Health Crisis Response Strategy

Luzon-wide lockdown extended until end-April

07 April 2020

The Philippine government on Tuesday announced the extension of the lockdown on Luzon island until the end of April, as the country has yet to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) that has infected over 3,000 and killed nearly 200.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei B. Nograles said President Rodrigo R. Duterte approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to extend the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) until 11:59 p.m. of April 30, 2020.

PACC exec wants NBI to go after Robredo for ‘competing’ with government’s COVID-19 response

02 April 2020

In a statement, Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission Commissioner Manuelito Luna said Robredo may have violated certain laws when she received donations to help those most affected by the crisis through “illegal solicitations (and) actions that compete with or calculated to undermine, national government efforts” to mitigate the impact of the health crisis.

The PACC official questioned the Office of the Vice President’s free shuttle service and dormitory for health workers, as well as donations of personal protective equipment to various hospitals.

Chilling effect: NBI going after netizens for social media posts on COVID response – Diokno

02 April 2020

The National Bureau of Investigation is summoning netizens who air their sentiments on social media about the government’s response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, human rights lawyer Chel Diokno said Thursday.

Duterte report details projected spending in fight against virus

01 April 2020

President Duterte on Tuesday told Congress that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is now mandating all national government agencies (NGA) to utilize any and all released allotment from 2019 and 2020 national budget to support the Covid-19 response of the government.

In an 18-page report submitted to Congress, President Duterte said all agencies with existing released allotment to accommodate their respective Covid-19 response activities are

NBI probes Koko Pimentel over possible quarantine breach

01 April 2020

Pimentel earlier drew flak after he accompanied his wife, Kathryna, who was about to give birth to their first child to Makati Medical Center despite having been tested for COVID-19.

Philippines: President Duterte gives “shoot to kill” order amid pandemic response

01 April 2020

On 1 April 2020, in a televised address President Duterte admonished those who may cause ‘trouble’ during the imposition of the community quarantine amid the COVID 19 pandemic. Referring to the political left, but also seemingly others who may protest or question government measures, he openly gave orders to the police, military and local officials to shoot them dead saying, “I will not hesitate. My orders are to the police and military, also the barangay, that if there is trouble or the situation arises that people fight and your lives are on the line, shoot them dead. Do you understand? Dead. Instead of causing trouble, I’ll send you to the grave.”

Duterte wants all donations in fight vs COVID-19 transmitted to OCD

01 April 2020

Through Administrative Order no. 27, Duterte established a framework wherein all donations to the government intended to address COVID-19 will be coordinated and transmitted to the Office of the Civil Defense (OCD) for consolidation.

Ex-DOH chief: Actual number of virus cases could reach 75,000 in 2 weeks

28 March 2020

“If we’re assuming that we’re now at 16,000 to 20,000 (infections) today, and if you’re assuming doubling times of every 5 days… we’re going to reach 75,000 in 15 days. And that’s when our lockdown period ends,” Dayrit said.

The former health chief, however, reminded that these mathematical projections still rely on several assumptions such as reproductive rates and doubling times of the cases. “This is the way you would try to map the progress of your epidemic,” he said.

DOH: 4 hospitals ready for full-scale virus testing, 30 labs to follow

28 March 2020

The Department of Health (DOH) said on Saturday, March 28, that the 4 sub-national laboratories have been given the go-ahead signal and are now ready to do full-scale testing of coronavirus.

The 4 labs are: San Lazaro Hospital in Manila City, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City, Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City, Baguio General Hospital in Baguio City. Previously, these sub-national labs have to send their test results to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) for validation.

That is why the 4 labs have only been able to do 80 to 160 tests per day, while RITM can do 900 to 1,000 tests per day.

Duterte signs law granting himself special powers to address coronavirus outbreak

25 March 2020

The Bayanihan to Heal as One Act grants President Rodrigo Duterte 30 special powers, and excludes the proposed contentious provisions on the takeover of private businesses.

Gov’t to implement ‘national action plan’ on coronavirus, with DND on the lead

25 March 2020

Duterte made the announcement in a taped public address, saying the plan will complement efforts of the Department of Health (DOH), the main agency addressing developments on coronavirus cases.

“The Department of National Defense (DND) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), along with the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police, are now ramping up the implementation of the National Action Plan or NAP, as we speak, to reinforce the efforts of the Department of Health in containing COVID-19,” Duterte said in a televised message.

PGH accepts DOH’s request to be coronavirus referral hospital

24 March 2020

The University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (PGH) has accepted Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III’s request to be one of the country’s referral hospitals for coronavirus patients.

This means that “centralized” facilities at PGH will be dedicated to treating coronavirus patients who would be referred to the hospital.

OVP to open dorm for COVID-19 frontliners

23 March 2020

The Office of the Vice President (OVP) on Sunday announced it will provide free dormitories to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) frontliners amid the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine.

House OKs bill granting Duterte 25 special powers to address coronavirus pandemic

23 March 2020

The House of Representatives passed the bill that would declare a “state of national emergency” and grant President Rodrigo Duterte 25 special powers to address the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

President Duterte orders lockdown of Philippine capital Manila to fight coronavirus outbreak

13 March 2020

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte ordered a month-long lockdown of the whole of Metro Manila, a measure applying to some 12.8 million people in the capital. He appeared on television on March 12, 2020, to announce imminent restrictions for Manila and its surrounding districts. The deadly coronavirus that causes Covid-19 had infected at least 52 people and taken 5 lives in the country as of March 12.

What Do Countries With The Best Coronavirus Reponses Have In Common? Women Leaders

13 April 2020

From Iceland to Taiwan and from Germany to New Zealand, women are stepping up to show the world how to manage a messy patch for our human family. Add in Finland, Iceland and Denmark, and this pandemic is revealing that women have what it takes when the heat rises in our Houses of State.

Italy’s coronavirus death toll tops 10,000 despite long lockdown

29 March 2020

The coronavirus toll in Italy shot past 10,000 on Saturday, March 28, and showed little sign of slowing despite a 16-day lockdown.

The 889 new fatalities reported in the world’s worst-hit nation came a day after it registered 969 deaths on Friday — the highest single toll since the COVID-19 virus emerged late last year.

Italy now looks certain to extend its economically debilitating — and emotionally stressful — business closures and the ban on public gatherings past their April 3 deadline.

China virus epicentre eases travel restrictions after lockdown

28 March 2020

The Chinese city of 11 million people that was Ground Zero for what became the global coronavirus pandemic partly reopened Saturday, after more than two months of almost total isolation.

Vietnam’s coronavirus offensive wins praise for low-cost model

24 March 2020

Rather than embark on mass testing, which has been the crux of wealthier South Korea’s response to the outbreak, Vietnam has focused on isolating infected people and tracking down their second- and third-hand contacts.

“Mass testing is good, but it depends on the resources of each country,” said Tran Dac Phu, a senior health official advising Vietnam’s Emergency Operation Centre, which is equivalent to the US Centers for Disease Control.

“The important thing is, you need to know the number of people who might have come in contact with the disease, or returned from pandemic areas, then perform tests on these people.”

What Lessons Can the US Learn from Japan and South Korea for Combating Coronavirus?

16 March 2020

Since February 1, Japan has denied entry to foreign nationals who had visited China’s Hubei province, which includes a home of Wuhan city, and later, on February 13, expanded that travel ban to eastern provinces including Zhejiang province. In contrast, South Korea does not prevent the entry of any foreigners who had visited China. Both countries have also adopted different approaches to their search for infected individuals. South Korea launched an aggressive testing campaign to identify as many people as possible who have been infected with the virus. As of February 27, South Korean public health authorities had tested a total of 66,652 people for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Japan, meanwhile, reported conducting only 1,890 tests.

How a Thai-style govt fails in the face of a crisis

28 January 2020

Without the brainpower to comprehend the complexity of these new threats or the courage to break away from dysfunctional norms to come up with more effective solutions, the government is stuck paying lip service with superficial measures. Installing so-called giant air purifiers in open spaces such as at Victory Monument in the hope the air will become cleaner is among the most ridiculous actions a government has ever taken.