or higher and shall be automatically lifted once Alert Level 2 or lower is declared.

Recently, the City Government has required vaccination card or RT-PCR negative test from the public who will visit the City Government offices.

Muntinlupa City Administrator Engr. Allan Cachuela issued a memorandum ordering security personnel in Muntinlupa City Hall and other local government offices to require visitors to present their vaccination card or a negative RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) test.

“Please be advised that everyone, including elected officials and department heads, entering the City Government of Muntinlupa (CGM) facilities must be required to present their Vaccination ID with proof that they are fully vaccinated (1st and 2nd dose) or they can present an RT –PCR  test result done within two (2) weeks,” the local memorandum states.

The cost of RT-PCR test will be charged at the expense of the visiting public.

Meanwhile, employees found in violation of the order will be administratively sanctioned in accordance with the CSC rules and regulations.

As of January 9, Muntinlupa City has 29,408 confirmed cases with 27,131 recoveries, 1,695 active cases, 582 reported deaths, 0 suspect case, and 770 probable cases.

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The above information was sourced from an official press release. Some parts were changed for this website.

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  HavenorFantasy@twitter.com as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: More police personnel deployed in malls and hotels in Muntinlupa City due to rising cases

The Muntinlupa City Police Station recently deployed additional personnel and roving teams in malls and hotels amid the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the city.

MCPS chief-of-police Col. Melecio Buslig ordered the deployment of additional policemen in local malls to help implement the “No Vax Card, No Entry” policy.

Earlier, Metro Manila mayors signed MMDA Resolution 22-01, series of 2022 imposing restrictions and regulation on the movement of unvaccinated individuals, except for essential trips.

Col. Buslig and members of Muntinlupa City Health Office have also visited local hotels which serve as Quarantine Facilities for returning Overseas Filipino Workers for monitoring and inspection.

Local officials held a dialogue and lateral coordination with the Managers and Security Officers of the hotels on their concerns in implementing quarantine policies and reiterated the deployment of additional personnel in their hotel to apprehend any violators.

Further, Muntinlupa CHO ramped up its COVID-19 testing activities and vaccination efforts. At the Museo ng Muntinlupa grounds, city residents are lining up to undergo rapid SARS-CoV-2 antigen and RT-PCR testing.

Those who test positive for COVID-19 are endorsed to quarantine facilities if requirements for home quarantine are not met. Under City Ordinance 2020-106, all COVID-19 cases including asymptomatic, mild, probable, suspected cases, and close contacts are mandated to undergo quarantine at home or in the city’s isolation facilities.

In addition, the City Government activated its “Rolling Bakuna” for mobile vaccination at the Muntinlupa Sports Complex in Bgy. Tunasan to inoculate people.

As of January 5, at least 444,539 doses of COVID-19 vaccine were administered in the city or 116% of the target. Of the total, 369,044 were fully vaccinated or 96% of the target. While, at least 29,029 received their booster shot.

Meanwhile, the City Government launched the pre-registration of minors aged 5 to 11 years old for COVID-19 vaccination.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi urged parents and guardians to register their children to the Muntinlupa City COVID-19 Vaccination Program (MunCoVac) as protection from the adverse effect of COVID-19.

Muntinlupa residents under the 5-11 age group may be pre-registered online through the city’s COVID-19 vaccination registration system www.vaccine.muntinlupacity.gov.ph/muncovac. The public may choose the category “Pediatric A3 (5-11 yrs. old)” for those with co-morbidities and category “Pediatric/Rest of the Pediatric Population (5-11 yrs. old)” for well-child population or those without co-morbidities.

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The above information was sourced from an official press release. Some parts were changed for this website.

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  HavenorFantasy@twitter.com as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: Parañaque City’s new executive order targets unvaccinated individuals as well as local businesses

Individuals in Parañaque City who remain unvaccinated for COVID-19 will have to brace themselves for a more restrictive form of new normal living within the city as a new executive order was approved to regulate them as well as local businesses, according to a Manila Bulletin news report.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the report of the Manila Bulletin. Some parts in boldface…

Paranaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez signed an executive order on Tuesday (Jan. 4) regulating the movement of unvaccinated individuals in the city while the National Capital Region (NCR) is under Alert Level 3.

Olivarez, in his order, stated that unvaccinated individuals must stay at home at all times and can only go out to buy essential goods.

The police and barangays were also ordered to reprimand or issue citation tickets to individuals found violating the order.

He warned individuals as well as business establishment owners against using fake COVID-19 vaccination cards and certificates.

The mayor also asked the Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO) to conduct monitoring on all business establishments in the city to make sure that only vaccinated individuals are allowed to work on site and must show proof of vaccination certificate from the Department of Health (DOH) and vaccination ID from the local government.

The above report ended stating that business establishments are also prohibited from catering or allowing the entry of unvaccinated individuals into their premises.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a resident of Parañaque City who still is unvaccinated, do you find the new executive order discriminating or excessive with regulating you? If you are managing a business in the city, do you think the local authorities will be fair when it comes to monitoring the individuals (both vaccinated and unvaccinated) entering your business location? Is the City Government doing the right thing? Will this new executive order make life worse in the city? Do you think that the new executive order will present the spread of Omicron, Delta and Lambda variants in the city at all?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: Philippines should have more Sputnik vaccines to combat Omicron variant

While it is nice to know that my native Philippines has secured over two hundred million doses of COVID-19 vaccines and the vaccination operations around the country include the issuance of booster shots, I honestly believe that more Sputnik vaccines (Sputnik V, Sputnik Light and the upcoming new Sputnik vaccine designed with Omicron in mind) are needed in the country and more of them should be secured especially since the Omicron variant is infecting more people locally.

In 2021, the Philippines received millions of Sputnik V vaccines but too little of the single-dose Sputnik Light. Good thing that the Philippines will negotiate for more Sputnik Light vaccines because in recent news, Sputnik Light has been approved in Tunisia as a universal booster!

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the SputnikVaccine.com press release. Some parts in boldface…

Moscow, December 29, 2021 – The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund) announces the approval of the Russian one-shot Sputnik Light vaccine against coronavirus as a universal booster shot by Tunisia’s Ministry of Health.

Sputnik Light is based on recombinant human adenovirus serotype number 26 (the first component of Sputnik V). A one-shot vaccination regimen of Sputnik Light provides for ease of administration and helps to increase efficacy and duration of other vaccines when used as a booster shot. Sputnik Light has already been authorized in more than 30 countries.

Clinical studies and the real-world data in many countries have demonstrated that Sputnik Light is a safe and effective vaccine when used both on a standalone basis and as a booster.

A study in Argentina on heterogeneous regimens combining Sputnik Light and vaccines produced by AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, Moderna and Cansino has demonstrated that Sputnik Light is an effective universal booster. Each “vaccine cocktail” combination with Sputnik Light provided higher antibody titer on 14th day after administering the second dose as compared to original homogenous (same vaccine as first and second dose) regimens of each of the vaccines.

A preliminary study of the Gamaleya Center has found Sputnik Light significantly increases virus neutralizing activity against Omicron based on sera 2-3 months after revaccination with 100% of individuals revaccinated with Sputnik Light as a booster having developed neutralizing antibodies against this variant. Sputnik Light booster is recommended to strengthen efficacy of vaccines against Omicron. Boosting by Sputnik Light can strengthen and lengthen the quickly waning efficacy of many vaccines in light of combined Delta and Omicron challenge.

Sputnik Light efficacy data:

  • Sputnik Light has been proven to be safe and highly effective by real-world vaccination data. In particular, data from the Ministry of Health of Buenos Aires (Argentina) has demonstrated standalone efficacy of Sputnik Light between 78.6-83.7% among the elderly (over 40,000 people of 60-79 years old), which is higher than that of many two-dose vaccines.
  • Findings by the Gamaleya Center based on data collected in Moscow have demonstrated Sputnik Light vaccine administered standalone has 70% efficacy against infection from the Delta variant of coronavirus during the first three months after vaccination. The vaccine is 75% effective among subjects under the age of 60. Sputnik V and Sputnik Light are based on a safe and effective human adenoviral vector platform and have not been associated with rare serious adverse events following vaccination, such as myocarditis or pericarditis.

Previously, it has been declared that Sputnik V and Sputnik Light are highly effective against the Omicron variant (referencing an article published in Vaccines medical journal and international real-world data from numerous countries) and Gamaleya itself conducted a preliminary study confirming the findings.

As for the Omicron variant situation here in the Philippines, Sputnik vaccines would be more crucial for public health especially since there are many Filipinos who have been vaccinated with the Sinovac vaccine which according to a recent study was found to be weaker versus Omicron. Once the Sinovac protection has faded away, there is the potential of a wave of new COVID-19 infections caused by the Omicron variant. Right now, we can only hope that the Philippines is negotiating with their counterparts in Russia to acquire many millions of new doses of Sputnik V, Sputnik Light and the upcoming new Sputnik (designed with Omicron in mind).

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Have you been vaccinated previously with Sputnik V or Sputnik Light? If you were fully vaccinated with Sinovac, do you prefer a Sputnik vaccine to be your booster shot?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

COVID-19 Crisis: Muntinlupa City Hall to require vaccination card or RT-PCR test from visitors

Following the consensus of Metro Manila mayors to impose restrictions regulating the movement of unvaccinated individuals, the City Government of Muntinlupa will be requiring vaccination card or RT-PCR negative test from the public who will visit City Government offices.

Muntinlupa City Administrator Engr. Allan Cachuela issued a memorandum ordering security personnel in Muntinlupa City Hall and other local government offices to require visitors to present their vaccination card or a negative RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) test.

“Please be advised that everyone, including elected officials and department heads, entering the City Government of Muntinlupa (CGM) facilities must be required to present their Vaccination ID with proof that they are fully vaccinated (1st and 2nd dose) or they can present an RT –PCR  test result done within two (2) weeks,” the local memorandum states.

The cost of RT-PCR test will be charged at the expense of the visiting public.

Meanwhile, employees found in violation of the order will be administratively sanctioned in accordance with the CSC rules and regulations. The Muntinlupa City Council is set to pass an ordinance for the tightening of mobility restrictions for unvaccinated individuals.

Muntinlupa City Health Office (CHO) has recorded a significant increase in active cases following the celebration of the holidays and New Year’s Eve. From five (5) active cases last December 20, 2021, it has spiked to 295 active cases last January 3, 2021.

Muntinlupa CHO chief Dr. Juancho Bunyi urged the public to take extra caution and strictly follow the minimum public health protocols amid the increase in COVID-19 cases in the city. Bunyi also appealed to city residents to get vaccinated as protection from the adverse effects of the virus.

City residents may register online through the city’s COVID-19 vaccination registration system via www.vaccine.muntinlupacity.gov.ph/muncovac.

The local health officer earlier advised the strengthening of contact tracers and barangay health emergency response teams (BHERTs) and strict implementation of mandatory quarantine of COVID-19 positive individuals to isolation facilities.

Under City Ordinance 2020-106, all COVID-19 cases including asymptomatic, mild, probable, suspected cases, and close contacts are mandated to undergo quarantine at home or in the city’s isolation facilities if requirements for home quarantine are not met as certified by CHO.

As of January 3, Muntinlupa City has a total of 27,917 confirmed cases, 27,043 recoveries, 579 reported deaths, 1 suspect case, and 60 probable cases.

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The above information was sourced from an official press release. Some parts were changed for this website.

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  HavenorFantasy@twitter.com as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: Metro Manila mayors approve resolution restricting unvaccinated people

The new year of 2022 is already challenging for the Philippines with the daily count of new COVID-19 infections averaging in the thousands the past few days. For the people who still remain unvaccinated, their movements within Metro Manila will be restricted as the mayors of the metropolis approved a new resolution and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos confirmed it, according to a Manila Bulletin news report.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Manila Bulletin report. Some parts in boldface…

Metro Manila (mayors) have agreed to implement a lockdown on all the unvaccinated individuals in the metropolis as part of the measure to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) amid the rising number of cases in the National Capital Region (NCR) in the past days.

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benhur Abalos said this was agreed in principle by all the 17 mayors of Metro Manila during the meeting help on Sunday and was embodied on the resolution approved by the Metro Manila Council.

The move is also aimed at protecting unvaccinated individuals, what with the report from the Department of Health that more or less 85 percent of severe cases of COVID it monitored in various hospitals are those who have not been inoculated against the deadly virus.

“This was what they agreed (during the meeting). Those unvaccinated, they shall remain at their residence at all times,” said Abalos in a press briefing on Monday morning, Jan. 3.

He said unvaccinated individuals would only be allowed to go out of their houses if they would buy essential goods like food, water or medicine or avail of essential services that are mostly relating to medical services, energy and work.

While unvaccinated individuals would not be deprived to do exercises, Abalos said their movement would be limited in areas near their homes like inside the subdivision, puroks or even within the barangay.

Abalos also emphasized that unvaccinated (individuals) will not be allowed to travel and even do leisure activities like going to the malls, tourist spots and other popular leisure areas and would be even allowed to dine both inside and outside any restaurants and other dining establishments.

“This is like implementing ECQ (Enhanced Community Quarantine which is the highest lockdown measures) but only for the unvaccinated. This is also for their own protection,” said Abalos.

How about unvaxxed workers?

Abalos explained that work-related activities are exempted from the restrictions that were approved by the Metro Manila mayors for the unvaccinated individuals.

The catch, however, is that unvaccinated workers have to undergo RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction which is the most accurate test for COVID-19) every two weeks and that they have to present them to their work places as a matter of policy that was ordered by the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).

Another problem for unvaccinated workers on this policy is that they are the ones who would shoulder the cost of the RT-PCR which costs ranges from P2,500 to P4,000 per test.

In the event that the RT-PCR result is not readily available as it takes time before the result is obtained, Abalos said unvaccinated workers must undergo antigen test, also at their expense.

Vax card as ‘passport’

During the briefing Abalos emphasized the importance of the vaccination card for those who want to move around Metro Manila and for those who want to enter the National Capital Region.

He said the vaccination cards served as the passports to all establishments–in compliance with the IATF order.

“So you need to carry vaccination cards at all times. And aside from vaccination card, the bearer should also have an identification to verify that he or she is indeed the person in the vaccination card,” said Abalos.

He, however, warned against availing fake vaccination cards, saying they would be punished by existing laws.

The same warning was given to establishment owners that would fail to implement the need to present vaccination cards for their clients and customers.

“We are expecting the malls and other establishments to adjust the protocols… So I appeal to the public to follow these rules as a way of cooperating with the government in the fight against COVID-19,” said Abalos.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What can you say about this latest development? If you are unvaccinated until now, does this latest news compel you to finally go out and join the line for the free vaccines? Do you think the Metro Manila mayors made the right decision with the reported resolution dealing with the unvaccinated? If you are indeed unvaccinated, do you feel oppressed by the Metro Manila mayors’ approved resolution? Do you trust MMDA chairman Abalos at all?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: Alert Level 3 in Metro Manila takes effect today

In case you missed the news, the daily count of new COVID-19 infections around the Philippines has gone up sharply since the last few days of December 2021. On the evening of December 31, it was announced by the national government that Metro Manila will be placed under Alert Level status starting today – January 3, 2022 – until the 15th.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Philippine News Agency’s article. Some parts in boldface…

The alert level status in Metro Manila will be raised anew from the current Level 2 to Alert Level 3 from Jan. 3 to 15, 2022, Malacañang announced on Friday night.

In a public announcement, acting presidential spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) decided to shift to a more stringent alert level status as the country saw a spike in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections.

“Nakita naman natin sa mga nakaraang araw ay nag-increase exponentially ang mga kaso dahil sa Holiday activities kung saan tumaas ang movement ng mga tao at bumaba ang compliance sa minimum public health standards. Isa rin sa dahilan ang detection ng local cases ng Omicron variant (We saw an exponential rise during the past days because of the Holiday activities where there were increased movement and compliance with minimum public health standards may have been disregarded. Local cases of the Omicron variant were also detected),” he said.

Nograles added that an increase in Covid-19 positive cases is expected in the succeeding days thus, the IATF’s decision

After 12 days of active cases below 10,000, the number increased to 10,418 on December 29 and was at 14,233 by year-end after 2,961 new cases.

The Department of Health also confirmed 10 new cases of the Omicron variant, with three already recovered.

Nograles cited a “high possibility” of local transmission of the Omicron variant.

Under Alert Level 3, establishments or activities shall be allowed to operate or be undertaken at a maximum of 30 percent indoor venue capacity for fully vaccinated individuals only and 50 percent outdoor venue capacity, provided that all workers of the establishments are fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

Movements

Intrazonal and interzonal movement are still allowed, however, reasonable restrictions may be imposed by the LGUs, which should not be stricter as those prescribed under higher alert levels and subject to the oversight, monitoring, and evaluation of their respective Regional IATF.

Those below 18 years of age, and those belonging to the vulnerable population, shall be allowed access to obtain essential goods and services, or for work in permitted industries and offices in accordance with existing labor laws, rules, and regulations. Individual outdoor exercises shall also be allowed for all ages regardless of comorbidities or vaccination status. 2.

Prohibited activities

Meanwhile, the following establishments and activities that are considered high-risk for transmission under Alert Level 3 are not allowed:

  1. Face to face or in-person classes for basic education, except those earlier permitted by the IATF and Office of the President;
  2. Contact sports, except those conducted under bubble-type setup, as provided for under relevant guidelines adopted by the IATF, Games and Amusement Board, and Philippine Sports Commission, and approved by the LGU where such games shall be held;
  3. Funfairs/carnivals and kid amusement industries like playgrounds, playroom, and kiddie rides;
  4. Venues with live voice or wind-instrument performers and audiences such as in karaoke bars, clubs, concert halls, and theaters;
  5. Casinos, horse racing, cockfighting and operation of cockpits, lottery and betting shops, and other gaming establishments, except those that will be allowed by the IATF or Office of the President; and
  6. Gatherings in residences with individuals not belonging to the same household.

Allowed activities

He said allowed activities under Alert Level 3 at a maximum of 30% indoor venue capacity for fully vaccinated individuals only and 50% outdoor venue capacity are the following: 

  1. Venues for meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE);
  2. Permitted venues for social events such as parties, wedding receptions, engagement parties, wedding anniversaries, debut and birthday parties, family reunions, and bridal or baby showers; 
  1. Visitor or tourist attractions such as libraries, archives, museums, galleries, exhibits, parks, plazas, public gardens, scenic viewpoints or overlooks, and the like;
  2. Amusement parks or theme parks;
  3. Recreational venues such as internet cafes, billiard halls, amusement arcades, bowling alleys, skating rinks, archery halls, swimming pools, and similar venues;
  4. Cinemas and movie houses;
  5. Limited face-to-face or in-person classes for higher education and for technical-vocational education and training;
  6. In-person religious gatherings; gatherings for necrological services, wakes, inurnment, and funerals for those who died of causes other than COVID-19 and for the cremains of the COVID-19 deceased;
  7. Licensure or entrance/qualifying examinations administered by their respective government agency, and specialty examinations authorized by the IATF subject to the health and safety guidelines as approved by the IATF;
  8. Dine-in services in food preparation establishments such as kiosks, commissaries, restaurants, and eateries, subject to DTI sector-specific protocols;
  9. Personal care establishments such as barbershops, hair spas, hair salons, and nail spas, and those offering aesthetic/cosmetic services or procedures, make-up services, salons, spas, reflexology, and other similar procedures including home service options, subject to the sector-specific protocols of the DTI;
  10. Fitness studios, gyms, and venues for non-contact exercise and sports, subject to DTI sector-specific protocols. Provided that patrons/clients and workers/employees wear face masks at all 3 times and that no group activities are conducted; and
  11. Film, music, and television production, subject to the joint guidelines as may be issued by the DTI, DOLE, and the DOH.

These activities will be allowed provided that all on-site workers/employees of these establishments and organizers of activities are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and MPHS shall be strictly maintained. There is no objection from the LGU where these activities may take place.

The IATF, he said, instructed the Technical Working Group headed by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and National Vaccination Operations Center to craft guidelines in the implementation of stricter measures for the unvaccinated individuals.

Metro Manila was under Alert Level 2 for some time and a lot of people and their families have been enjoying the added freedom of movement due to the reduction of restrictions. This, of course, contributed to the crowding at stores and food-and-beverage joints, and the rise of parties or social gatherings during the Christmas season. Along the way, cases of Omicron in the Philippines started to grow. Omicron, which has been magnified by the secular, liberal media organizations and caused a lot of problems worldwide, is feared for being more contagious. Since Omicron is a problem in the country, I can only hope that the national authorities will consider acquiring a new and much bigger batch of the Russian vaccines Sputnik V and Sputnik Light as those vaccines were declared effective against the feared variant.

Other than raising the alert level and putting up more restrictions, the authorities should deal with the Omicron variant fast. I would not be surprised that the local stock market will lose points as long as the Omicron variant remains a problem in the Philippines. For those living in Metro Manila, I encourage you all to pay close attention to the Metro Manila Council (MMC) and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and examine how they will act, react and behave this time around. Let’s observe if those officials won’t be too distracted with pre-election activities related to the May 2022 national and local elections so that they can do their jobs efficiently.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a Metro Manila resident, what is your reaction to this development? Do you think the daily number of new COVID-19 cases will fall to less than one thousand per day by January 15, 2022? Are you afraid of the Omicron variant? Do you think it is time for the government to import more Sputnik vaccines to push back against Omicron-related infections?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: Muntinlupa City to intensify its efforts in reaction to rising cases

The City Government of Muntinlupa announced that it will intensify its efforts on dealing with COVID-19 as the number of local cases went up sharply in recent times, according to a Manila Bulletin news report.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Manila Bulletin’s report. Some parts in boldface…

The Muntinlupa City government will intensify efforts as the number of active coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the city reached more than 100.

Data from the Muntinlupa City Health Office (CHO) showed that as of Jan. 1, the active COVID-19 cases in the city rose to 131, an increase of 59 cases or by 82 percent compared to 72 active cases recorded on Dec. 31.

In the last seven days, Muntinlupa’s active cases rose from 20 to 131. The city government tallied 119 new COVID-19 cases from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1 from 27,623 confirmed cases on Dec. 26 to 27,742 on Jan. 1.

The Department of Health (DOH) reported 3,617 new COVID-19 cases in the whole country on Jan. 1, an increase of 656 new cases, or 22 percent, from 2,961 cases on Dec. 31.

According to Dr. Juancho Bunyi, head of the Muntinlupa CHO, the majority of new cases in the city are travelers who came from the provinces to attend family gatherings and people who returned to Muntinlupa.

Bgy. Ayala Alabang, which has jurisdiction over the posh Ayala Alabang Village, posted 16 new cases on Jan. 1, the highest among the nine barangays in Muntinlupa.

Muntinlupa City residents who remain unregistered and unvaccinated should make a move to get registered by learning the ways to do it. Those who are prepared (with personal information available) and willing to go through online registration for the free vaccines in Muntinlupa are encouraged to click https://vaccine.muntinlupacity.gov.ph/muncovac/

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a Muntinlupa City resident, what can you say about this latest local development? Do you think that there are still some members of your local community who remain unvaccinated until now?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  HavenorFantasy@twitter.com as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673