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Philippines News

EDITORIAL: Not among the 1%

Cebu Sun.Star - 6 hours 42 min ago

A few days before Good Friday, barangay workers went around the neighborhood to ask senior citizens if they were willing to receive a vaccine against Covid-19. The joy I felt from this development overstates the event’s importance. I shall keep it anyway.

The workers were careful not to create any false expectations or hopes. No, they could not say when a vaccine might be given to the community’s seniors. They could not say what brands would be delivered. But the mere possibility that a vaccine might be available—even if no one could say how soon—was enough. The optimism and joy lasted well past Easter. I even considered buying a planner for the first time since 2020 began.

What happened was probably Step 2 of a nine-step implementation process that the Department of Health (DOH) outlined as part of its national vaccination plan. Local governments had been given until March 31 to complete master lists of the first two priority groups, which include frontline health workers, contact tracers, senior citizens and enlisted personnel. All that data would then go into an electronic immunization registry.

As of last Tuesday, April 6, a total of 922,898 persons in the Philippines have received at least one dose of a vaccine against the virus that causes Covid-19. They represent less than one percent of the national population. Fewer than 51,000 have received two doses or been fully vaccinated.

Yet in some better-prepared local governments, the vaccines have started to reach Priority B citizens. This group includes government personnel, school workers, overseas Filipino workers, essential workers (as defined by the labor and trade departments), and groups at higher risk than others, such as “all Filipinos living in high-density areas.” Local government officials get to identify that last group, depending on the city or town’s land use plan.

Local governments have also been asked to take the lead in the vaccination program, subject to DOH guidelines. It won’t be overstating the case to say that the quality of local government leadership really has become a matter of life and death. Where you live will, among other factors, determine how soon you can get some necessary protection against Covid-19.

When the DOH released the vaccination plan, it cited data from January 2021. Based on its guidelines, the number of active cases and the attack rate for every 100,000 persons in the last four weeks would help decide to which regions the available vaccines would be sent. In January, Metro Manila was first on the list. It probably still is, given the number of cases there.

Central Visayas landed fourth on that list, although the order may change based on what a monthly review reveals. As of last Friday, the total number of cases in Region 7 amounted to less than 15 percent of the number of those the pandemic has struck in Metro Manila.

While waiting for more data about the vaccine rollout to become available, what some of us do instead is check the numbers nearly every day. I know this is probably an unhealthy preoccupation.

How many tested positive nationwide today? (Answer: 12,225 last Friday.) Is the seven-day average of new cases in your region rising or falling? (Answer: In Central Visayas, it’s been falling since March 10, when the seven-day average was 499, although that shouldn’t mean we can let our guard down.) How many beds reserved for Covid-19 patients (ward, isolation and ICU) remain vacant? The health department’s tracker gives you these numbers at the hospital level. This one actually helps, in that it lets me rein in the anxiety triggered by social media posts about how some hospitals have been overwhelmed.

The number I’m most eager to get is a date. As soon as my mother gets inoculated—and that day cannot come soon enough—it will be a turning point in this entire experience. Think about the person you love most. You’d probably feel the same way.

Categories: Philippines News

Who is eligible under A3 priority list?

Cebu Freeman - 6 hours 46 min ago
Many individuals are still confused about who are those eligible under A3 prioritization in the COVID-19 vaccination.
Categories: Philippines News

13 arrested, ‘drug den’ busted in Cebu City operation

Cebu Freeman - 6 hours 46 min ago
At least 13 men were arrested in an operation that led to the discovery of an alleged drug den at a construction site in Barangay Apas, Cebu City early morning on Saturday, April 10, 2021.
Categories: Philippines News

DOH: Face shields not required for cyclists

Cebu Freeman - 6 hours 46 min ago
Following reports of cyclists and other active transport users being arrested for not wearing face shields, the Department of Health has reiterated that cyclists and the likes are not required to use face shields due to its potential safety risks.
Categories: Philippines News

COVID-19 deaths, active cases in Central Visayas remain high

Cebu Freeman - 6 hours 46 min ago
Central Visayas still has the second highest number of deaths in COVID-19 in the country and among the top five in the most number of active cases based on the latest situationer from the Department of Health.
Categories: Philippines News

DPWH info on watchtower fund source ‘conflicting’

Cebu Freeman - 6 hours 46 min ago
Is it from government coffers or from a private individual’s donation?
Categories: Philippines News

Search on for best 3rd bridge photos

Cebu Freeman - 6 hours 46 min ago
The Cebu Cordova Link Expressway Corp. has announced the conduct of a photo contest with the Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway, the third bridge connecting Mactan Island to mainland Cebu, as the main subject.
Categories: Philippines News

Road projects worth P140 million break ground in Consolacion

Cebu Freeman - 6 hours 46 min ago
Road projects totaling P140 million broke grounds in the town of Consolacion, Cebu recently.
Categories: Philippines News

OPAV: No coercion in deployment of nurses to NCR Plus

Cebu Freeman - 6 hours 46 min ago
Assistant Secretary Anthony Gerard “Jonji” Gonzales of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas yesterday expressed support to the Department of Health-7’s earlier statement that the nurses and doctors who were sent on a mission to the NCR Plus were not coerced.
Categories: Philippines News

Labella stops allowance for Sawang Calero cops

Cebu Freeman - 6 hours 46 min ago
Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella has suspended the city’s allowance allocation for cops at the Sawang Calero Police Station who are facing investigation and charges for alleged abusive acts against detainees.
Categories: Philippines News

Roque hospitalized anew for COVID-19

Philippines Star - 6 hours 46 min ago
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. has been admitted to hospital for treatment of COVID-19, possibly his second infection in the past month.
Categories: Philippines News

Palace extends condolences to Queen Elizabeth

Philippines Star - 6 hours 46 min ago
Malacañang extended yesterday the condolences of the Filipino people to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the death of Prince Philip.
Categories: Philippines News

Duterte jogs, hops on motorcycle amid health rumors

Philippines Star - 6 hours 46 min ago
With President Duterte’s prolonged absence from public view stirring speculations over the true state of his health, long-time aide and now Sen. Bong Go has posted on Facebook photos and videos of the Chief Executive showing him jogging and even riding a motorcycle at the Palace grounds.
Categories: Philippines News

Rabiya off to Florida for Miss U pageant

Philippines Star - 6 hours 46 min ago
Miss Philippines Universe Rabiya Mateo left Friday night for Florida in the US to compete in the Miss Universe pageant on May 16.
Categories: Philippines News

DOH probing labs closed on Holy Week

Philippines Star - 6 hours 46 min ago
The Department of Health is investigating testing laboratories that did not operate during the Holy Week, which affected the daily tally of new COVID-19 cases in the country.
Categories: Philippines News

FDA license sought to test Ivermectin in Philippines

Philippines Star - 6 hours 46 min ago
Two pharmaceutical companies intend to apply with the Food and Drug Administration to conduct clinical trials in the country using Ivermectin as treatment against COVID-19.
Categories: Philippines News

Villar still richest among Pinoy billionaires

Philippines Star - 6 hours 46 min ago
Real estate tycoon Manuel B. Villar Jr., the so-called brown taipan with a noteworthy rags-to-riches story, has gone a long way even in the country’s billionaire rankings, staying as the richest man in the country for the third straight year from only 12th place in 2016.
Categories: Philippines News

17 colleges, universities offer facilities as vaccination centers

Philippines Star - 6 hours 46 min ago
At least 17 colleges and universities throughout the country have offered their facilities as additional vaccination centers in their respective localities.
Categories: Philippines News

Only 32 Chinese vessels left in West Philippine Sea reef – DND chief

Philippines Star - 6 hours 46 min ago
Only 32 Chinese vessels remain stationed around Julian Felipe Reef, but the Philippines will continue to demand their withdrawal, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said yesterday.
Categories: Philippines News

ECQ working, but 1 week extension needed – experts

Philippines Star - 6 hours 46 min ago
Experts are pushing for a one-week extension of the enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila and nearby provinces in order to maintain the downtrend in the surge of new COVID-19 cases.
Categories: Philippines News

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