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Poorly-equipped health workers, Covid-19 patients putting selves at risk THE WORLD Health Organization has warned that severe and mounting disruption to the global supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) – caused by rising demand, panic buying, hoarding and misuse – is putting lives at risk from the new coronavirus and other infectious diseas-

es. Healthcare workers rely on personal protective equipment to protect themselves and their patients from being infected and infecting others. But shortages are leaving doctors, nurses and other frontline workers dangerously ill-equipped to care for

Covid-19 patients, due to limited access to supplies such as gloves, medical masks, respirators, goggles, face shields, gowns, and aprons. “Without secure supply chains, the risk to healthcare workers around the world is real. Industry and Continue on page 5

THE WORLD Health Organization recommended that people suffering Covid-19 symptoms avoid taking ibuprofen, after French officials warned that anti-inflammatory drugs could worsen effects of the virus. The warning by French Health Minister Continue on page 2

Avoid taking ibuprofen for Covid-19 symptoms: WHO

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‘Filipinos told to stay home’ T

HE PHILIPPINES is now in a virtual lockdown with local governments imposing community quarantine in an effort to battle the spread of the deadly coronavirus disease, or Covid-19, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December. The Department of disease with over a dozen Covid-19. Health, or DOH, said dead and with no specific To further prevent the dozens of people have medicine recommend- spread of the been infected with the ed to prevent or treat the Continue on page 3

Basic protective measures against the new coronavirus

President Rodrigo Duterte. (PCOO)

Sulu warns rice hoarders, profiteers Sulu Governor Sakur Tan meets with stakeholders during a meeting to discuss measures in preventing the entry or spread of the deadly coronavirus disease. (Sulu Govt. Photo) READ STORY ON PAGE 5

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STAY AWARE of the latest information on the COVID-19 disease outbreak, available on the WHO website and through your national and local public health authority. Most people who become infected experience mild illness and recover, but it can be more severe for others. Take care of your health and protect others by doing the following: Wash your hands frequently.Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands. Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or

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sneezing. When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.

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Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make Continue on page 5

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Avoid taking ibuprofen for Covid-19 symptoms: WHO Continued from page 1 Olivier Veran followed a recent study in The Lancet medical journal that hypothesised that an enzyme boosted by anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen could facilitate and worsen Covid-19 infections. Asked about the study, WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier told reporters in Geneva the UN health agency’s experts were “looking into this to give further guidance.” “In the meantime, we recommend using rather paracetamol, and do not use ibuprofen as a self-medication. That’s important,” he said, adding, that if ibuprofen had been “prescribed by the healthcare professionals, then, of course, that’s up to them.” His comments came after Veran sent a tweet cautioning that the use of ibuprofen and similar anti-inflammatory drugs could be “an aggravating factor” in Covid-19 infections. “In the case of fever, take paracetamol,” he

wrote. The French minister stressed that patients already being treated with anti-inflammatory drugs should ask advice from their doctor. Paracetamol must be taken strictly according to the recommended dose, because too much of it can damage the liver. The Covid-19 pandemic, which has infected around 190,000 people worldwide and killed more than 7,800, causes mild symptoms in most people, but can result in pneumonia and in some cases severe illness that can lead to multiple organ failure. Even before the pandemic, French authorities sounded the alarm over serious “infectious complications” linked to the use of ibuprofen, which is sold under various brands like Nurofen and Advil, and other anti-inflammatory drugs. A spokesperson for British pharmaceutical company Reckitt Benckiser, which makes Nurofen, said in an email statement that

the company was aware of concerns raised about “the use of steroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory products, including ibuprofen, for the alleviation of Covid-19 symptoms.” “Consumer safety is our number one priority,” the spokesperson said, stressing that “Ibuprofen is a well-established medicine that has been used safely as a self-care fever and pain reducer, including in viral illnesses, for more than 30 years.” “We do not currently believe there is any proven scientific evidence linking over-the-counter use of ibuprofen to the aggravation of Covid-19,” the statement said. The spokesperson said Reckitt Benckiser was “engaging with the WHO, EMA (the European Medicines Agency) and other local health authorities” on the issue and would provide “any additional information or guidance necessary for the safe use of our products following any such evaluation.” (AFP)

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March 23-29, 2020

‘Filipinos told to stay home’

Continued from page 1 disease, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said they launched the DOH COVID-19 emergency hotlines 02-894-COVID (0289426843) and 1555 in partnership with the National Emergency Hotline of the Department of Interior and Local Government, PLDT and Smart Communications Inc. Duque said callers can ask questions if they suspect they are infected with COVID-19, or request assistance if they have symptoms or known exposure to confirm cases or patients under investigation. The information collected from emergency calls is transmitted to the COVID-19 Emergency Operations Center and other relevant agencies for immediate facilitation

and response, he said. “As we enhance our efforts to contain this disease, we are working with both the public and private sectors, which can provide the facilities and the technical expertise to address the many challenges that we face each day.” “We expect an influx of calls in the first few days of the launch of the call center. We ask for the public’s cooperation and patience to allow only relevant and important calls to go through. In that way, we can provide timely medical assistance to those who really need it,” Duque said. President Rodrigo Duterte signed Proclamation Number 929 declaring a “State of Calamity” throughout the country

for a period of six months. And he also placed the entire region of Luzon under an “Enhanced Community Quarantine” from March 17 up until April 12. “The impositions may be lifted or extended as circumstances may warrant. The President has also directed all government offices, law enforcement agencies and local government units to mobilize all necessary resources to curtail and eliminate the spread of COVID-19,” said Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo. Duterte also declared a unilateral ceasefire with the communist rebel New People’s Army, and the Communist Party of the Philippines and its political wing, the National

Democratic Front of the Philippines from March 19 to April 15. He ordered the police and military not to launch offensives against the rebel group, blamed for the spate of attacks on

civilian and government targets across the country. “Through this ceasefire, the Philippine government aspires that the swift provision of public health assistance goes unimpeded and that

the movement of health workers and medical supplies to communities, as well as of people in need of immediate medical attention, remains unhampered,” Panelo said. (Mindanao Examiner)

China to the rescue, gives Philippines Covid test kits CHINA SAID it will donate 100,000 more test kits and other urgently-needed medical supplies to the Philippines to help the Southeast Asian country fight COVID-19 spread. Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian said the assistance includes another 100,000 test kits, 100,000 surgical masks, 10,000 N95 masks, and 10,000

sets of personal protective equipment. China donated recently some 2,000 test kits to the Philippines. “The Chinese people stand ready to help their Philippine brothers and sisters to go through this difficult time,” Huang said. “Thank you, my brother,” Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro

Locsin tweeted after he was informed of the new donations. The Philippines now has over 200 confirmed coronavirus cases, including more than a dozen deaths. The Department of Health said that seven patients have recovered from the viral disease. (Xinhua. With additional report from Rhoderick Benez.)


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March 23-29, 2020

Sulu Pictures in the News

(Photos from the Office of the Provincial Governor)

Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan, chairman of Sulu Task Force on COVID-19, signs a memorandum order suspending all incoming vessels to the province, and suspending all classes im public and private schools.

Lt. Col. Alaric Avelino delos Santos, commander of the 41st Infantry Battalion, receives financial assistance from Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan for the construction of a command post in Barangay Tabo Bato in Maimbung town.

Executive Director Nelson Mukarram and officers of Kapatut Bangsa Sug Inc. receives projector, portable viewing screen and a laptop computer from Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan for the group’s “Youth Empowerment and Social Reform Program” in Sulu.

Teachers and employees of Hadji Butoh School of Arts and Trade trooped to the Capitol and sought Governor Abdusakur Tan’s help. They demanded the ouster of their school head due to various allegations.

Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan, also chairman of the Task Force Covid-19 , meets with traders and told them to maintain the prevailing selling price of rice and basic necessities amid reports of overpricing in the province due to Covid-19 scare.

Captain Rico Tagure of the 4th Special Forces Company receives financial assistance from Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan to hasten Rido settlement initiatives.

The Responsive and Pro Active - Youth Serving Organization in partnership with other youth organizations in Sulu, got the nod of support from Sulu Governor Abdusakur M Tan. Camp Kasambuhan at Sultan Jamalul Kiram Elementary School in Maimbung town.

Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan receives Col. Michael Cardiogan Bawayan Jr , a native of Mountain Province, and the newly assigned provincial police chief.

MNLF officials meet with Governor Sakur Tan.


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March 23-29, 2020

Poorly-equipped health workers, Covid-19 patients putting selves at risk Continued from page 1 governments must act quickly to boost supply, ease export restrictions and put measures in place to stop speculation and hoarding. We can’t stop Covid-19 without protecting health workers first,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak in Wuhan City in China last December, prices have surged. Surgical masks have seen a sixfold increase, N95 respirators have trebled and gowns have doubled. Supplies can take months to deliver and market manipulation is widespread, with stocks frequently sold to the highest bidder. WHO has so far shipped nearly half a million sets of personal protective equipment to 47 countries, but supplies are rapidly depleting. Based on WHO modelling, an estimated 89 million medical

Basic protective measures against the new coronavirus Continued from page 1 you sick. Practice respiratory hygiene. Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately. Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19. If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early. Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority. National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will al-

low your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections. Stay informed and follow advice given by your healthcare provider. Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Follow advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on whether COVID-19 is spreading in your area. They are best placed to advise on what people in your area should be doing to protect themselves. Protection measures for persons who are in or have recently visited (past 14 days) areas where COVID-19 is spreading

Follow the guidance outlined above. Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover. Why? Avoiding contact with others and visits to medical facilities will allow these facilities to operate more effectively and help protect you and others from possible COVID-19 and other viruses. If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition. Call in advance and tell your provider of any recent travel or contact with travelers. Why? Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also help to prevent possible spread of COVID-19 and other viruses.

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masks are required for the Covid-19 response each month. For examination gloves, that figure goes up to 76 million, while international demand for goggles stands at 1.6 million per month. Recent WHO guidance calls for the rational and appropriate use of PPE in healthcare settings, and the effective management of supply chains. WHO is working with governments, industry and the Pandemic Supply Chain Network to boost production and secure allocations for critically affected and at-risk countries. To meet rising global demand, WHO estimates that industry must increase manufacturing by 40 per cent. It said governments should develop incentives for industry to ramp up production, and this includes easing restrictions on the export and distribution of personal protective equipment and other medical

supplies. Every day, WHO is providing guidance, supporting secure supply chains, and delivering critical equipment to countries in need. Since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak, countries that have received WHO PPE supplies include: Cambodia, Fiji, Kiribati, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mongolia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu, Philippines, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal and Timor-Leste, Afghanistan, Djibouti, Lebanon, Somalia, Pakistan, Sudan, Jordan, Morocco, Iran, Senegal, Algeria, Ethiopia, Togo, Ivory Coast, Mauritius, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania, Angola, Ghana, Kenya, Zambia, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Madagascar, Mauritania, Mozambique, Seychelles and Zimbabwe. (With a report from the Mindanao Examiner.)

Sulu warns rice hoarders, profiteers

Sulu Governor Sakur Tan meets with stakeholders during a meeting to discuss measures in preventing the entry or spread of the deadly coronavirus disease. (Sulu Govt. Photo) SULU GOVERNOR Sakur Tan warned rice traders and profiteers against hoarding as the provincial government imposed strict measures to curb overpricing of basic commodities, including disinfectants amid the coronavirus pandemic. Sulu is now under enhanced community quarantine, although it has no confirmed Covod-19 cases, to prevent the entry of the deadly disease which originated in Wuhan City in the Chinese province of Hubei in December. But the province has over a dozen persons under investigation, or PUIs, and more than 100 persons under monitoring, or PUMs. A PUI is a person that shows symptoms of cough, colds and fever with a travel or contact history to countries or person that is affected with CoviD 19, and being admitted in the hospital for observation. On other hand, a PUM

is a person with travel and contact history to countries or person that is affected with CoviD 19 but not displayed any symptoms and is advised to undergo a 14-day self-quarantine at home to be monitored by barangay health workers. “Dapat tayo magtulungan at magkaisa sa ganitong panahon na may banta sa kalusugan at seguridad,” said Tan, chairman of the Sulu Task Force Covid-19. He warned nefarious traders that he will close their shops and file charges against them if they are caught violating the Price Act or the Republic Act 10623. The Price Act ensures the availability of basic necessities and prime commodities at reasonable prices at all times without denying legitimate business a fair return on investment, as well as the policy to provide effective and sufficient protection to consumers against

hoarding, profiteering and cartels with respect to the supply, distribution, marketing and pricing of said goods, especially during periods of calamity, emergency, widespread illegal price manipulation and other similar situations. “Maintaining a reasonable price level for basic necessities and prime commodities is an important contribution to the welfare of the community, and would garner appreciation from our citizens. Suporta sa bawat isa at kabutihan sa kapwa ang kailangan para malagpasan natin ang ganitong sitwasyon,” Tan said. Tan also appealed to rice traders not to take advantage of the health crisis and for residents and business sector to strictly follow community quarantine guidelines. The governor also ordered municipal mayors to ensure the residents follow the guidelines and to maintain cleanliness and good hygiene practises at all times after the World Health Organization declared the Covid-19 situation as pandemic which affected 114 countries with over 100,000 cases. Tan said they also launched emergency hotlines where locals can call the following cell phone numbers 0917-5929225, 0966-3428831 and 09777399470 for all health and security concerns. (Zamboanga Post)


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Across : 1. Scent 6. Little bit 9. Asphalt 12. Arctic 13. Compass pt. 14. Brewery product 15. Peppy 17. Drink daintily 18. Expected 19. Castle trench 21. Host Conan ___ 24. Stick fast 27. Formerly called 28. Pittsburgh player 29. Additional 31. Dessert choice 32. Cruel 33. Assumed names 35. Chem., e.g. 36. Diminish 37. Morally pure 40. Adolescent 41. Have breakfast 42. ___ loss for words (2 wds.) 44. Orbiting object 49. Mr. Franklin 50. Medical group (abbr.) 51. Old Roman language 52. Jaguar, e.g. 53. Rainy 54. Road bends

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Down : 1. Gorilla, e.g. 2. ___ Howard of “Happy Days” 3. Bullfight cry 4. ___ Gras (Shrove Tuesday) 5. Dispute 6. Explosive (abbr.) 7. Enliven 8. Decipher 9. Lacking flavor 10. Famed boxer 11. Dem.’s foe 16. Poet’s “still” 20. Attention-getting sound 21. Shaquille ___ 22. Southern beauty 23. Water ___ (like some watches)

25. Respond 26. Tennessee ___ Ford 28. Family mem. 30. Lighten 31. Author’s pseudonym (2 wds.) 34. Playground feature 37. Middling grade 38. Oscal winner ___ Berry 39. Book of maps 42. CBS rival 43. Hot drink 45. Tit for ___ 46. The I in TGIF 47. Ascot 48. Printers’ measures

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Mindanao Examiner Productions Web Master REGIONAL PARTNERS Mindanao Daily / Business Week / Mindanao Star ADVERTISING Rhoderick Beñez (0927) 4757936 Central Mindanao/ Kidapawan City/Cotabato City North Cotabato Eduardo A. Sode (0917) 3087366 044 Mabini St. Cebu City Rodil P. Ybañez (0923) 1670009 Ground flr, Dreamfield Bldg, Sanciangko St., Kamagayan Cebu City

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LOTTO TIPS KARON SEMANA

Timbo karon, timbo ugma, timbo kada adlaw ug timbo kada semana! '352%$%/(6

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katunayan ay 12.5% ng kababaihan ay magkakasakit sa thyroid. Dalawa ang puwede maging sakit ng thyroid gland: ang hyperthyroid (sobra sa thyroid hormones) o hypothyroid (kulang sa thyroid hormones). Hyperthyroid: Mabilis Ang Galaw Kapag hyperthyroid ang pasyente, bumibilis ang kanyang metabolism. Mabilis ang tibok ng puso, nine-nerbiyos, laging pinapawisan, laging naiinitan, at

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MANILA

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Sakit sa Thyroid o Goiter

Ang thyroid gland ay matatagpuan sa harap ng ating leeg. Katabi ito ng Adam’s apple, iyung nakaumbok na buto sa gitna ng ating leeg. Ang thyroid gland ay hugis paru-paro at karaniwan ay hindi nakikita o nakakapa. Ang thyroid gland ang nagko-kontrol ng galaw ng mga organs ng ating katawan. Kapag lumalaki ang ating thyroid gland, tinatawag itong goiter o bosyo. Madalas makita sa kababaihan ang hyperthyroid. Sa

4 2 5 8

nagtatae. Kung malala na ay lumuluwa din ang kanilang mga mata. Delikado ito kapag hindi naagapan. Para malaman kung ika’y hyperthyroid, ipacheck ang Free T3, Free T4 at TSH. Nagkakahalaga ito ng P800 sa murang laboratoryo. Kapag mataas ang lebel ng T3 at T4, ibig sabihin ay hyperthyroid ang pasyente. Madali lang gamutin ang hyperthyroid. Binibigyan sila ng gamot na Methimazole (brand name Tapazole) 5 mg, mula 2 hanggang

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4 na tableta sa maghapon. Iniinom ang gamot ng mga 1 taon o lampas pa. Magpa-konsulta sa isang endocrinologist o espesyalista sa thyroid. Hypothyroid: Mabagal Ang Galaw Sa kabilang dako, may mga pasyente na hypothyroid. Kabaligtaran naman ang nararamdaman nila. Mabagal ang tibok ng kanilang puso at lagi silang nalalamigan. Mabagal din sila kumilos at mag-isip dahil kulang sila sa thyroid hormones. Sa mga pasyenteng hypothyroid, mababa ang lebel ng kanilang T3 at T4.

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Simple lang ang gamutan ng hypothyroid. Iinom lang sila ng Levothyroxine (Brand name Eltroxin) na nagpupuno ng kakulangan ng thyroid gland. Kadalasan ay iniinom ang Levothyroxine panghabang buhay. Kahit madali ang gamutan ng hyperthyroid at hypothyroid, ang problema ay napakahirap itong matuklasan ng doktor. Kakaiba kasi ang sintomas at napagkakamalang ibang sakit. Kaya ang payo ko: ipa-check ang inyong Free T3, Free T4 at TSH. Baka may sakit kayo sa thyroid.

Commie captured in Zambo ahead of ceasefire ZAMBOANGA CITY – Police captured a communist rebel in the southern Philippine prot city of Zamboanga a day before the government’s unilateral ceasefire with the New People’s Army begins. Police said Camilo Bucoy, who is facing charges of frustrated murder, was tracked down in his hideout in the village of Curuan after escaping military operations in Zamboanga Sibugay province. The 57-year old communist is a member of the New People’s Army’s Militia ng Bayan and operated in Zamboanga Peninsula, according to Major Helen Galvez, a regional police spokeswoman. Galvez described the police operation that resulted in Bucoy’s capture as “intelligence-driven” mounted by members of the Titay Municipal Police Station, Regional Intelligence Unit 9 and Zam-

boanga City Police Station 2. “Camilo Bucoy is a member of Militia ng Bayan under Kumander Garry Pagente of Front Committee 13, Western Mindanao Regional Party Committee operating in the municipalities of Titay and R.T. Lim in Zamboanga Sibugay and municipalities of Gutalac, Labason, Kalawit and Baliguian, all in Zamboanga del Norte,” she said. Regional police chief Brigadier General Froilan Quidilla praised the operation and lauded the units involved in the capture of Bucoy. He also urged communist rebels to surrender peacefully and take advantage of the government’s peace offer. “There is no other way to peace, not through violence; and our government is determined to achieve peace so I urged rebels to yield peacefully and take advantage of the government’s Enhanced Com-

prehensive Local Integration Program or E-CLIP,” he said. E-CLIP is a peace-building and social protection program that provides interventions to former rebels in becoming productive citizens of society. Under the E-CLIP, former rebels or their qualified beneficiaries are entitled to benefits ranging from guaranteed safety and security; monetary and livelihood assistance, among others. President Rodrigo Duterte declared a unilateral ceasefire with the communist rebel group and the Communist Party of the Philippines and its political wing, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines from March 19 to April 15. He ordered the police and military not to launch offensives against the rebel group, blamed for the spate of attacks on civilian and government targets across the country. (Al Jacinto)

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Triage protocols may change with more Covid-19 testing kits

T

he triage protocols that determine who should be prioritized in testing for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) may change once diagnostic testing kits become available in the country, said Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles. Nograles’ remark came sonalities were allowed to un- Force for the Management amid calls for mass Covid-19 dergo Covid-19 testing despite of Emerging Infectious Disdiagnostic testing and criti- being asymptomatic. eases) may change the protocism that politicians, includ“With the arrival of new cols or update the protocols,” ing President Duterte, his kits either purchased or donat- Nograles said without further partner and child; and his ed then there is a chance that elaborating on what changes family, including other per- the IATF (Inter-Agency Task could be made once the diag-

Cebu outlines protocol for trucks carrying goods

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia. (PIO Cebu) CEBU CITY – To ensure unhampered supply of commodities during the general community quarantine, Governor Gwendolyn Garcia has issued a policy on the movement of cargo trucks carrying goods and other necessities into the province of Cebu. In an executive order she signed recently, Garcia outlined a protocol to be observed by delivery trucks arriving in the port of Cebu from different provinces in the country. The new policy required trucking companies to tap drivers who are from Cebu so that truck operators at the point of origin whose trucks will cross over to the province

would turn over the goods to the Cebu-based drivers. “Trucks at the point of origin may be ferried to Cebu where their drivers may accompany the same,” she said, adding that once the truck arrives, it will be thoroughly sanitized and disinfected. Garcia said drivers accompanying the truck will not be allowed to disembark from the vessel and return to the place of origin of the cargo once the turnover has been made. The policy does not however require police escorts while travelling in Cebu. If the trucking company has no Cebu-based driver, they should require their driv-

ers and helpers accompanying the truck delivering the goods to bring extra clothing, shoes, disinfectants and food enough for the duration of the delivery in Cebu. The same sanitation and disinfection protocol will be done on the trucks driven by non-Cebuanos, she said. “The health and well-being of the drivers and helpers will be checked and assessed. If determined to be symptomatic, they shall be immediately isolated and quarantined until arrangements for their transport back to their place of origin have been made,” Garcia said. The drivers that pass the health check will be disinfected and required to take a bath and change their clothes. Their used clothes will be properly sealed in a plastic bag. The trucks will be allowed to leave the seaports after the delivery. During the delivery, Garcia said the drivers will not be allowed to disembark from the trucks and will be escorted by the police when delivering the goods and back to the exit port. Empty trucks intending to pick up goods from Cebu are also to observe the same protocols. (John Rey Saavedra)

nostic testing kits arrive. Based on the Department of Health’s (DOH) triage system, those who are showing symptoms of the disease, or had travelled to countries infected with Covid-19, and who had contact with a confirmed Covid-19 case will be prioritized for testing. These individuals will immediately be classified as either a person under monitoring (PUM) or a patient under investigation (PUI). A PUM refers to one with no symptoms but has had a history of travel to China in the past 14 days while a PUI refers to one with symptoms such as fever, cold, and cough and has a history of travel to China in the past 14

days. The Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) is the main facility conducting diagnostic tests for Covid-19, but other hospitals as well such as the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City, Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City, Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center in Benguet, and San Lazaro Hospital in Manila. Currently, the University of the Philippines-Manila’s National Institutes of Health is in the process of reproducing Covid-19 testing kits. The DOH said there are over 200 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the country with more than a dozen deaths and

seven cases of recovery. The country is currently under a state of public health emergency and a state of calamity due to the highly-infectious disease which originated from Wuhan City in China in December last year. The World Health Organization declared the Covid-19 outbreak a pandemic which means a worldwide spread of a new disease. Fever, cough, and shortness of breath are among the symptoms of Covid-19. In more severe cases, the infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome and death. (Azer Parrocha)

Gov’t work continues amid community quarantine CEBU CITY – Mayor Edgardo Labella has assured the Cebuanos that government work is not disrupted despite the issuance of an executive order placing the entire city under general community quarantine due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) situation. In the executive order he signed recently, Labella said government agencies operating within the city are also encouraged to provide alternative work arrangements pursuant to Civil Service Commission (CSC) Memorandum Circular No. 07 series of 2020.” The CSC memorandum provides for the interim guidelines for alternative work arrangements such as four-day workweek and shifting, as well support mechanisms for government workers for the duration of the state of public health emergency proclamation of President Rodrigo Duterte. “The city government of Cebu sees the need to put the city

under a community quarantine to intensify the precautionary and safety measures of the city against the Covid-19,” Labella said in explaining Executive Order (EO) 52. Under the general community quarantine orders which shall run until April 14, local residents are strongly advised to stay in their homes, and may only come out for work, to buy food, medicines and necessary supplies, and go to medical centers. Labella extended the suspension of classes in both public and private education institutions at all levels until April 14 and encouraged distance learning and home assignments and projects in lieu of classroom classes. He also told residents to refrain from going to malls, community centers, commercial areas and other public areas if they have no important business. He also directed all malls and other commercial establish-

ments to close at 8 p.m. However, medical centers, pharmacies and other health-care clinics are allowed to operate beyond 8 p.m. Establishments are also directed to check their customers’ temperatures using a scanning device at their entry points. “All mass gatherings, including but not limited to concerts, cockpit operations, fiesta celebrations, privately and publicly led, are hereby cancelled and/or postponed,” he said. He also declared all seaports within the jurisdiction of this city as closed to passenger arrivals, except cargo deliveries of essential goods. Alongside the community quarantine, Labella also imposed a ninehour curfew starting at 8 p.m. up to 5 a.m. the following day, as well as health checkpoints by policeman and soldiers in all entry points here. (John Rey Saavedra)

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