COVID-19 Crisis: Unvaccinated people in France banned from public venues due to new law

Over there in France – which I personally toured a very long time ago – a new law was approved by Parliament that severely affects people who still have not been vaccinated for COVID-19, according to a news report by CBN News. This means that the unvaccinated there in France are barred from all restaurants, sports arenas, and other venues. If you wish to see comparisons with what happened here in the Philippines, click herehereherehere, and here.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the CBN News report. Some parts in boldface…

France’s parliament passed a law Sunday to discriminate against unvaccinated people, barring them from all restaurants, sports arenas, and other venues

The new measure applies to every French citizen 16 years of age and older. It requires proof of full vaccination for access to these venues, including tourist sites, trains, and airline flights. The new law also establishes tougher fines for fake vaccination passes and allows authorities to check IDs to avoid fraud

There are reports that France’s escalating campaign against unvaccinated people could eliminate the world’s number one tennis player from the upcoming French Open in May. The reigning champion Novak Djokovic was just deported from Australia and will miss the Australian Open as a result, and now France could be next.  

The Macron government says it’s trying to protect the country’s hospitals during a record number of infections caused by the highly contagious COVID-19 Omicron variant. It comes even though health officials around the world admit that vaccinated and unvaccinated people are all susceptible to Omicron.

France’s National Assembly approved the law in a 215-58 vote. President Emmanuel Macron had hoped to get the bill pushed through sooner, but it was slightly delayed by resistance from lawmakers both on the right and left, along with hundreds of proposed amendments.

Protesters across Europe have spoken out recently against the harsh measures being taken to limit the freedom of unvaccinated citizens. French media report some demonstrators in France and Italy have even started wearing yellow Stars of David to say they feel like they’re being singled out in the way the Nazis first shamed the Jews during World War II

One protestor in Italy said, “We are creating a great inequality between citizens. We will have first-class citizens, who can access public services, the theater, social life, and second-class citizens, who cannot.”

More than 91% of French adults are already fully vaccinated, and some critics have wondered if the “vaccine pass” will make much of a difference since that high level of vaccination hasn’t stopped the Omicron wave from striking France. 

As CBN News reported last week, scientists are seeing signals that COVID-19′s alarming Omicron wave may have peaked in Britain. France’s health minister Dr. Olivier Véran, who has tested positive for COVID, said French authorities were keeping a close eye on data from Britain to ascertain whether France was nearing its own peak, according to The New York Times

The French government is hoping the new pass will be effective in reducing the number of new cases that are filling up strained medical centers across the country without having to employ new lockdown restrictions. A new lockdown would be another blow to France’s economy, which is the world’s fifth-largest economy. 

It could also affect Macron’s chances for reelection in the April 10 presidential election. But Macron has embraced the targeting of what he calls “irresponsible” unvaccinated individuals. He said, “Someone irresponsible is not a citizen,” saying their rights should be revoked because he no longer considers them to be citizens of France. 

Up until now, a COVID-19 pass has been required in France to go to restaurants, movie theaters, museums, and many sites throughout the country, but unvaccinated people have been allowed in if they show a recent negative test or proof of recent recovery. Some exceptions may be made for those who have recently recovered from COVID-19.  

More than 76% of French ICU beds are occupied by virus patients, most of them unvaccinated, and some 200 people with the virus are dying every day, according to the AP. 

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you remained unvaccinated for COVID-19 until now, how are you living with the imposed limitations in your local community? Do you think that the French Parliament did enough research before passing the reported law? How do you feel about the new law of France and the current state of the unvaccinated people over there? If you are a non-resident of France, does this newest development discourage you from visiting the said country?

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: 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: 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: 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: Slight rise in Metro Manila’s COVID-19 positivity rate was due to holiday frenzy according to OCTA Research

As far as Metro Manila goes, the slight increase of the COVID-19 positivity rate was caused not by the media-magnified Omicron variant but by the holiday frenzy according to OCTA Research in an article published by the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

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

The slight increase in Metro Manila’s Covid-19 positivity rate, average daily attack rate (ADAR), and reproduction rate was due to the holiday frenzy and not necessarily because of the Omicron variant, OCTA Research fellow Dr. Guido David said on Monday.

David said it is premature to say that the newest coronavirus variant had something to do with the spike in numbers.

Based on two-week growth rates (TWGR), David reported that the current reproduction number is at 0.85 percent while the ADAR in the National Capital Region (NCR) is at 0.82 percent.

The positivity rate slightly increased to 1.4 percent.

“So, hindi natin masasabi ngayon na Omicron-driven ito dahil nakita rin naman natin ito last year. Siguro doon sa pagtitipun-tipon ng mga kababayan natin kaya kailangan doble pag-iingat lang naman din ang kinakailangan natin (So we can’t really say that it is Omicron-driven because we have seen this last year. The gatherings might have caused this, so we just really need to be extra careful),” he said in a media briefing.

As of Monday, the country has 9,579 active Covid-19 cases, the 10th straight day that the tally was below 10,000.

Four cases of the Omicron variant have been confirmed so far.

Just like last year, David noted that the Covid-19 testing slowed down as laboratories took a break and the recent onslaught of Typhoon Odette affected the operations of some testing centers.

He said a “clear picture” as to how the Covid-19 cases suddenly increased might be available until the first week of January next year.

“Ang nangyari naman noong January this year lang, noong January of 2021, iyong uptick ay bumalik na siya sa normal level. So bumaba ulit siya. Iyon iyong sanang gusto nating makita ngayon na after January, kapag na-resolve na iyong testing, iyong kakulangan natin sa testing at iyong mga closed laboratories ay bababa ulit sa normal levels ang bilang ng kaso. Iyan iyong gusto nating mangyari (So, in January this year, the uptick went back to its normal level. So it went down again. So, that’s what we want to see after January [next year], if we resolved our backlogs in testing and in our laboratories, then the cases will go back to normal levels. That’s what we want to happen),” David said.

David sees no need yet to increase restrictions or push for premature interventions.

“It could just be a holiday uptick, which means na after the holidays, possibly bababa din iyong number of cases and iyong positivity rate (it is possible that the number of cases and the positivity rate will go down),” he added.

As I personally observed, a lot of people and families have been moving around not only because of the Alert Level 2 status of Metro Manila but also because of Christmas-related activities like shopping, touring and dining inside restaurants. I myself saw lots of people moving inside and around Festival Mall and the Alabang Town Center here in Muntinlupa City in the days leading to Christmas. Also there were families who had Christmas parties or small gatherings with relatives. Not even the news about the Omicron variant being present here in the Philippines impacted them. Fortunately for Filipinos, Omicron cases in the country are very few and all of those were detected from passengers who arrived from overseas. As of this writing, the Omicron variant has not been detected in the local population.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What can you say about this latest development? Do you believe OCTA Research’s analysis about the holiday frenzy being the factor behind the slight rise of COVID-19 positivity? Do you personally know people who still remained unvaccinated to this day? Are you aware about Sputnik vaccines being more effective against the Omicron variant (read a related article by clicking here) and that Pfizer’s vaccines are less effective?

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: Las Piñas City’s vaccination count gradually approaching 1.1 million

Very recently, the City Government of Las Piñas gave the public an update about their vaccination statistics and it has been weeks since they reached a million vaccinations.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the official update that the City Government release through social media…

The official numbers as of December 26, 2021.

As seen above, the total number of patients who got the first dose of the vaccine was at 538,319 while the number of those who got their 2nd dose was at 508,068. The single biggest group vaccinated for both the first dose and the 2nd dose was the A4 group. The number of vaccinations with the single-dose Janssen vaccine is approaching 9,000. The challenge for the City Government is to vaccinate as many people they could under the over city population (as opposed to the target population). All these numbers are accurate as of December 26, 2021.

For all the unvaccinated people reading this, any Las Piñas resident who has yet to get registered for the free COVID-19 vaccines can learn the ways (4 methods) by clicking here. Anyone who is ready and willing to register online can click bit.ly/LasPiñasVaccination

Meanwhile, the City Government is already handling the online registration process for COVID-19 vaccination for local minors (aged 12 to 17) which can be done at http://laspinascityonline.laspinascity.gov.ph/eCVRS/

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a resident of Las Piñas City, what is your reaction to this recent development? Do you think the city’s vaccination count could reach 2,000,000 sometime in 2022? Are the fully vaccinated members of your local community making efforts to get their booster shots? Are people in your local community aware about the Omicron variant and its presence here in the Philippines?

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 now has 4 cases of Omicron variant

As families enjoyed the Christmas season here in the Philippines, the much-feared Omicron variant made its presence in the country felt again as the Manila Bulletin reported that there are now four Omicron cases counted. This is the result of the latest case that was discovered from yet another airline passenger who arrived from overseas and turned out positive (infected) in the country.

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

The country has detected its fourth case of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) variant Omicron, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Monday, Dec. 27.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a press briefing that the individual is a 38-year-old woman from the United States who arrived in Manila on Dec. 10 via Philippine Airlines flight PR 127. Her nationality was not disclosed.

Vergeire stated she was quarantined upon arrival and on December 13, experienced throat itchiness and colds. During the fifth day of her quarantine on Dec.14, her specimen was collected and her results returned positive on Dec. 15.

She mentioned that the individual was then placed in an isolation facility and was discharged asymptomatic after a 10-day isolation on Dec. 24. She explained that the detection of Omicron came after the woman was discharged from isolation.

She added that the individual remains to be asymptomatic and is scheduled to be retested on Dec. 28.

Currently, according to Vergeire, they are still coordinating with the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) and the Department of Transportation (DOTr) regarding the flight manifest. “Rest assured lahat naman po ng dumarating kapag dumating po sila for example galing from US yellow country, they are all quarantine for five days tested on the fifth day, once negative they are sent home but they have to do home quarantine until the 14th day.

She assured that all passengers who arrive from other countries are quarantined upon arrival and are tested on the fifth day. If their results return negative, they are sent home to do home quarantine until the 14th day.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What can you say about this latest development? Do you believe it is time for the national government to close the borders to international flights so that the Omicron variant’s growth in the Philippines can be stopped?

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: Las Piñas City government releases 150,000 Noche Buena packages

In time for Christmas, the City Government of Las Piñas distributed one hundred and fifty thousand Noche Buena packages to specific constituents, according to Manila Bulletin news report. It should be recalled that months ago, Mayor Imelda Aguilar stated that her administration wants Christmas in the city to be joyful (in relation to getting vaccinated for COVID-19) and this latest move by the City Government is an extension of that.

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

The Las Pinas City government distributed 150,000 Noche Buena packages to senior citizens, persons with disability (PWds), and indigent families in the city.

Mayor Imelda Aguilar said the tickets for “Pamaskong Handog” of the local government were already allocated to the 20 barangays in the city since Dec. 18.

Aguilar said the city government aims to finish the distribution of “Pamaskong Hadog” tickets on Wednesday, Dec. 22, so that the beneficiaries will have something to prepare and eat on Christmas eve.

She said it’s been the city’s annual tradition to distribute “Pamaskong Handog” to senior citizens, PWDs and indigent families.

Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery speaking to the recipients just before the formal release of the Noche Buena packages at one of the distribution sites. (photo sourced from the City Government’s Facebook page)

I want all Las Piñeros to have something on their table in celebration of Christmas. In our own little way, the city government can make them happy and celebrate a joyful Christmas,” Aguilar said.

Vice-Mayor April Aguilar has been visiting barangays in the city to ensure the orderly and timely distribution of the Noche Buena packages.

The above report ended stating that each Noche Buena package comes with spaghetti noodles and sauce, condensed milk, fruit cocktail, and three kilograms of rice grain.

A batch of the Noche Buena packages prepared for distribution. (photo sourced from the City Government’s Facebook page)

Apart from encouraging local residents to get vaccinated, the overall count of vaccinations in the city has surpassed the 1,000,000 mark and the number of local active COVID-19 cases went down. There is still the potential threat of the Omicron variant which is present here in the Philippines and no less than President Rodrigo Duterte expressed worry about coming up with the funds to deal with it. While people in Metro Manila are enjoying the freedom to move around under the Alert Level 2 status (much less restrictions compared to Alert Levels 3 and 4), there is still the need to be cautious and follow health protocols.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a resident of Las Piñas City, what is your reaction to this recent development? Are you confident that Christmas in your city will be more joyful this year? If you have not been vaccinated, do you plan to get vaccinated during the holidays?

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