COVID-19 Crisis: Department of Health (DOH) and private sector explain wasted vaccines

Do you believe everything the Department of Health (DOH) declared with regards to their handling of COVID-19 here in the Philippines? In recent times, local news organizations published their own reports about something really unfortunate…the expiration of millions of COVID-19 vaccines amounting to an estimated P15.6 billion. Think about that carefully. Many billions of Pesos worth of COVID-19 vaccines wasted! The DOH and the private sector (represented by Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion) separately explained their sides of the huge loss.

So how does the DOH explain the tremendous loss of COVID-19 vaccines? To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the news report of Malaya Business Insight. Some parts in boldface…

THE Department of Health (DOH) yesterday defended the high number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines that have been wasted and has recently become the subject of the ire of some senators.

In a press conference, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said it is not out of the ordinary to have 31.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines wasted if compared to the experiences of other countries.

“It is not just the Philippines that is experiencing this kind of situation in terms of logistics and supplies,” said Vergeire.

We are seeing more and more that the other countries are having this kind of expirations or wastage of vaccines,” she added without elaborating.

The DOH officer-in-charge added that the 31.3 million doses of wasted vaccines is within the threshold set by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The DOH has previously acknowledged that the total vaccine wastage in the country is 12.5 percent of the total 250.38 million doses, or 31.3 million.

“The (WHO) specifically said that because of (the) evolving nature of the pandemic, it (allowed vaccine wastage percentage) is around 25 to 30 percent,” Vergeire said.

The Philippines considers this as being still within that level that is acceptable,” Vergeire said in defense of the 12.5 percent wastage rate.

Last week, Sen. Pia Cayetano revealed that about 31.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were either wasted or not used in the country.

Among the reasons cited for the wastage of vaccines were expiration, short shelf life, damage due to natural disaster as well as damage due to temperature, discoloration, and having particulate or floating matters.

In relation to the tremendous loss of COVID-19 vaccines, Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion explained the private sector’s side as reported by the Manila Bulletin. Posted below is an excerpt with some parts in boldface…

The private sector has no control over the Covid-19 vaccines donated to the government, which included 70 percent of wasted vaccines from the private sector.

This was reiterated by Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion on Tuesday, Nov. 22.

The majority of the wasted Covid-19 vaccines in the Philippines were not under the safekeeping of the private sector,” he said in a statement.

Concepcion shared tallies of its Covid-19 vaccine inventories showing that of the total 23,516,990 doses that the private sector secured through a tripartite agreement with government and the vaccine manufacturers, 9,398,230 doses have expired.

This figure includes the 2,834,495 doses it donated to local governments.

The inventory, however, does not include other private sector initiatives, but Concepcion pointed out that these, too, would be under the custody of the government.

According to Concepcion, the private sector has noted that there have been gaps in the government’s monitoring and reporting of the inventory, especially of the vaccines that it donated as part of the tripartite agreement.

He explained that because Covid-19 vaccines are still under Emergency Use Authorization, only the government can engage in their purchase and administration, including assessing how many more it needed to buy and add to the private sector donations.

The government, he added, also conducts inventory on vaccines nearing their expiry dates so that it can be used first before procuring more.

Among the factors cited by the government as contributing to the wastage of the vaccines were short shelf life and temperature excursion. It also noted from its inventories that some vials were not opened or used at all.

“Private sector has always been proactive in pushing for vaccinations,” said Concepcion. “In fact we were the ones asking the HTAC (Health Technology Assessment Council) to adopt the US FDA guidelines just so we can speed up the booster vaccinations,” he said.

In July, millions of Covid-19 vaccines worth billions of pesos expired just days after second boosters were allowed for adults 50 years and older, and those 18 to 49 years with comorbidities.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What is your reaction to this latest series of developments? Do you believe the ways DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire explained the waste of over thirty million COVID-19 vaccines? Do you find the vaccine waste acceptable at all knowing that they are worth over P15 billion? Do you still trust the DOH on how they are handling the COVID-19 situation in the country not to mention how their policies impacted your private lives and livelihood? Do you think it is time for the national government to end the Emergency Use Authorization on COVID-19 vaccines so that vaccination operations will be improved and the reduction of vaccine wastage could happen?

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, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. 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/ and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

Maynilad officially distributing “New Water” in two barangays in Parañaque City

Months after the launch of their “New Water” project, water concessionaire Maynilad has finally started the distribution of the said water in two barangays within the City of Parañaque according to the company’s official announcement.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from Maynilad’s official announcement. Some parts in boldface…

West Zone concessionaire Maynilad Water Services, Inc. (Maynilad) recently started the piped-in distribution of its New Water—or potable supply sourced from treated used water—to two barangays in Parañaque City following its receipt of a Conditional Operational Permit (COP) from the Department of Health (DOH) Metro Manila Center for Health Development.

The COP was issued by the DOH after New Water passed a series of tests that proved its adherence to the Philippine National Standards for Drinking Water (PNSDW) and squarely met the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines on potable reuse. The permit is valid for 12 months, and will be changed to a permanent permit once Maynilad consistently meets all the conditions set in the COP on the supply of New Water within the period, under the strict monitoring of DOH. Prior to the COP issuance, New Water has already been given a Certificate of Potability by the Parañaque City Health Office.

Maynilad’s New Water is the first implementation of potable water reuse in the Philippines.

“The DOH’s issuance of a permit to commence piped-in distribution of New Water is a major milestone for the local water industry, as this is the first time that recycled water will be tapped as an alternative supply source to address water shortages,” said Maynilad President and CEO Ramoncito S. Fernandez, noting that the recycling of water for potable use is a practice that has been in place for decades in other countries, such as Singapore, Namibia, and parts of the United States.

Maynilad’s Php450-million “New Water Treatment Plant” gets the treated used water discharged by its Parañaque Water Reclamation Facility and converts it to drinkable water supply. The facility’s 10-MLD (million liters per day) output is blended with the supply produced by the company’s La Mesa Treatment Plants before conveyance to Barangays San Isidro and San Dionisio in Parañaque City.

Fernandez said that Maynilad is eyeing to construct four more “New Water Treatment Plants” by 2025, which will get treated used water from the company’s sewage treatment plants in Pasay, Muntinlupa, Parañaque, and Valenzuela.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a Maynilad customer based in Parañaque City, does this New Water distribution news make you forget about the other problems you have with the water concessionaire? Do you think that Maynilad’s New Water project will solve public demand for drinking water? If you are running a business that sells water to customers who need to drink, how do you think Maynilad’s New Water project will affect your business? Do you think Maynilad will distribute New Water all over Parañaque City within the next six months? Has anyone linked with the City Government of Parañaque given you the false impression that the New Water project belonged to the City Government?

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, share this article to others and also please consider making a donation to support my publishing. 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/and on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/authorcarlocarrasco

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: Omicron-related fear and panic cause several governments to enact mandatory vaccinations

The fear and panic over Omicron is still strong and already several government units reacted heading towards the enactment of mandatory vaccinations, according to a recent CBN News report.

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

The World Health Organization admits there has yet to be a single death from the Omicron variant, but that hasn’t stopped some governments–especially in Europe–from using it as another reason to enact mandatory vaccinations.

Here in the U.S., Omicron cases are now confirmed in at least 17 states. 

“We have several dozen cases and we’re following them closely. And we are, every day, hearing about more and more probable cases,” said CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

But so far, Omicron does not seem to be dangerous. Initial studies show it has a similar genetic structure to the common cold, making it more transmissible. But in South Africa, where Omicron first emerged, hospitalizations have not increased significantly.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said, “We really need to be careful before we make any determinations, but thus far the signals are a bit encouraging regarding the severity.”

Peter McGinn of Minnesota tested positive for Omicron after a visit to New York City. 

He had been fully vaccinated and received a booster.

“I felt kinda tired. I felt bad for about a day. I did my absolute best to follow the guidelines, I had my mask on the entire time,” McGinn said.

COVID guidelines and restrictions have become a significant issue in Europe, where some nations are requiring citizens to be vaccinated.  And that has sparked massive and sometimes violent demonstrations across the continent.

At a protest in Brussels, a Belgian woman said, “I don’t agree with the mandatory vaccinations because these vaccines, I don’t think they’re great yet. “

A Spanish protestor in Barcelona said, “The dead from COVID-19 are mostly vaccinated people instead of non-vaccinated. That’s in all hospitals.” Another said, “We don’t want the COVID-19 passport. We want freedom. It’s a human right. We don’t want vaccines, neither for us or our children. This is a genocide.”

Austria has announced it plans to become the first country in Europe to make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory.  Germany plans on making vaccinations compulsory for some jobs.

European Union leader Ursula von der Leyen says it’s time for the E.U. to discuss a Europe-wide vaccine mandate.

Posted below is the related news video of CBN News…

Omicron also a factor as mentioned by New York City’s outgoing mayor

In the City of New York, the exiting Mayor Bill de Blasio announced his own vaccine mandate for private employers and vaccine passports on the people (including children) according to a separate CBN News report. De Blasio mentioned the Omicron variant as a new factor as well as the cold weather creating additional challenges on dealing with the Delta variant in the city.

The weird thing about the NYC mandate is that the federal private employer mandate has been put on hold. Kathryn Wylde, the head of the business group Partnership for NYC, questioned the mayor’s authority to impose the local mandate on private employers. The United States Representative of Long Island Lee Zeldin called the mandate a “job-killing, small business-suppressing mandate.”

“When you dangerously combine a far-left, lame-duck politician, who is anti-business, one-dimensional, unaccountable, not bright and has a perpetual ‘I always know best’ attitude,’ you get Bill de Blasio, the Worst Mayor in America,” Zeldin further said.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What can you say about these newest developments overseas related to the Omicron variant? Do you think that the government units from New York City to Europe panicked or overreacted? If you are physically in New York City or Europe right now, did you witness any protests or riots related to the vaccination mandates? Do you believe that the secular, Left-leaning and liberal news outlets magnified the Omicron variant too much and distorted the details to spread fear and panic?

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: Panic and the closing of borders related to the Omicron variant

As a growing number of nations closed their borders to foreign travelers due to the fear over the Omicron variant (coronavirus variant B.1.1.529) magnified by secular and liberal news media organizations, CBN News published a related news report highlighting the statement of the head of the South African Medical Association that Western nations are panicking unnecessarily over the said new variant.

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

The World Health Organization calls Omicron “a variant of concern,” but admits more needs to be learned about it. 

Initial reports describe it as having very mild symptoms.

But the virus may also be highly transmissible. Two new cases have just been confirmed in Canada, the first known to have reached North America. 

Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health, said preliminary evidence shows that it is more transmissible. “We don’t know for sure. We really have no data on severity, whether it’s more severe, milder, or more significant,” Jha said.

The United States has decided to ban travelers from South Africa and seven other countries in the region.

Israel has closed its borders to noncitizens for two weeks and has authorized cell phone surveillance of anyone confirmed to be carrying the variant. 

Japan also suspended entry to foreign visitors.

But the head of the South African Medical Association, Dr. Angelique Coetzee, said Western nations are panicking unnecessarily

There’s body aches and pain with a bit of a headache, not really sore throat, more of a scratchy type of description and no cough and no loss of smell or taste. And that’s what I call ‘mild symptoms.‘”

South Africa’s Health Minister, Joe Phaala, slammed what he called the ‘draconian’ travel bans.

“The reaction of some of the countries in terms of imposing travel bans and such measures are completely against the norms and standards as guided by the World Health Organization.” 

Here in the Philippines, the Omicron variant news reports sparked calls for ramping up COVID-19 vaccination just as the 3-day nationwide vaccination drive resulted 2.5 million shots administered on the first day. Omicron also brought local stocks down by a little over 1% on November 29 and the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) recommended to President Rodrigo Duterte the required wearing of face shields (which are unpopular and are really inconvenient to use as they distort vision and make verbal communication more problematic). These local developments show how much of a negative impact Omicron has made through the news and also shows how concerned or panicky people could get.

Anyone who follows Jesus as Lord and Savior should know that no matter what the situation and no matter how much fear and negativity the global new media spreads, they should NOT panic at all and should maintain unwavering faith in Him for protection and lifting.

To all the faithful as well as all others who have not yet accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior reading this…the Lord will not abandon us nor forsake us. Trust in the Lord wholeheartedly and eternally. Submit to the Lord and be led by the Holy Spirit. Learn from the following scriptures below…

Do not yield to fear, for I am always near.
    Never turn your gaze from me, for I am your faithful God.
    I will infuse you with my strength
    and help you in every situation.
    I will hold you firmly with my victorious right hand.’
“All who rage against you will be ashamed and disgraced.
    All who contend with you will perish and disappear.
 You will look for your enemies in vain;
    those who war against you will vanish without a trace!

Isaiah 41:10-12 (TPT)

Fear and intimidation is a trap that holds you back.
    But when you place your confidence in the Lord,
    you will be seated in the high place.

Proverbs 29:25 (TPT)

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

Then Moses called Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and of good courage, for you must go with this people to the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to inherit it. And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”

So Moses wrote this law and delivered it to the priests, the sons of Levi, who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and to all the elders of Israel.

Deuteronomy 31:6-9 (NKJV)

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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: No evidence on higher transmissibility of Omicron variant according to WHO

By the time you are reading this, you must have seen a ton of international, national and local news reports related to the Omicron variant (variant B.1.1.529) as it is feared to be more infectious and overwhelm the protection COVID-19 vaccines provide. To cut through all the noise and the paranoia, it is important to take a look at what the global health authority said about Omicron according to a Philippine News Agency (PNA) report.

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

There is no evidence so far concerning the transmissibility or severity of the new Omicron strain of the coronavirus, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Sunday.

It is not yet clear whether Omicron is more transmissible (e.g., more easily spread from person to person) compared to other variants, including Delta,” the organization said in a statement.

The WHO said the increasing number of people testing positive and the rate of hospitalization in South Africa, where the new variant was first reported and thought to have originated, do not necessarily mean higher transmissibility or severity rates of the strain, noting “this may be due to increasing overall numbers of people becoming infected rather than a result of specific infection with Omicron.

“There is currently no information to suggest that symptoms associated with Omicron are different from those from other variants,” the statement added.

Based on limited information, the WHO also warned that people who have previously had Covid-19 could become re-infected more easily with Omicron as compared to other variants of concern, pointing out the need for more studies on the strain to better understand it.

Omicron is really impacting nations as I write this. Here in the Philippines, the government targeted January 2022 as the time to formally start vaccinating minors aged 5 to 11-years-old. In Israel, where a 2nd Omicron case was detected, travelers from overseas will not be allowed to use public transportation serving the airport. In the Netherlands, 13 cases of Omicron were detected among passengers on two flights that came from South Africa.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What can you say about this new development? Do all the news about Omicron make you feel scared or worried? Has everyone in your household been fully vaccinated (injected with two doses of most vaccine brands) already?

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

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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: Philippines monitoring coronavirus variant B.1.1.529 (Omicron variant)

News about the new and more infectious coronavirus variant B.1.1.529 – also referred to as the Omicron variant – that reportedly originated in South Africa dominated the news cycles this past weekend and already the authorities here in the Philippines are monitoring it, according to a recent Philippine News Agency (PNA) report.

Before proceeding with the PNA’s news report, let’s take a close look as to what exactly is coronavirus variant B.1.1.529 or Omicron variant according to the World Health Organization (WHO) which published an article (published November 26, 2021) about it. The excerpt is pasted below and some parts in boldface…

The B.1.1.529 variant was first reported to WHO from South Africa on 24 November 2021. The epidemiological situation in South Africa has been characterized by three distinct peaks in reported cases, the latest of which was predominantly the Delta variant. In recent weeks, infections have increased steeply, coinciding with the detection of B.1.1.529 variant. The first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on 9 November 2021.

This variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning. Preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection with this variant, as compared to other VOCs. The number of cases of this variant appears to be increasing in almost all provinces in South Africa. Current SARS-CoV-2 PCR diagnostics continue to detect this variant. Several labs have indicated that for one widely used PCR test, one of the three target genes is not detected (called S gene dropout or S gene target failure) and this test can therefore be used as marker for this variant, pending sequencing confirmation. Using this approach, this variant has been detected at faster rates than previous surges in infection, suggesting that this variant may have a growth advantage.

There are a number of studies underway and the TAG-VE will continue to evaluate this variant. WHO will communicate new findings with Member States and to the public as needed.

Based on the evidence presented indicative of a detrimental change in COVID-19 epidemiology, the TAG-VE has advised WHO that this variant should be designated as a VOC, and the WHO has designated B.1.1.529 as a VOC, named Omicron.

As such, countries are asked to do the following:

  • enhance surveillance and sequencing efforts to better understand circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants.
  • submit complete genome sequences and associated metadata to a publicly available database, such as GISAID.
  • report initial cases/clusters associated with VOC infection to WHO through the IHR mechanism.
  • where capacity exists and in coordination with the international community, perform field investigations and laboratory assessments to improve understanding of the potential impacts of the VOC on COVID-19 epidemiology, severity, effectiveness of public health and social measures, diagnostic methods, immune responses, antibody neutralization, or other relevant characteristics.

Individuals are reminded to take measures to reduce their risk of COVID-19, including proven public health and social measures such as wearing well-fitting masks, hand hygiene, physical distancing, improving ventilation of indoor spaces, avoiding crowded spaces, and getting vaccinated.

As mentioned earlier, the Philippines is paying close attention to the Omicron variant. To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the PNA article. Some parts in boldface…

The Philippine government is monitoring the new coronavirus variant B.1.1.529 that already has cases in South Africa, acting Presidential spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Friday.

During the Palace briefing, Nograles said members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and the Department of Health (DOH) are widely aware of the variant described by experts as “heavily mutated”.

“We are monitoring — intently monitoring — itong situation na ito. Patuloy pa rin po ang ginagwa nating (We are monitoring — intently monitoring — this situation. We continue to conduct our) genomic surveillance on the ground,” Nograles said in an interview.

He added the government is constantly exchanging information with the World Health Organization about the possible threat of the newly detected variant.

We are waiting their advisories kung ito bang variant na ito (if this variant) is considered a variant of interest or a variant of concern,” Nograles said.

Dana Krizia Sandoval, spokesperson of the Bureau of Immigration, said in another interview that various systems are in place once the IATF sees the need to adjust the travel restrictions caused by emerging Covid-19 variants.

“Kapag may directive po ang IATF na kailangan pong baguhin, immediately po kaya po nating i-implement and we have the sufficient manpower naman po para tugunan po itong mga pangangailangan na ito (Once the IATF gives its directive to change it, we will immediately implement it and we have sufficient manpower to augment these needs),” she added.

Sandoval said they are strictly enforcing health protocols and social distancing measures in all entry and exit points to make sure that travelers are safe when passing through the immigration area.

The above report ended stating that there have been confirmed cases of Omicron variant in South Africa, Botswana, and Hong Kong.

While the Omicron news published are scary and unsettling to learn about, it should be noted that there are still ways for the Philippines to prevent the new variant from entering the country even though the national authorities are constantly working as people of different nationalities enter, exit or pass through our nation via air travel.

As the Omicron variant was found to be much more infectious than the previous variants of coronavirus, now is a much more crucial time for every unvaccinated person here in the Philippines to go out and get vaccinated. That being said, the patients who are due for a 2nd dose of their vaccine should contact the local authorities to ask when will they be scheduled for the 2nd shot. As for the fully vaccinated, watch out for updates about the release of booster shots for more patients apart from the already receiving senior citizens, the health workers and immunocompromised. For anyone vaccinated already enjoying the added freedom of movement and the ongoing revival of businesses under Metro Manila’s Alert Level 2 status (extended to November 30, 2021), always maintain caution by following health protocols.

As the many secular and liberal media outlets around the world enjoy publishing scary news about Omicron, we who believe in Lord Jesus should not panic nor allow ourselves to be crushed by fear. For His protection, I urge you all to pray to Him with Psalm 91 in the Holy Bible. Maintain unwavering faith in the Lord no matter what.

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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: 3rd vaccine shots for health workers and vulnerable sector members planned by government

Is there a health worker or a member of the vulnerable sector among the members of your local community right now? You might want to inform them that the national authorities are planning to administer to each of them a third shot (or 3rd dose) of the COVID-19 vaccine according to a recent news report published by the Philippine News Agency (PNA). It could happen sooner than later. This particular development should make you think about how long the immunity you gained from the COVID-19 vaccine – specifically when you have been vaccinated with two doses most brands of COVID-19 vaccines – would last before you need to be vaccinated again.

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

Vaccine czar Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. on Tuesday said the government is planning to begin administering a third dose of Covid-19 vaccine for the healthcare workers and the country’s vulnerable sector by November or early December.

“Ito po pineprepare na namin ni (Health Secretary Francisco) Duque, dahil nagbigay na po ng inclination ang WHO (World Health Organization), na ‘yung ating vaccination for third dosing, considering na maglalapse na po ‘yung immunity (Duque and I are already preparing [revaccination] since the WHO has already given its inclination for the vaccination for third dosing, considering that the immunity will lapse,” Galvez reported to President Rodrigo Duterte during the taped Talk to the People.

“Maybe we can start by November or early December,” he added.

The Department of Health (DOH) is awaiting the WHO’s official recommendation to give additional doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to immunocompromised persons, senior citizens, and healthcare workers.

DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the WHO is expected to release its final recommendation by November.

Vergeire clarified that booster shots and additional doses are different and the WHO has yet to recommend a third shot for the general population.

According to experts, a booster shot is an additional dose after the protection of the original shot(s) has decreased over time, while a third shot is for those with certain health conditions to help further protect them from severe Covid-19 case or death.

Following a four-day meeting, the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on Immunization on Oct. 11 said those with weakened immunity should receive an additional shot.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this latest development? If you were fully vaccinated, how long has it been since your 2nd dose? Do you fully trust the WHO?

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

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

COVID-19 Crisis: Face shield policy emphasized by Duterte

The confusion and debate over the importance of face shields during the COVID-19 crisis here in the Philippines continues. Very recently, President Rodrigo Duterte spoke out about face shields and even called their use a small inconvenience as part of preventing disaster.

To put things in perspective, posted below are excerpts from the June 22, 2021 article published by Philippine News Agency (PNA). Some parts in boldface…

The “small inconvenience” of wearing face shields is a “small price to pay” to prevent impending “disaster” caused by new coronavirus strains, President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday.

Duterte defended his decision to retain the mandatory face shield policy, citing the need to be more cautious over the highly infectious Delta coronavirus variant (B1617) first discovered in India.

The Philippines, he said, could not afford another coronavirus wave as it would take a toll on the country’s economy.

He also cited reports that the new coronavirus strain could be resistant to some Covid-19 vaccines.

“I will apologize to the Filipino people that this thing was being discussed openly and many thought that we were ready to do away with the face [shields]. But with the kind of aggressive infection that poses a very grave danger to…it’s a small inconvenience, actually. I know that it is inconvenient really to be wearing the mask, adjusting it from time to time. But that is only a very small price to pay than rather gamble with doing away with it and courting disaster,” Duterte said in a meeting with members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID), some Cabinet members, and medical experts.

His decision to retain the mandatory face shield policy came following health experts’ recommendation to “triple” precautions against the Delta coronavirus strain.

“As of now, the face [shield] is on…It is to the national interest that we must triple our effort because I said we do not know if it would require a new vaccine which has to be invented first. Second, we cannot afford a second wave because it might be far worse than the first and then we will have a problem with the economy and as I said it would be disaster for the country,” he added.

He also clarified that he never said with finality that he would lift the mandatory wearing of face shields.

Last week, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Duterte has agreed that the public should only be required to wear a face shield when they go to hospitals.

The IATF-EID, however, appealed to keep the rule on the use of face shields in enclosed public spaces such as commercial establishments, malls, and public transportation.

“When I mention about the face shield, I was only shooting the breeze with the members of the Congress who were there. I never said with finality that we will do away with the face shield,” Duterte said.

As you can see in the above details, there was confusion about the national authorities’ approach with face shields. President Duterte claims that he never declared with authority that the mandatory wearing of face shields will be lifted. And then there is the issue about the Delta coronavirus variant (B1617) which the World Health Organization (WHO) claims is mutating and has spread around the world.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Do you believe that face shields are essential for personal protection and for public health in general during this time of pandemic? How much money have you spent on face shields this year? Do you believe President Duterte and his view about face shields?

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

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

I Love Israel: Israel health experts in the Philippines to assist in COVID-19 matters

Before starting the topic of this article, I want to reach out to all business people and Israel supporters reading this that the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ICCP) will be having its 23rd General Membership Meeting tomorrow (June 23) 5PM via Zoom. As of this writing, registration is still ongoing. If you are interested in the event and if you want to know the latest about Israel-Philippine relations, I recommend you get registered now.

Now for the topic on hand…

In case you missed the news, Israel now has a new Prime Minister – Naftali Bennett. Before he took office, Israel committed to send their health experts to the Philippines and help solve the COVID-19 crisis. The good news is that they arrived this past weekend.

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

Three Israeli experts arrived in Manila on Sunday to assist the Philippines in its coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) response and to share Israel’s best practices as one of the world leaders in vaccinating its population.

The team is composed of Avi Ben-Zaken, deputy director of medical technologies and infrastructure development at Ichilov Hospital; Dafna Segol, senior strategic planner at Covid-19 control center of the Israeli Ministry of Health; and Adam Segal, logistics and operations manager at SLE, who’s also experienced in resolving complex supply chain challenges.

From June 20 to 25, the delegation will meet with the Philippines’ top medical experts and visit some vaccination sites and cold storage facilities in Metro Manila.

“The inputs from our guest will enable us to fine-tune our approaches so that we can get the anti-Covid jab into the arms of as many Filipinos in the most effective and efficient ways possible,” vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said after welcoming the delegation at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

“We are optimistic that this week will provide us an opportunity to share our best practices, lessons learned, and recommendations on how we can further improve our vaccination systems and procedures, and realize our goal of achieving herd immunity within this year,” he added.

Galvez said the Israeli delegation would discuss how to boost vaccine uptake, efficiently deploy jabs, and how to handle “sensitive” vaccines, specifically those manufactured by Pfizer and Moderna.

The visit also comes timely as the country signs a deal to procure 40 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech jabs, which will arrive in the third and fourth quarter of the year.

“Israel is one of the world models in terms of efficient and swift deployment of vaccines so iyon ang gusto nating malaman (so that’s what we want to learn) to have some sort of minimized wastage,” Galvez told reporters in an interview.

Israel no longer requires its citizens to wear masks even indoors as its infections continue to decline following a robust vaccination program that has so far fully inoculated 59.49 percent of its population.

And here is a relevant news video about the development…

Even though the Philippine authorities have been working hard to solve the COVID-19-related problems, major improvements are very much needed and we will find out soon enough what the Israeli health experts will advise. The nation’s population is north of 100 million people and the expert advise of Israel on COVID-19 matters is indeed crucial. Definitely, more cooperation between Israel and the Philippines is needed. My native country should do its part in defending Israel in the diplomatic arena.

As a believer in Israel-Philippines relations, I am very thankful to the State of Israel as they went ahead in providing help to my native Philippines. It is a shame, however, that the Philippines at the corrupt United Nations Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) voted in favor of the investigation of alleged war crimes related to the Gaza strip. Last week, it was stated that President Rodrigo Duterte was supposedly not consulted on the UNHRC vote and that he supposedly disagreed with it. If you ask me, no worldly organization such as the United Nations (UN), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Criminal Court (ICC) should be allowed to abuse its powers on nations by means of diplomatic bullying, and they should not be allowed to violate any nation’s sovereignty. In fact, those worldly organizations should be investigated for corruption and their ties to terrorist organizations. Also, remember the fact that Iran continues to sponsor terrorists and supported Israel’s enemies. That being said, I stand with Israel and I firmly reject terrorists.

Before ending this article, posted below is a holy scripture for you all…

Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel.

Joshua 1:2 (NKJV)

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!

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

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

COVID-19 Crisis: DOH, WHO praise Muntinlupa City’s response, strategies vs COVID-19

COVID-19 Crisis: DOH, WHO praise Muntinlupa City’s response, strategies vs COVID-19

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Department of Health and World Health Organization execs led by DOH Regional Director Dr. Corazon Flores visited Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi for a courtesy visit on Thursday and cited the local exec’s leadership and response to the pandemic. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

Posting the highest recovery rate of COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila, the Department of Health (DOH) and the World Health Organization (WHO) praised Muntinlupa City’s strategies in curbing the spread of COVID-19 in the communities.

DOH and WHO delegates led by DOH Regional Director Dr. Corazon Flores visited Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi for a courtesy visit recently to commend the local exec’s leadership and response to the pandemic.

Flores cited the City Government’s efforts in contact tracing, strong coordination with public and private hospitals for management of COVID-19 patients, weekly meetings with barangay leaders, and active barangay health emergency response system.

She also lauded the city’s swabbing process with a drive-thru feature, installation up of a testing lab and construction of additional isolation rooms in Ospital ng Muntinlupa.

Also attending the meeting were DOH Asst. Regional Director Dr. Paz Corrales, DOH Epidemiologist Dr. Manuel Mapue, WHO technical officers Dr. Juhani Capeding and Dr. Rodel Nodora, and Muntinlupa City Health Officer Dra. Teresa Tuliao.

DOH and WHO execs also visited the 108-bed quarantine facility at the Filinvest Tent ‘We Heal As One Center’ in Alabang. The mega quarantine facility was formally turned over to the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) last May 13.

Muntinlupa City recorded the highest COVID-19 recovery rate in Metro Manila at 68.93% as of May 24. Further, COVID-19 transmission in the city is slowing down with a doubling time of nine days.

Doubling time refers to the number of days for local coronavirus cases to double in number. The standard rate of transmission should be at 7-30 days to be considered decelerating.

The City Government continues to conduct targeted mass testing for city residents who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. PCR Testing administered to residents is for free. As of May 23, the local health office has tested 2,300 residents and frontliners. Confirmed patients are immediately referred to quarantine facilities while close contacts and their families are isolated.

The City Government implements a holistic approach in treating COVID-19 patients and suspect individuals by providing psychosocial, spiritual, and support care on top of medical assistance. Recovered patients are continuously monitored by CHO and are given vitamins and other supplies.

Fresnedi said the City Government will implement more stringent quarantine measures and will not be complacent with the high recovery rate among Muntinlupa’s COVID-19 cases. The local exec reminded city residents that they should continue to observe physical distancing and wear masks when going out of their homes.

Muntinlupa City has 211 confirmed cases with 145 recoveries, 34 active cases, 32 reported deaths, 42 suspect cases, and 228 probable cases as of May 28.


This is an official Press Release issued by the City Government of Muntinlupa. Some parts were edited for this website. 

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