COVID-19 Crisis: Up to 7 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine coming to the Philippines this month

Are you feeling uneasy or anxious about the fact that the millions of vaccines for COVID-19 (China Virus) secured for the Philippines could not come in fast enough? You are not alone.

Are the daily reports of new COVID-19 cases released by the Department of Health (DOH) scaring you? You are not alone as I know someone who is extremely religious yet panicky who gets affected by such reports. Not even the good news of the launch of Sputnik V in the Philippines (check out the Muntinlupa City launch) could lift up that same person’s outlook.

Anyway, the latest COVID-19 vaccine update regarding the Philippines is this…the nation will start receiving the bulk of COVID-19 vaccine composed of up to seven million doses within this month. This was according to vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez, Jr.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the Philippine News Agency (PNA) reports…

“Ang maganda po dito ‘yong delivery natin ng ano ng May, baka po from 4 million madadagdagan po tayo ng 7 million. Malaki po ‘yon, Mr. President, kasi ang dadagdag po dito ‘yong COVAX mukhang makakapag-deliver na po ng Pfizer at saka ng AstraZeneca (The good news is that, the delivery this May may increase from 4 million doses up to 7 million doses. That’s a huge volume, Mr. President, because the COVAX facility may also be delivering Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines),” Galvez told President Rodrigo Duterte in a Cabinet meeting Wednesday night.

Galvez assured that enough doses dedicated for the vaccinees’ second shots would arrive on time.

“‘Yong second dose wala na po tayong problema. Mayroon po tayong makukuha ngayong May more or less baka mga 1 million or 2 million na AstraZeneca. Iyong definite date lang po ang ina-ano po natin. So matutuwa na po ‘yong mga nakapag-first dose dahil kasi mayroon pong padating na COVAX na AstraZeneca (We don’t have a problem with the second dose. We might be having more or less 1 million or 2 million doses of AstraZeneca this May. We are just working on the definite dates so we are glad because the AstraZeneca vaccines from the COVAX Facility will be delivered),” he said.

As of May 4, a total of 2,065,235 Filipinos have been vaccinated with at least one dose against Covid-19, with 320,586 persons fully vaccinated.

The bulk of the vaccines will be arriving in June, allowing the government to begin the inoculation of the general populace, Galvez added.

“So pataas po nang pataas ang volume po, Mr. President. Talagang ang medyo nahirapan lang po tayo noong March at saka April. Pero ngayong May medyo mayroon pong bubuhos sa atin (We will be receiving an increased volume of vaccines, we really had hard times during March and April, but this May, more vaccines will be arriving),” he said.

An estimated 20-30 percent of the country’s healthcare workers have yet to be vaccinated, according to Galvez, as they opted to wait for the arrival of other brands of Covid-19 vaccines.

Despite negative reports, Galvez said the public’s acceptance of the Covid-19 vaccines has significantly increased, noting that more Filipinos wanted to get immunized.

To date, data from Our World in Data show that the Philippines is fourth among Southeast Asian nations with the most number of vaccine doses administered.

The report ended stating that as more vaccines arrive, Galvez described as “very doable” is the government’s goal to vaccinate half-a-million people daily.

In closing this, let me ask you readers…do you believe the updates from Galvez? How is the local COVID-19 vaccinating program doing there in your local area? Were you vaccinated already?

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

+++++

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 as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.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 lifts liquor ban with some restrictions amid MECQ, other less stringent quarantine status

The liquor ban in Muntinlupa City is has officially been lifted but with restrictions for the duration of Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) and other less stringent community quarantines as may be declared by the national government.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi approved City Ordinance No. 2021-232 lifting the liquor ban in the city with provisions on regulation and limitations for the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Under the local ordinance, city residents can only consume alcoholic beverages within their private residence. Social drinking involving individuals not living in the same residence shall still be strictly prohibited.

The sale of liquor and other intoxicating beverages shall only be during 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM and will only be limited to Muntinlupa residents.

Consumption or drinking liquor in public places such as restaurants and other commercial establishments permitted to operate by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) shall be regulated: beer – maximum of 2 bottles, hard drinks – maximum of 2 glasses, and for wine and whiskey – maximum of two glasses.

Business establishments who will violate the ordinance shall be meted with the following penalties: closure of one week for first offense and revocation of business permit for second offense.

Further, violating persons who are sellers shall receive P2,000 penalty for first offense and P5,000 for second offense, while those who are buyers will be penalized with P2,500 for their first offense and P5,000 for second offense.

Members of the Muntinlupa City Police Station, Public Order and Safety Office, City Security Office, Muntinlupa Traffic and Management Bureau, Business Permit and Licensing Office, Barangay Chairpersons and their personnel, and other deputized individuals will conduct inspections in commercial establishments to ensure that the local ordinance is followed.

The City Government warns beneficiaries of the emergency assistance from the DSWD that they are prohibited to use their cash aid to purchase liquor or any alcoholic beverage. The public is encouraged to report violators for proper action.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi reminds city residents that the lifting of liquor ban is for economic reasons and that the health and safety of the public should not be compromised.

“COVID-19 is still an imminent threat so I urge everyone to be responsible and to continue observing health protocols even as quarantine measures and the liquor ban are relaxed in the implementation of MECQ,” Fresnedi said.

As of May 5, Muntinlupa City has 11,585 confirmed cases with 10,127 recoveries, 1,154 active cases, 304 reported deaths, 168 suspect cases, and 988 probable cases.

+++++

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 as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.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 officially starts vaccinating its residents with Sputnik V, MMDA lauds strong public-private partnership

The City Government of Muntinlupa officially launched the ceremonial roll-out of Sputnik V Gam-COVID-Vac vaccines for senior citizens, persons with comorbidities, and other frontline workers from specific groups yesterday morning.

The ceremonial roll-out was held at Ospital ng Muntinlupa (OsMun) Field Tent and Asian Hospital and Medical Center (AHMC) Tower 2 Rotunda Parking Space. At least 250 members of A2 (senior citizens) and A3 (persons with comorbidities) priority groups were set to receive their first dose of Sputnik V at OsMun, while 130 individuals from A2 and A3 priority groups were prepared for inoculation at AHMC.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi (right most), MMDA chairman Benhur Abalos (2nd from the right), Congressman Ruffy Biazon (3rd from the right) and other officials witness a patient get vaccinated with Sputnik V. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

Only the pre-registered residents in the local COVID-19 Vaccination Registration System will be inoculated with Sputnik V in OsMun and AHMC. Residents will receive a message from the local health office for their schedule and no walk-ins will be accommodated in the vaccination areas in OsMun and AHMC. Muntinlupa residents are encouraged to register themselves for vaccination via www.vaccine.muntinlupacity.gov.ph/muncovac.

MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos lauded the City Government’s preparedness as well as its strong partnership with the private sector for the local vaccination program. Abalos recognized the role of Muntinlupa’s partnership with AHMC in encouraging more people to get inoculated with COVID-19 vaccines.

Special Envoy to the Russian Federation Olivia Limpe-Aw said Muntinlupa met the stringent storage and handling requirements to be selected as one of the pilot sites for the roll-out of Sputnik V.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi expresses his gratitude to President Rodrigo Duterte for the allocation of Sputnik V to Muntinlupa and being selected as one of the few Metro Manila cities to be the pilot sites for the roll-out of the Russia-made vaccine.

“This ceremonial roll-out signifies a step closer in returning to our normal lives. We are grateful to the national government for donating additional vaccines to our city as this will help reach our target of achieving herd immunity as soon as possible. I encourage all Muntinlupeños to avail the vaccination program of the government because this is a vital step in curbing the pandemic,” says Fresnedi.

Other officials attending the ceremony include Congressman Ruffy Biazon, WHO Representative Dr. Rowena Capistrano, MMDA Public Affairs Dir. Sharon Gentillan, Ospital ng Muntinlupa director Dr. Edwin Dimatatac, AHMC Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jose M. Acuin, CHO chief Dr. Juancho Bunyi, Muntinlupa City Council Committee on Health and Sanitation Coun. Allan Camilon, Coun. Ryan Bagatsing, and other local officials.

Muntinlupa received three thousand doses of Sputnik V on May 3 and are being stored in OsMun and AHMC’s -18 degrees Celsius temperature storage facilities. With the cold-chain management requirement of the vaccine, members of priority group in the city will be inoculated in OsMun and Asian Hospital. The vaccine is to be administered in two doses 3 weeks apart.

This past May 1, fifteen thousand doses of Sputnik V were delivered to the country by a Qatar Airways flight from Moscow via Doha. The initial doses will be divided among five cities in Metro Manila: Taguig, Manila, Parañaque, Muntinlupa, and Makati.

The Food and Drug Administration has issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to Sputnik V vaccine manufactured by Russian medical-research institute Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology last March 19, 2021.

Recently, the City Government opened its fourth major vaccination hub in Brgy. Sucat Covered Court last May 4. Other major vaccination hubs launched in the city include: Filinvest Alabang Steel Parking last April 30, SM Center Muntinlupa Open Parking Area, Brgy. Tunasan last April 27 and Ayala Malls South Park, Brgy. Alabang last April 24.

As of May 1, a total of 24,163 Muntinlupa residents were inoculated with the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, of which 19,991 received Sinovac and 4,172 inoculated with AstraZeneca. While 843 residents from priority groups received their second dose.

Muntinlupa City has 11,513 confirmed cases with 9,924 recoveries, 1,288 active cases, 299 reported deaths, 169 suspect cases, and 980 probable cases as of May 4.

+++++

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 as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.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: P405.6-billion Bayanihan 3 approved by House panel

In an attempt to boost economic recovery for the nation from the downturn caused by the COVID-19 (China Virus) pandemic, a panel of the House of Representatives approved yesterday the Bayanihan 3 (Bayanihan to Arise as One Act) stimulus package which is worth P405.6 billion.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the Philippine News Agency (PNA) report. Some parts in bold…

The House Ways and Means Committee approved the substitute bill to the third Bayanihan measure, which would contain direct emergency and social amelioration to Filipinos, livelihood interventions, as well as food security and health interventions.

The bill seeks to provide funding of PHP108 billion for the implementation of a cash subsidy program of PHP1,000 for every Filipino, with another PHP108 billion in standby funds.

Around PHP12 billion shall be appropriated for Phase 1 of assistance for households in crisis situations under the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). Some PHP12 billion shall be appropriated for Phase 2 and PHP6 billion for Phase 3 of the AICS program.

To assist micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), the Small Business Wage Subsidy (SBWS) program shall be continued and expanded with direct funding of PHP8 billion, and stand-by funds worth PHP8 billion for Phase 2 and PHP4 billion for Phase 3.

To provide temporary employment to displaced workers, around PHP10 billion shall be appropriated for the implementation of the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Displaced/Disadvantaged Workers (TUPAD), Covid-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP), and Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (AKAP) Program, while PHP10 billion shall be appropriated as stand-by funds for Phase 2 and PHP5 billion for Phase 3.

Assistance to the agri-fishery sector will receive a total of PHP30 billion worth of standby funds to finance programs and interventions toward food security and farmer income security and welfare.

The bill allocates PHP3 billion for medical assistance for indigent patients, and stand-by funds worth PHP3 billion each for Phases 2 and 3.

A total of PHP54.6 billion shall be allocated to the Pension and Gratuity Fund for retired military and the police, while the amount of PHP5.6 billion shall be appropriated to assist the Department of Education in the implementation of its digital education, information technology, and digital infrastructure and alternative learning modalities as part of the pandemic response and transition to a new normal.

At more than P400 billion proposed, definitely a lot of people (including the owners of struggling MSMEs) as well as government departments will be assisted. While this news is good to hear and read, it still has to be passed first through the lower and upper chambers of Congress before finally reaching the President for approval.

How fast will this proposal get cleared? We will find out soon.

Let me ask you readers – are you a potential beneficiary of the proposed Bayanihan 3 stimulus package? Do you believe that P405.6 billion is good enough to help our nation’s economic recovery? You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

+++++

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 as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.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 receive 3,000 doses of Sputnik V, Fresnedi thanks national government for the supply

Muntinlupa City Mayor Jaime Fresnedi expresses his thanks to the National Task Force Against COVID-19 for allocating some of the county’s initial supply of Sputnik V to Muntinlupa and selecting the city as one of the pilot sites for the roll-out of the Russia-made vaccines.

“We are grateful to the national government for donating COVID-19 vaccines to Muntinlupa and the additional supply will help our ongoing vaccination program. As more vaccines arrive in the city, more residents can be inoculated to reach the target herd immunity,” Fresnedi said.

Muntinlupa expects to receive the 3,000 doses which will be stored in -18 degrees Celsius temperature storage facilities of Ospital ng Muntinlupa (OsMun) and Asian Hospital and Medical Center.

With the cold-chain management requirement of the vaccine, members of priority group in the city will be inoculated in OsMun and Asian Hospital. The vaccine is to be administered in two doses 3 weeks apart.

On Saturday, 15,000 doses of Sputnik V were delivered to the country by a Qatar Airways flight from Moscow via Doha. The initial doses will be divided among five cities in Metro Manila: Taguig, Manila, Parañaque, Muntinlupa, and Makati.

The National Task Force Against COVID-19 says the next batch of 485,000 Sputnik V doses are expected to be delivered in the country within May.

The Food and Drug Administration has issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to Sputnik V vaccine manufactured by Russian medical-research institute Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology last March 19, 2021.

Further, the City Government of Muntinlupa is set to open its fourth major vaccination hub in Brgy. Sucat Covered Court today, in addition to existing community vaccination centers.

Other major vaccination hubs launched in the city include: Filinvest Alabang Steel Parking last April 30, SM Center Muntinlupa Open Parking Area, Brgy. Tunasan last April 27 and Ayala Malls South Park, Brgy. Alabang last April 24.

City residents who are not yet registered in the city’s COVID-19 Vaccination Registration System can sign-up via www.vaccine.muntinlupacity.gov.ph/muncovac.

As of May 1, a total of 24,163 Muntinlupa residents were inoculated with the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, of which 19,991 received Sinovac and 4,172 inoculated with AstraZeneca. While 843 residents from priority groups received their second dose.

Muntinlupa City has 11,236 confirmed cases with 9,692 recoveries, 1,245 active cases, 299 reported deaths, 172 suspect cases, and 999 probable cases as of May 2.

+++++

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 as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.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 and Parañaque to receive Russian vaccines

It has been reported by GMA News that the initial batch of COVID-19 (China Virus) vaccines from Russia called Sputnik V has finally arrived and the South Metro Manila cities of Muntinlupa and Parañaque are among the five National Capital Region (NCR) to receive them. To be clear, the said vaccines are only 15,000 doses and the five NCR cities will get an equal share of three thousand doses each.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the news report. Some parts in bold…

In an interview on “Dobol B TV,” Health Undersecretary Myrna Cabotaje said the five cities in the National Capital Region (NCR) were chosen because they have “appropriate” cold storage facility for the Sputnik V  vaccine.

She said the five cities are Makati, Taguig, Muntinlupa, Manila, and Parañaque, which will get 3,000 doses each of the vaccine.

“Mayroon silang (five chosen cities) cold-chain ready facility na mag fit (that is desirable),” said Cabotaje, adding that  Sputnik V needs to be stored in a temperature of -18 degrees Celsius.

Also, Cabotaje said simulations for the vaccines will be conducted by the Parañaque City government in partnership with the private sector.

Further, she said the Makati City LGU has partnered with Makati Medical Center to deploy the vaccines.

On the other hand, Cabotaje noted that Sputnik V can be administered to Filipinos ages 18 and above. She said there were no side effects reported from other countries, so far.

Sputnik V’s second dose must be given 21 days after the first shot was injected, Cabotaje added.

Asked when the remaining 485,000 Sputnik V doses will arrive, Cabotaje said: “It will depend on the vaccine availability and shipping logistics.”  The national government earlier said that it expects the remaining batches of Sputnik V to be delivered this May.

Moreover, Cabotaje said the ordered doses would be sent in batches to allow Russia to study the country’s vaccine deployment process.

“They sent small doses first because they want to know how we administer their vaccines so that the drugs won’t be wasted,” Cabotaje said in Filipino.

On Saturday, the plane carrying the trial-order doses of Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute vaccine landed in Manila. Its arrival was delayed twice due to logistical concerns.

Meanwhile, Sputnik V’s importation has recently been flagged by a Brazilian health regulator’s technical staff over “critical issues” on its efficacy rate and safety.

But earlier, the Philippine FDA said Sputnik V has a 91% efficacy rate.

Those are very interesting details. The Russian vaccine had a high efficacy rate from the local Food and Drug Administration although the regulators of Brazil rejected it resulting a potential lawsuit. Brazil’s regulators defended their decision. The report published by Science Magazine states: A confusing and unusually nasty fight broke out this week over the safety of a Russian COVID-19 vaccine known as Sputnik V after a Brazilian health agency declined on Monday to authorize its import because of quality and safety concerns. The stakes escalated yesterday when the Twitter account officially associated with the vaccine said “Sputnik V is undertaking a legal defamation proceeding” against Brazil’s regulators.

In an online press conference several hours later, the Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency (Anvisa) defended its decision, maintaining that documentation from some of the Russian facilities making Sputnik V shows that one of its two doses contains adenoviruses capable of replication, a potential danger to vaccine recipients. The vaccine uses two different adenoviruses, which cause the common cold, to deliver the gene for the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVD-19. Both are supposed to be stripped of a key gene that allows them to replicate.

The Monday announcement left many scientists and media outlets believing Anvisa had directly tested Sputnik V for replicating adenoviruses, which would be unusual for a regulatory agency. But Anvisa has since clarified—it had not and was relying on information provided by the Gamaleya National Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology, the Moscow-based developer of the vaccine.

For more information, I encourage you to read the article in full. Lots of really technical information to read and understand.

In closing this, let me ask you readers from Muntinlupa and Parañaque…if you have not been vaccinated for COVID-19 yet, are you willing to get injected with Sputnik V vaccine when your turn happens? Why?

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

+++++

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 as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.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 opens third major vaccination hub at Filinvest Alabang

The City Government of Muntinlupa opened yesterday its third major vaccination hub in a shopping mall’s open parking space, in addition to existing community vaccination centers, to encourage more residents to get their COVID-19 jab.

At least 500 vaccine takers are expected to be accommodated in the Filinvest Alabang – Steel Deck Parking (in front of Crimson Hotel), the city’s third major vaccination hub. Mayor Jaime Fresnedi and other Filinvest officials led the opening of the vaccination hub.

The newest COVID-19 vaccination site in the city. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)
People inside the vaccination site. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

The City Government clarifies that only residents from the A2 (Senior Citizens) and A3 (Persons with Comorbidities) priority groups who received a text message and confirmed for their assigned schedule will be accommodated. Walk-ins will not be entertained in the major vaccination hub.

Senior citizens are advised to bring a valid ID and medical clearance if they have comorbidities. For residents under the A3 (persons with comorbidities) priority group, they are enjoined to provide a valid ID and any proof of comorbidity such as: medical certificate from an attending physician, prescription for medicines, hospital records such as the discharge summary and medical abstract, surgical records and pathology reports, or any other proof that may indicate eligibility.

Other officials joining the opening of the city’s third major vaccination hub include: Coun. Allan Camilon, Coun. Ryan Bagatsing, City Health Officer Dr. Juancho Bunyi, Filinvest Alabang Inc Vice President Don Ubaldo, Filinvest Property Management VP Cesar Francisco and Filinvest Retail and Commercial SVP Joselito Santos.

Recently, other major vaccination hub were launched at SM Center Muntinlupa Open Parking Area, Brgy. Tunasan last April 27 and Ayala Malls South Park, Brgy. Alabang last April 24.

According to Muntinlupa City Health Office, at least 511 residents received their COVID-19 jab during the launching of the vaccination hub at SM Center Muntinlupa while 216 were vaccinated at Ayala Malls South Park.

As of April 28, a total of 22,960 Muntinlupa residents were inoculated with the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, of which 18,796 received Sinovac and 4,164 inoculated with AstraZeneca. While 832 residents from priority groups received their second dose.

Muntinlupa City Mayor Jaime Fresnedi (center) inspects the recently launched major vaccination hub at Filinvest Alabang Steel Parking Area together with other officials last April 30. Fresnedi thanked the Filinvest group for opening up a space for the city’s vaccination program and said that the initiative will augment vaccine demand generation in Muntinlupa. At least 500 vaccine takers are expected to be accommodated in the Filinvest Alabang – Steel Deck Parking, the city’s third major vaccination hub. Also shown in the photo: Filinvest Alabang Inc Vice President Don Ubaldo (left), Coun. Allan Camilon (right), Filinvest Property Management VP Cesar Francisco (left of Fresnedi, back row), and Filinvest Retail and Commercial SVP Joselito Santos (right of Fresnedi, back row). (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

Fresnedi urges residents who are members of the priority groups to get their COVID-19 jab as it helps prevent the risk of severe illness, hospitalizations, and death from COVID-19. He also noted that the vaccination program is an integral component of realizing economic recovery in the city.

The local exec encouraged residents of the city who have not yet registered in the local COVID-19 Vaccination Registration System to sign-up online at  www.vaccine.muntinlupacity.gov.ph/muncovac.

Community vaccination sites in the barangays will continue to accommodate other residents from different priority groups. The schedule in barangay vaccination centers will be posted in the City Government of Muntinlupa Facebook Page.

For inquiries and other concerns, the public may contact MunCoVac hotline numbers: 0956 358 9228 / 0915 805 5932 / 0915 806 7419 / 0960 588 5935 / 0960 588 5937 / 0998 249 4580.

Muntinlupa City has 10,959 confirmed cases with 9,465 recoveries, 1,205 active cases, 289 reported deaths, 172 suspect cases, and 926 probable cases as of April 29.

+++++

The above information was provided by the City Government of Muntinlupa for the purpose of public information and transparency. Some parts were edited 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 as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.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: MECQ for NCR Plus extended until May 14, 2021

After weeks of anticipation by the public, President Rodrigo Duterte announced the other night the extension of modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) until May 14, 2021 for the National Capital Region (NCR) plus the bordering provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal. In connection to this, Duterte apologized.

To put things about the extended MECQ in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the Philippine News Agency (PNA) article. Some parts in bold…

“Modified enhanced community quarantine. Modified ito so medyo strict. NCR, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal (Modified enhanced community quarantine – modified, meaning somehow strict – will be imposed in NCR, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal),” Duterte said in his talk to the people.

MECQ will be implemented in NCR Plus, composed of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal, MECQ until May 14, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a separate press statement.

Quirino and Abra provinces, as well as the City of Santiago in Isabela, will also stay under MECQ for the whole month of May, Duterte said.

On the other hand, the more relaxed general community quarantine (GCQ) will be imposed in Apayao, Baguio City, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Batangas, Quezon, Tacloban City, Iligan City, Davao City, and Lanao del Sur from May 1 to 31.

The rest of the country will remain under the least restrictive modified GCQ (MGCQ).

Roque said the latest quarantine status is still “subject to the appeals of local government units.”

The government is targeting to lower health care and intensive care unit (ICU) utilization rates to ease the quarantine protocols in the country amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

In recent times, the daily count of new COVID-19 cases in the Philippines fell below 10,000. It was reported the other day that the new COVID-19 cases was at 6,895 nationwide. Still the nation has over 1,000,000 COVID-19 cases grand total (including recoveries) and the secured vaccines cannot arrive fast enough from overseas. Also, it will take a lot of time before the local production of vaccines will become a reality in the nation.

Apart from public health, more attention should be paid on the economy which has been set back a lot since the latest ECQ (enhanced community quarantine). The current MECQ meanwhile resulted 13% of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to stay closed specifically in the NCR Plus zone.

More on the economy, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez is pushing to help the economy by recommending a flexible MECQ in NCR Plus with gradual reopening of labor-intensive sectors in mind.

For perspective, posted below is an excerpt for the Philippine News Agency article. Some parts in bold…

In a radio interview Thursday, Lopez said the agency is eyeing to reopen personal care services with a limited capacity of 20 to 30 percent as well as dine-in services in food establishments by 10 to 20 percent.

“Ni-recommend ho kasi naming ‘yong MECQ with flexibility. We are just after sa pagbabalik ng trabaho, pero yung higpit naman ng mobility ay nandoon pa rin. Ang importante lang ay itong trabaho. We’re talking about opening the sectors na sarado pa rin (We recommended the MECQ with flexibility. We are just after bringing back jobs, but the strict mobility will still be there. What’s important is the jobs. We’re talking about opening the sectors that are still closed),” he said.

He added that the gradual reopening of the personal care and dine-in services was “partially discussed” with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

“Iko-confirm na lang mamaya sa IATF kung ilang porsyento [The IATF will confirm later the percentage (of capacity)],” Lopez said.

An estimated 200,000 workers in personal care services and 1 million fast-food and restaurant crews were affected during the stricter community quarantine measures in National Capital Region, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal and about PHP60 billion worth of wages were lost during the two-week MECQ, Lopez said.

The current MECQ also shed PHP120 billion in gross domestic product, on top of the PHP180-billion economic losses during the two-week ECQ.

While it is essential for people and organizations to follow health protocols and avoid COVID-19 infections, the same goes with the economy. So many have been suffering from the lack of jobs, the loss of income and, in the case of businesses, the loss of customers and clients. Being in the private sector myself, I definitely want more businesses of any size to reopen, make money, hire the unemployed and contribute to the development of local society. I want to see the personal care services to resume operations, as well as the return of indoor dining for restaurants and cafes. I also want to see more of my fellow Filipinos to stay above poverty and rise higher. That being said, I say that capitalism is the way to go and the real way to restore prosperity for the Philippines even as we face varied challenges daily during this COVID-19 (China Virus) crisis.

From this point on, I encourage you to keep observing the moves of not only the national authorities but also those in your local government, your barangay and other organizations serving you. Pray that the public servants and community leaders will look up to the Lord and acknowledge His authority over them. Pray for the leaders to look up to God. Finally, no matter how good or bad your situation is, keep having strong faith in our Lord. If you are hurting and you need healing, come to Lord Jesus (read Mark 5:25-34 in the Holy Bible).

+++++

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 as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

COVID-19 Crisis: Philippines to become a new producer of vaccines?

Very recently, the national authorities announced that the grand total of COVID-19 (China Virus) cases in the Philippines had surpassed the 1 million mark, landing at 1,006,428 cases. There will be many millions of new vaccines coming into the country but they just could not come in fast enough.

In recent times, the national government started making a move to become a new player in the production of new vaccines for coronavirus according to National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 chief implementer Sec. Carlito Galvez, Jr. He added that this would ensure a steady supply of vaccines not only for this current crisis but also for future health crises.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the story published through Philippine News Agency (PNA). Some parts in bold…

“We are working on building the country’s vaccine sufficiency, particularly our capacity to manufacture and produce our own vaccines not just to address Covid-19 health crisis, but also to prepare for any future pandemic,” Galvez said at a virtual Economic Development Cluster and Infrastructure Cluster forum for the Pre-State of the Nation Address on Monday.

The Philippines is hoping to replicate the Serum Institute of India (SII), India’s largest vaccine producer which produces the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, known in India as Covishield.

Galvez earlier visited India to negotiate with SII for the acquisition of 30 million doses of the Novavax vaccine.

One of the topics tackled during the trip was the possibility to develop local production of vaccines in the Philippines.

“One of our agenda during our trip to India last month was to look into opportunities that will allow us to build on the same vaccine and medicine manufacturing capacity that India has,” Galvez said.

He said he had met with the Department of Science and Technology Sec. Fortunato de la Peña and Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez along with the country’s vaccine experts to discuss the plan to establish local vaccine production.

The government targets “to encourage foreign vaccine manufacturers to establish domestic operations” on vaccine production in the Philippines, he said.

“We will achieve vaccine security and partner with domestic and international private pharmaceutical companies in developing our own capability in manufacturing vaccines domestically,” he added. “For 2023, we envision for self-sufficiency and readiness for the pandemic and other disasters with the modernization and integration of our healthcare system.”

With the ongoing negotiations of the Philippines for equitable vaccine acquisition, Galvez said the government has earmarked a total of PHP82.5 billion for the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines, of which PHP70 billion have been sourced out from various multilateral loans and assumed savings.

As seen above, the Philippines looked to the largest vaccine maker in India as a model for their plan. If vaccine production does push through in the country in the near future, it should create some new jobs and contribute somewhat to the economy. How much would vaccines cost when made here in the Philippines remains to be seen. The same also with how the national government will convince vaccine makers overseas to establish production lines in the country.

Meanwhile, I encourage you my readers to check out how much progress Israel has achieved with regards to combatting COVID-19, normalizing the lives of their people and setting the stage for an economic rebound. In relation to these details, the Jewish State will reopen its borders to foreign visitors who have already been vaccinated. This means visiting the Holy Land is possible once again for all those who seek the Lord. Israel is a bright example for the world and they deserve a lot of praise. Their success was acknowledged by veteran writer Boo Chanco.

Now if only the vaccines the national government paid for will somehow arrive as fast as possible. The Philippines still has a long way to go before achieving herd immunity and having both society and economy rebound at last from the COVID-19 crisis.

By the way, if you are a resident of Las Piñas City or Muntinlupa City, you can get yourselves registered for COVID-19 vaccines by reading the instructions and details here (Las Piñas) and here (Muntinlupa).

If you have something to say about the current situation of COVID-19 vaccines in the country, or within your city or local community, you may contact me directly online or comment below.

+++++

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 as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

I Love Israel: Israel’s success in dealing with the pandemic acknowledged

Yesterday, there was this article published in the Philippine Star (online version here) with a title that caught my attention…O Israel!

The said article was written by long-time columnist Boo Chanco (who cited the Washington Post, Capital Economics and Deutsche Welle for context) and to put things in perspective, below are notable excerpts for your reading. Some parts in bold…

Excerpt 1

According to The Washington Post, Israel is now partying like it’s 2019.

“With most adults now vaccinated against the coronavirus and restrictions falling away – including the lifting this week of outdoor mask requirements – Israelis are joyously resuming routines that were disrupted more than a year ago and providing a glimpse of what the future could hold for other countries.”

Oh, Israel! How did you guys do it? We are still in limbo. The best guess for us puts two more years of aimless wandering in the COVID desert.

Excerpt 2

According to The Washington Post, “the rate of new infections has plummeted – from a peak of almost 10,000 a day to about 140 – and the number of serious coronavirus cases in many hospitals is down to single digits.

The emergency COVID-19 ward at Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv resumed duty as a parking garage, and waiting rooms are suddenly flooded with non-COVID patients coming for long-deferred treatments.”

But Israeli health officials are quick to note that the pandemic is not over. They are worried about the variants. There is also the possibility of outbreaks in schools, where most students are too young to be vaccinated.

Still, Israel is showing what other nations can expect if they can keep on vaccinating.

“With almost 90 percent of the most vulnerable cohort – those 50 and older – fully inoculated, experts say hospital ICU units are now shielded from being overwhelmed, as almost happened earlier in the pandemic.”

Just two months ago, the spread of the disease stubbornly refused to slow. Vaccination with the Pfizer vaccine is making the difference for Israel.

Dr. Tony Leachon, who once advised IATF, however observed rightly that while “vaccines save lives, the success of Israel is anchored on leadership and governance, and agility in execution.”

According to Deutsche Welle, Israel was able to secure large quantities of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine because Israel agreed to pay double the price for each dose.

Excerpt 3

Israeli officials explained they agreed to pay extra per dose because they figured that in pure economic numbers, the total amount they overpaid was a miniscule fraction of what it costs to lockdown the country. This is not counting the extra medical costs of COVID and the incalculable price of losing a loved one.

Poor Filipinos. We don’t have leaders who think as clearly as the Israelis. We have red tape loving bureaucrats. So, we didn’t have enough vaccines early enough, and it seems we have the wrong one.

A successful vaccination rollout would be our country’s economic game changer. But as Capital Economics said, progress has been disappointing as only one percent of the population has been inoculated almost two months since the start of the program.

Israel launched one of the fastest rollouts in the world. According to The Washington Post, Israel delivered just under 10 million doses of the two-shot Pfizer vaccine regimen, reaching 4.98 million people or about 55 percent of its total population. An additional 400,000 Israelis have received one shot.

“If those who have been infected and then recovered are added, more than 60 percent of Israeli residents now have some level of protective antibodies. The virus is running short of vulnerable bodies to infect.”

Can you imagine if we were able to do that for Metro Manila? NCR’s population is comparable in number to Israel’s.

Wow! Those are very notable details. It is very clear that Israel went all-out and paid heavily to protect their people and set the stage for social and economic comebacks. I admire Israel for their focus, their efforts and management of the COVID-19 crisis (China Virus) there. To put things in perspective, watch these related YouTube videos below…

By comparison, the efforts here in the Philippines are nowhere as efficient and nowhere as successful. It should be noted that yesterday, the Philippines’ total number of COVID-19 cases has passed the 1,000,000 mark. Regardless, I encourage you all to read Boo Chanco’s article in full at https://www.philstar.com/business/2021/04/26/2093707/oh-israel

Going back to Israel, they already announced that they will open their borders to foreign visitors who have already been vaccinated for COVID-19.

In ending this piece, let me ask you readers the following questions:

  1. What is your opinion about Israel’s COVID-19 vaccination program and the way they managed their economy and society?
  2. Here in the Philippines, what is your opinion about the COVID-19 crisis-related efforts of the national government as well as the local government units (LGUs)?
  3. Also here in the Philippines, as local citizens, do you believe your respective mayors are diligently working to serve you and protect your from COVID-19? Do you find your mayors more focused with their egos instead of performing public service?
  4. Still here in the Philippines, if you are a local business owner or manager, has your local government been helpful or harmful?

If you are willing to answer, please do so in the comments section below. If you want more privacy, please contact me directly online.

+++++

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 as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com