COVID-19 Crisis: Almost 60 million Filipinos fully vaccinated

This past weekend, the national government announced that almost sixty million Filipinos nationwide have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19, according to a report published by the Philippine News Agency (PNA). To be more precise, the official count was at 57 million.

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

The Philippines has administered 122,889,494 doses of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines nationwide as of Saturday, with 57,095,695 Filipinos now with complete shots and better protected against the virus.

Data from the National Covid-19 vaccination dashboard showed 59,716,484 individuals have received at least the first dose of the primary series while 6,077,315 got their booster or additional doses.

The government recently launched the “Resbakuna sa Botika” program in partnership with private pharmaceutical stores and clinics to encourage more fully vaccinated Filipinos to avail of booster shots.

Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., chief of the National Task Force Against Covid-19, said “self-management and social responsibility” would greatly contribute to the country’s response to the global health crisis.

“Basically, it is not sustainable that only the national government will take care of everything. I believe the private sector, the LGUs (local government units), and also the different parts of our society want to have responsibility. And that’s the way forward to our Covid-19 pandemic response,” Galvez said in an interview at a booster vaccination event in Makati City on Friday.

Galvez said there should a policy shift from having a government-centered approach to giving pre-access to those who are willing to assist in the national vaccination program.

On face value, having 57 million fully vaccinated Filipinos nationwide sounds like good news but in reality it remains to be seen if the Omicron variant could be resisted. 

More on the Omicron variant, it is crucial for the Philippines to acquire as many new doses of Sputnik vaccines from Gamaleya to really immunize and boost more Filipinos as soon as possible. Already there were studies conducted showing that Sputnik V and Sputnik Light resulted in strong resistance against the Omicron variant (for references, click here, here and here). Historically, Muntinlupa City was one of the first cities of the Philippines to receive a batch of Sputnik V vaccines.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Does the news about our nation having almost sixty million fully vaccinated Filipinos sound encouraging to you? Are there still lots of unvaccinated people there in your local community? If you are managing a business, have you checked if your employees got fully vaccinated or even boosted? Are you still worried about the Omicron variant? If you have been fully vaccinated, when did you get your 2nd dose and when do you plan to get yourself boosted?

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

Law enforcers arrest foreign national and seizes P30 million worth of fake medicine in Parañaque City

In a recent operation done within Parañaque City, a foreign national was arrested by local law enforcers in connection to fake medicine found in three different places located in two villages, according to a report published by the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

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

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Tuesday reported the seizure of PHP30 million worth of counterfeit medicines in a recent operation in Parañaque City.

In a statement, the bureau said a suspect identified as Adel Rajput, a Pakistani, was arrested during the January 5 operation which was conducted in coordination with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), Intelligence Service Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP), and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

The counterfeit medicines such as Biogesic, Neozep, Bioflu, Immunpro, Ivermectin, Phenokinon F Injection, Medicol, Planax, Alaxan FR, MX3, and others were packed in cartons printed with Chinese characters.

They were found in two storages at 7434B and 7434C Highland St., Marcelo Green Village and 27 Pearl St., Severina Subdivision, Km 18, Barangay Marcelo, Parañaque.

The suspect was brought to the Parañaque City Prosecutors’ Office for an inquest and will face various cases for violation of Sec. 1401 (Unlawful Importation/Exportation), Sec. 1113 (Property Subject to Seizure and Forfeiture) paragraph (l) (5) in relation to Sec. 118 (Prohibited Importation and Exportation) paragraph (e) of the CMTA, and the violation of Republic Act No. 8293 (Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines and its Pertinent Rules and Regulations). His visa will be under a revocation process by the Bureau of Immigration.

Alvin Enciso, Intelligence Officer II and Chief of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service at the Manila International Container Port (CIIS-MICP) led the implementation of the Letter of Authority together with the Mission Order signed by Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero.

A certification from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Unilab Pharmaceuticals, the makers of market-leading paracetamol brand Biogesic, said the medicines were counterfeit.

Raniel Ramiro, Customs Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence Group, said they received reports about the presence of counterfeit items, which prompted them to launch the operation.

“It’s not just items, but medicines. We acted on this immediately because this can pose a health threat. They are selling these to unsuspecting people whose only hope is to buy authentic medicines for themselves and their loved ones,” he said.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a resident of Parañaque City, are you concerned about the possibilities that fake medicine have been stored somewhere in your village? Are you concerned that the branded medicine you have right now might be counterfeit? Does this latest development in Parañaque City compel you to buy medicine from the trusted retailers? Do you believe that Parañaque, which is already a hot spot for illegal drugs and entrapment operations, is becoming a major destination for the storage and distribution of fake medicine?

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

I Love Israel: Philippine Army receives 15 armored mortar carriers (AMCs) from Israeli firm Elbit Systems

I am delighted over the news that the Army here in the Philippines acquired high-tech military equipment in the form of armored mortar carriers (AMC) which were made by the Israel-based company Elbit Systems, according to a report by the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Elbit Systems is an international high technology company engaged in a wide range of programs throughout the world, primarily in the defense and homeland security arenas. They develop and supply a broad portfolio of airborne, land and naval systems and products for defense, homeland security and commercial applications. The company’s systems and products are installed on new platforms, and they also perform comprehensive platform modernization programs. A range of support services are also provided.

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

The Philippine Army’s (PA) Armor Division got a much-needed firepower boost with the delivery of 15 M125A2 armored mortar carriers (AMCs), which are equipped with 120mm mounted mortar systems (MMS).

PA spokesperson, Col. Xerxes Trinidad, said the AMCs were delivered on December 29 and were sourced from the Israeli firm Elbit Systems.

The newly delivered 15 AMCs are for inspection within the first quarter of the year by the Technical Inspection and Acceptance Committee before acceptance and (deployment) to the Army’s field units,” Trinidad said in a message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Monday night.

The AMCs are under Horizon Two of the Revised Armed Forces of the Philippines Modernization Program and acquired under the Army’s mounted mortar acquisition project.

“The new AMCs are part of the PA’s modernization project that will capacitate the country’s land force’s credible defense posture from various threats, local and international,” he said.

The Cardom 120mm recoil mortar system mounted on the M125A2 AMC is an autonomous, computerized system that has a range of 7,000 meters and a maximum fire rate of 16 rounds per minute operated by four crewmen.

The AMCs with MMS are used by the US Army, Israeli Defense Force, and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries.

Meanwhile, PA chief, Lt. Gen. Romeo Brawner Jr., welcomed the arrival of the AMCs as he waits for its formal acceptance, noting that these deliveries are in line with the Army’s thrusts on enhancing the capabilities of its ground forces.

These new armor assets will bolster the Army’s capability to deal with constantly evolving threats. With the realization of upcoming big-ticket modernization projects, the Philippine Army is on track to becoming a formidable and adaptive force capable of responding to a multitude of conventional and unconventional threats,” he said.

Armor Division commander, Maj. Gen. Efren Baluyot, said the new assets would provide close and immediate indirect fire support for maneuver units while quickly deploying in tactical situations.

Once those AMCs get cleared and start getting operated officially, they will surely enhance the Philippine Army’s (PA) operations especially in battles against the Leftist rebels and terrorists within the country.

We should all be thankful to God that our nation has a very essential partner and close friend in Israel which has helped Filipinos a lot in different ways such as the sharing expertise on COVID-19, cooperating on defense, having Filipinos in Israel vaccinated for COVID-19 and providing essential relief to typhoon victims. More on this particular development, it is great to see the Philippine Army acquiring military hardware from Elbit Systems which itself is highly credible not only with its business record and advanced military technologies, but also because they provided military hardware to Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and other nations. I should also state that Israel is home to many high-tech companies which is something that the mainstream media does not even care to cover.

If you truly believe in Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God the Heavenly Father wholeheartedly and you continue to be faithful (not religious), you should be aware that Christians are meant to stand united with Israel, love the Jewish people and pray for the peace of Jerusalem. You can do your part supporting Israel by donating to Christians United for Israel (CUFI). Do not forget to read the Holy Bible, then pray in tongues to the Lord in the privacy of your room with the door shut.

Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! Always stand in support of Israel!

In ending this I Love Israel piece, posted below are Israel-related videos for your viewing pleasure.

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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/

Chinese nationals and one Filipino arrested in Parañaque City

As the nation struggles with the worsening COVID-19 crisis in relation to the local presence of the Omicron variant, a gang composed of five Chinese nationals and one Filipino got apprehended in  Parañaque City in connection to a kidnapping incident that happened recently according to a Philippine News Agency (PNA) report.

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

Five Chinese nationals and a Filipino were arrested for allegedly attempting to kidnap another Chinese in Parañaque City, the Southern Police District (SPD) reported Tuesday.

Based on the report submitted by the Parañaque City police, SPD Director, Brig. Gen. Jimili Macaraig, identified the suspects as Hu Yang, 34; Zhang Jie, 28; Cen Sha Lu, 28; Shen Fa, 27; Han Xun, 33; and Hazel Cotaco, 37.

Macaraeg said the rescue operation stemmed from information received by Parañaque City Police around 4 a.m. on January 3 that Shaomen Hu, a 25-year-old Chinese businessman, was forcibly taken by the suspects at Monarch Park Suites and held captive at an unknown place.

Around 11 a.m. of the same day, Jie Sun, the interpreter and witness of the victim, received messages from the suspects that the victim was kidnapped and asking for ransom amounting to PHP700,000.

Police, whom Sun sought assistance from, arranged an operation that resulted in the arrest of the suspects around 4 p.m. at a certain hotel along Bradco Avenue in Barangay Tambo.

Seized from Xun’s possession were one small heat sealed transparent plastic sachet containing shabu with estimated weight of 1.75 grams, one small plastic tube straw color white containing traces of shabu, one gray clutch bag and marked money amounting to PHP20,000.

The suspects will be charged with the violation of Article 267 (Kidnapping and Serious Illegal Detention) of the Revised Penal Code.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think makes Parañaque City remain a hot spot for kidnapping? Do you believe kidnap-for-ransom will still happen within the city?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Movements

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

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

Prohibited activities

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

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

Allowed activities

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COVID-19 Crisis: 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: Can the Philippines achieve its target of fully vaccinating 54 million people by December 31, 2021?

With the new year 2022 just days away, time is quickly running out for the national and local authorities in achieving its goal of having fifty-four million people all over the Philippines fully vaccinated (2 doses of most brands of COVID-19 vaccines). According to a recent article by the Philippine News Agency (PNA), around seven million Filipinos need to be fully vaccinated within the year to hit the target.

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

The Philippines still needs to fully vaccinate seven million Filipinos by the end of the month to meet its target of 54 million and achieve population protection this year.

Based on the data from the national Covid-19 vaccination dashboard, the Philippines, as of Saturday, has administered a total of 105,329,784 doses of vaccines nationwide, with 47,109,449 Filipinos now fully protected and 1,365,827 others have received their booster shots.

Due to the onslaught of Typhoon Odette, the country’s average daily vaccination rate has decreased to 675,567 doses.

Despite a few setbacks on the vaccination program, Presidential Adviser on Covid-19 response Vivencio Dizon earlier said the government remains optimistic that the targeted 54 million fully vaccinated is still achievable with more deliveries of the single-dose Janssen Covid-19 vaccine.

“Iyong ating mga areas na tinamaan ng bagyo, siyempre hindi natin mai-expect na magbakuna sila dahil nga busy sila sa relief at sa rehabilitation. Pero iyong mga ibang lugar naman na hindi tinamaan ng ‘Odette’ ay talagang dapat paigtingin natin at tuluy-tuloy lang tayo (Those areas hit by the typhoon, of course, we cannot expect that they could still vaccinate because they are busy with relief and rehabilitation. But we will continue in areas that are not affected by ‘Odette’),” he said in a previous interview.

Dizon said the government would further ramp up the administration of second doses and single-shot Janssen vaccines, particularly in areas that have not been affected by the typhoon.

“Ang priority nation, lahat ng second dose; at pina-prioritize din natin iyong Janssen vaccines natin dahil isang bakuna lang, isang dose lang ay fully vaccinated na ang ating mga kababayan (All the second doses are our priority, and we are also prioritizing the Janssen vaccine because it is just one injection – in only one dose, our countrymen will be full vaccinated),” he said.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What can you say about this latest development? Do you believe that the national government and local government units (LGUs) can all get their act together to have as many people fully vaccinated even as they are working on vaccinating the newcomers (for first dose) and minors (aged 12 to 17) and injecting the fully vaccinated patients with booster shots soon? Is your LGU moving sluggishly with the local vaccination operations?

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/

I Love Israel: Israel and the Philippines drafting Memorandum of Understanding on Defense Cooperation

The ties between Israel and the Philippines continued to gain strength as it was revealed through social media and the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that the two nations are negotiating on Defense Cooperation and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is being drafted.

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

The country is looking at Israel as a partner in boosting its response to terrorism and improving the capability of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Negotiation is ongoing for a “broad-ranging” Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Defense Cooperation, which shall serve as the primary framework of Israel and the Philippines on military ties, Philippine Ambassador to Israel Macairog Alberto told Israeli social media personality Hananya Naftali in a recent interview.

As of this posting, the two nations are working on the agreement’s draft.

We consider Israel as one that we are looking at in response to terrorism and also on how we can improve the AFP for its capability not only against terrorism but also on how to have a good external defense capability,” Alberto said.

The Philippine Navy is also expected to acquire eight units of fast attack interdiction craft-missile (FAIC-M) from Israel under a government-to-government procurement scheme.

The acquisition of the FAIC-M is among the 2019 projects approved by President Rodrigo Duterte under the Horizon 2 List of the Revised AFP Modernization Program.

Aside from defense, Alberto said the two nations are also engaging on ways to battle the coronavirus disease 2019.

He extended anew the government’s gratitude to Israel for sending two medical teams early this year to share their best practices on Covid-19 management and effective vaccine rollout.

“We are very grateful for the people of Israel and the Israeli government for sending us help during the times that we are in trouble,” he said.

Alberto noted that Israel had always been ready to lend help even before the pandemic.

I really love it when Israel and my native Philippines keep on cooperating and moving forward together. In my view, Israel-Philippines ties are essential and not enough people here realize it. Israel has been generous in assisting Filipinos and very recently – through Israeli Ambassador Ilan Fluss – they sponsored a hospital-in-a-bike project and donated a water purifier to benefit indigenous people. We should be thankful to our Lord for these wonderful developments with Israel and we Filipinos can return the favor by helping the Israelites wholeheartedly.

If you truly believe in Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God the Heavenly Father wholeheartedly and you continue to be faithful (not religious), you should be aware that Christians are meant to stand united with Israel, love the Jewish people and pray for the peace of Jerusalem. You can do your part supporting Israel by donating to Christians United for Israel (CUFI). Do not forget to read the Holy Bible, then pray in tongues to the Lord in the privacy of your room with the door shut.

Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! Always stand in support of Israel!

In ending this I Love Israel piece, posted below are Israel-related videos for your viewing pleasure.

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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: Metro Manila under Alert Level 2 until December 31, 2021

Good news for people of Metro Manila who are enjoying more liberty to visit friends and families, enjoying shopping and dining, and traveling more! The Alert Level 2 status for Metro Manila, which has been going on for some time now, will remain until December 31, 2021, according to a report published by the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

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

The Covid-19 Alert Level 2 status in Metro Manila will remain for the rest of the year despite the detection of a third Omicron variant case in the country, National Task Force (NTF) Against Covid-19 chief, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., said Monday.

The vaccine czar said the possible amendment on the alert level status will be based on the epidemiological recommendations of the Department of Health, considering key factors on cases surge and hospitalization rate.

“If the cases are high, including critical cases, and if the attack rate will increase, that’s the time we will raise our alert level,” Galvez said during a media briefing at a mall vaccination site in Taytay, Rizal.

Galvez said there is a continuing decline in Covid-19 cases in the country, with just 9,592 active infections as of Monday.

“Thank God, we maintained the low positivity rate. Actually, there are some areas that recorded less than one percent of positivity rate,” he added.

Still, he cautioned the public against complacency amid the downtrend.

“For now, we will just maintain the alert level, but we will massively accelerate the vaccination. At the same time, we will revisit our preparations in terms of treatment, quarantine facilities, and hospital treatments as well as the responses of the local government units (LGUs),” he said.

Stringent border control measures against the Omicron variant are also in place, added Galvez.

“Though we prepared a good response in terms of stringent border controls, as I’ve said earlier, we expected that,” he said. “The low cases and figures were sustained despite the opening of our economy.”

Galvez thanked anew LGUs and the private sector for proactively participating in the national Covid-19 vaccination days.

“And we have already reached our milestone of hitting 100 million jabs administered nationwide and we are now reaching 40 percent fully vaccinated out of our total population. That’s a huge milestone,” he said.

Secretary Vince Dizon, the Presidential Adviser on Covid-19 Response and NTF deputy chief, said the decision to impose lockdowns or to raise the alert level status should be based on the set parameters of number of cases, attack rate, and the two-week growth rate.

For some people, the move to retain the Alert Level 2 status for Metro Manila is surprising due to the global hardship caused by the Omicron variant (including becoming the dominant strain in the United States) which is already here in the Philippines. Still there is the fact that the daily count of new COVID-19 infections remains in the few hundreds and so far, the Omicron variant has not created a spike of new cases which is good because the Philippines is now at a stage of economic and social recovery after many months of restrictions. By the way, if you were injected with the Pfizer vaccine and are wondering how protected you are from Omicron, better read my recent article by clicking here. For those who got vaccinated with Sputnik V or Sputnik Light, click here and here.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this latest development? Does the constant reporting of Omicron-related news make you feel uncomfortable? Do you believe the Alert Level 2 status extension for Metro Manila is the right move knowing that there are a few cases of Omicron 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: More than 40 million fully vaccinated people in the Philippines

According to a recent report published by the Philippine News Agency (PNA), that the number of people here in the Philippines who got fully vaccinated for COVID-19 (two doses of most brands of vaccines specifically) has surpassed forty million.

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

The Philippines has already administered 95,982,996 doses of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine nationwide, with 40,693,310 Filipinos now fully protected against the dreaded disease.

Data from the National Covid-19 vaccination dashboard as of December 10 also showed that 54,553,456 doses were used as first shots while 736,230 were for booster or additional shots.

The government targets to complete the two primary doses of at least 54 million adult Filipinos, at least 80 percent of children aged 12 to 17 years old, and booster shots for 1.6 million health care workers by the end of the year to achieve population protection.

Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., National Task Force Against Covid-19 chief implementer, earlier said the government will aim to increase the number of fully vaccinated Filipinos up to 77 million by the end of the first quarter next year and up to 90 million by the second quarter.

The government reminded the public to avail themselves of booster shots six months after receiving their second doses or three months for those who received the single-dose Janssen jab.

Senior citizens and adults with comorbidities have priority lanes in vaccination centers.

In relation to the above news, it was announced recently that COVID-19 vaccinations has exceeded 1,000,000 in Las Piñas City and that figure includes vaccination of minors as well as booster shots for a growing number of fully vaccinated people. Almost 478,000 patients got fully vaccinated in Las Piñas City.

While having more than 40,000,000 fully vaccinated people around the Philippines is pleasing to hear, it remains to be seen how the national and local authorities will react in the event that the media-magnified Omicron variant gets detected within the country. The national authorities have been monitoring the Omicron variant developments while many other countries saw their government impose restrictions. Meanwhile the people behind Sputnik vaccines insisted that their current vaccines remained effect against all variants and went ahead with developing another version of their vaccine with Omicron in mind.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Does this latest development make you feel confident about what lies ahead for the Philippines during this pandemic? If you were vaccinated, are you eager right now to get a booster shot? Are you convinced that world governments overreacted towards the Omicron variant?

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