PHP 5000 to 8000 per month for two months emergency subsidy for 18 million households

19 5 to 8k b

Duterte approves bill granting him special powers to tackle COVID-19 crisis
By Xave Gregorio, CNN Philippines
Mar 25, 2020

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 24) — President Rodrigo Duterte approved Tuesday a bill that grants him additional powers to address the COVID-19 crisis in the country, including the power to reshuffle funds in this year’s budget to provide assistance to the poor.

Among the key points of the new law is a monthly ₱5,000 to ₱8,000 emergency subsidy for 18 million low-income households for up to two months.

It also provides for a ₱100,000 compensation for all health workers who may contract a severe COVID-19 infection while in the line of duty. Families of those who die while fighting the pandemic will be given ₱1 million.

The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation will also shoulder the medical expenses of health workers in case of COVID-19 exposure or any work-related injury.

These and other aid from the government will be funded partly by savings within the executive department in the 2020 budget, which Duterte is now allowed to rechannel towards the government’s response to COVID-19.

Duterte can also allocate cash, funds, investments, unused or unreleased subsidies in government corporations or any national government agency to address the COVID-19 emergency.

He can also stop programs, projects or activities under the executive department, including government corporations, and use the savings from these to fund the government’s response to the viral disease.

Other powers

Duterte may also direct the operation of privately-owned hospitals, medical facilities, and other establishments to house health workers, serve as quarantine areas, and become quarantine centers, medical and aid centers or temporary health facilities.

He may also direct the operation of passenger vessels to serve transportation needs of health workers.

The management of these businesses and establishments will be retained, and they will be compensated for any damage they may sustain as a result of Duterte taking charge of their operations.

However, Duterte may still take over their operations if they “unjustifiably refuse or signify that they are no longer capable of operating their enterprises.”

The new law also allows Duterte to buy goods, including personal protective equipment, thermometers, cleaning agents and medicine, as long as the Department of Health prioritizes the distribution of these to public health facilities tagged as COVID-19 referral hospitals, private hospitals that treat patients with the viral disease and public and private labs that test for it.

Duterte may also ensure that local government units are acting in line with the national government’s policy and may impose corresponding penalties if they disobey directives on quarantine protocols.

It also grants Duterte the power to require businesses to prioritize and accept contracts for materials and services needed to combat COVID-19. Those who refuse may face a two-month jail term and a fine ranging from ₱10,000 to ₱100,000.

Duterte can also now regulate public and private transportation, traffic, and the use of power, fuel, energy and water.

Duterte’s powers will be in full force for three months, unless extended by Congress, or withdrawn sooner via a concurrent resolution.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea earlier assured that the President “has no intent” to abuse his special powers to address the crisis once granted full authority by both chambers.

#COVID19

Masks SAVE LIVES. STUPID DoH/IATF guidelines DISCOURAGE citizens from wearing face masks in public.

Do you notice that STUPID Department of Health officials consistently and persistently emphasize the point that it is unnecessary for citizens who are not sick to wear face masks in public? Their recommendation is for symptomatic individuals to wear face masks so as to prevent others from getting contaminated. That is good, of course. The problem is that there are asymptomatic carriers, thus they are not obliged to wear face masks only because they are not even aware that they have the disease. Then there are symptomatic people who are in denial so they feel they do not need to wear face masks. Then there are irresponsible people who are symptomatic but could not care less on why they should be wearing face masks. In other words, we are at the mercy of all these people coughing and sneezing all over the place. Since we have no control over their actions, there is one thing we can control and that is our own actions. If we wear face masks, the chances of us being infected are much smaller compared to the people at the same time and place where we are but do not wear face masks. 

The STUPID health officials actually miss a very important point. By recommending mandatory face mask use, they will be inculcating the concept that everyone is responsible for his own protection and health. But no, our so-called experts cry out loud that face masks should be reserved for health care frontliners and patients. They sorely miss the point that the country, the communities, families and friends can actually manufacture their own face masks. True, the materials used may not be at par with the commercial face masks, but, mind you, in a time of scarcity and emergency even home made face masks will have some protective value.

Next time you watch a TV interview, program or press conference, look at the audience with them and count the number of people wearing face masks because if there are many of them, it only means the dumb health officials in front of the microphone have no credibility since the press people right there wearing masks do not actually believe what our pseudo-experts are saying.

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Wearing face masks in supermarkets, drugstores: not mandatory —IATF

Aileen Cerrudo (UNTV News)

March 24, 2020

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Wearing face masks in supermarkets, drug stores, and other establishments is not mandatory, according to the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF).

The IATF on Emerging Infectious Diseases clarified that wearing face masks before entering supermarkets is not part of their implemented guidelines.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said they received reports where customers were not allowed to enter a supermarket for not wearing face masks.

Nograles said their guidelines state to strictly follow social distancing.

Ang rules lang namin ay magkaroon lamang ng social distancing sa mga supermarkets. So ganoon na lang po ang sundin natin (Our rule is to practice social distancing in supermarkets. So that is what we should follow),” he said.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet Secretary said it is for the management of the supermarket to decide how many customers they will allow entry and still comply with the social distancing guidelines.

Made-determine naman ng mga supermarkets kung ilan ang pwede nilang papasukin to make sure na may social distancing sa loob (The supermarkets can determine how many they will allow to enter to make sure there is social distancing inside),” said Nograles. —AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

COVID 19 – 2 peso face mask may have saved the life of a surgeon

19 mds 4

File Photo: RIP. Frontliners in the battle against COVID 19. The two Heart Center physicians are part of this article. Doctors Pulido and Macasaet will be featured in future stories.

On the Sunday morning of March 8, 2020, a Metro Manila private hospital held an event, a photo shoot for a major anniversary. The previous day, the Department of Health had announced the 6th COVID 19 confirmed case in the Philippines, she was the wife of COVID 19 patient number 5. Both would subsequently die of the coronavirus.

In the festive atmosphere of the preparations for group pictures by department and/or sub-specialty – Management Committee, Internal Medicine, Dermatology, Pediatrics, OB-GYN, Surgery, Orthopedics, etc., catered food was served as doctors had to wait for their turn to be called.

Among the participants was Dr. Heart Center, an internal medicine and cardiology specialist who was a consultant in both Philippine Heart Center and the private hospital. Dr. Heart Center was a social animal, mingling with the crowd, exchanging pleasantries and work related stories. Among the main topics was, naturally, the sweeping killer devastating China, Iran, Italy and South Korea. The Philippines recorded on February 2, 2020 the first COVID 19 death outside of China.

Dr. Heart Center talked to a Dr. A who stood out in the crowd of more than a hundred (aside from physicians there were the hospital management, photo people, catering crew, office secretaries, janitors, security personnel, etc.) because Dr. A was the ONLY one wearing a FACE MASK (which he removed only when he was eating and when the actual photos were shot).

Considering there were senior consultants there in their late seventies and eighties, social distancing was implemented by avoiding shaking hands, hugging and cheek to cheek contact (besobeso). In spite of the precautions, the normal distance between people talking to each other prevailed. Of course, during the actual photo shoot, people sat or stood very close to each other as a standard for good pictures. Aside from formal poses, there were also wacky shots where people got even closer to each other.

In the photos taken, Dr. Heart Center posed next to Dr. B, also an Internal Medicine and Cardiology consultant, on one side. On the the opposite side of Dr. Heart Center was Dra. C, a neurologist.

On March 11, while at the Philippine Heart Center, Dr. HC collapsed and was later intubated and hooked to a respirator. Two weeks after a hard and laborious struggle for his life, Dr. HC DIED, the second physician from the Heart Center to die of COVID 19. The first was a 34 year old Cardiology fellow.

Back to the March 8 photo shoot participants. Dr. A, the paranoid surgeon, completed the 14 day self quarantine protocol without experiencing flu like signs and symptoms. Since he was just over an arm’s length distance with Dr. HC during their conversation, he is convinced that his two peso face mask saved him from the coronavirus infection. He did not request for a COVID 19 test because of the scarcity of the kits and he is asymptomatic.

Dr. B, the overweight Cardiologist with a multitude of health issues, DIED in the private hospital after more than a week on the respirator. He tested positive for COVID 19.

Dra. C experienced severe body pains and went on self quarantine. Her COVID 19 results have not yet been released. Even if she is confirmed positive for the coronavirus she is currently apprehensive but may live to tell her tale. It also helps that she is a marathoner, thus much healthier than most of us.

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Read this. Insights. Projections. Suggestions. Health Tips.

Blog post predicted number of RP COVID 19 cases – 300 by week ended March 21; still to happen is 1000 total cases by week ending March 28

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Frequent hand washing, alcohol, masks, physical distancing and staying at home will save lives.

The Department of Health confirmed 84 new cases for a total of 636 COVID 19 cases with 38 deaths. 26 patients have recovered. DOH called on the public to be vigilant and practice personal preventive measures such as proper hand hygiene, social distancing, and cough etiquette.

DOH also called on people to refrain from visiting public places and/or attending mass gatherings.

 

 

COVID 19 – It is WRONG for government and medical personnel to DISCOURAGE the use of masks in public

19 mask

 

Masks save lives. Masks are used by medical personnel to protect themselves from catching bacteria and viruses. Patients need to wear masks to prevent them from spreading diseases. So why is the general public DISCOURAGED from wearing masks? If soap and water, alcohol and physical distancing are considered sound moves to guard ourselves from COVID 19, why are masks not included in the recommendations for the public. Why do so-called experts use the statement that MASKS ALONE can not save us? The question is, who is advocating the use of masks in public as the SINGLE mode of protection? No one. Not a single freaking or panicky individual is putting all his faith and trust in masks to prevent infection. In other words, MASKS can COMPLIMENT soap and water use, alcohol and physical distancing.

In an ideal society where people with symptoms wear masks in public, the academic approach of limited wearing of masks might work. Unfortunately the real world is chaotic and undisciplined so each individual should do his/her own preventive measures since irresponsible persons could be coughing and/or sneezing all over the place. In closed areas like elevators, pubic transportation, airplanes and even fully air conditioned (or areas with huge electric fans) malls, groceries, supermarkets and drug stores the virus may be circulated more than just the prescribed 5 feet of distance. It is incumbent upon every individual to protect him/herself and his/her family. Wearing a mask will add a layer of protection to soap and water use, alcohol and physical distancing.

We fully subscribe to these Department of Heath tips.

DOH called on the public to be vigilant and practice personal preventive measures such as proper hand hygiene, social distancing, and cough etiquette.

DOH also called on people to refrain from visiting public places and/or attending mass gatherings.

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Task force says no need to wear masks in stores

By: Julie M. Aurelio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
March 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Supermarkets, groceries and pharmacies do not need to require people to wear face masks before entering their establishments but only to strictly observe social distancing.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases had not issued any guidelines that customers must wear face masks before entering supermarkets.”

He went on: “So let’s just follow that, social distancing. The supermarkets can determine how many people they can accommodate inside to ensure that there is still social distancing.”

Nograles made the remarks amid reports that some supermarkets, groceries and pharmacies had refused entry to customers not wearing any face mask.

The IATF has repeatedly emphasized the importance of social distancing, especially when people assigned to buy food supplies and medicines are outdoors.

Face masks, such as surgical masks, N95 masks and even reusable or washable masks have been scarce even before the rise in coronavirus cases in the country.

This was after Taal Volcano’s eruption in January prompted some Filipinos to buy an excess of supplies, depriving health personnel of the much-needed masks.

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Healthy? Spare your masks for the sick, says expert

By: Germelina Lacorte Philippine Daily Inquirer

March 24, 2020

DAVAO CITY—Their high-powered firearms now proving useless against a microscopic threat, troops belonging to the antiterror squad here patrolled San Pedro Street, wearing black cloth masks that doctors don’t recommend.

A soldier told the Inquirer that the cloth mask was not really endorsed by his superiors but he merely bought it from street vendors as the threat of an unseen virus gripped residents.

“Cloth masks are not recommended under any circumstance,” said Dr. Kathryn Roa, an infectious disease specialist, as she told people what they should do to protect themselves against the virus.

“Just because they’re running out of face masks, they’re making face masks out of linen, that’s so sad,” she remarked.

Soap, water

As streets started to get deserted, the few who venture out wear cloth masks, thinking this would protect them from the virus. Even a security guard and a fruit vendor, who could not get a cloth mask, make do with a towel wrapped around their mouths and noses.

Roa said that even wearing surgical (not cloth) masks would work only when combined with frequent hand-washing and good hand hygiene.

“Face masks alone would not protect you,” she said. “Our best friend is soap and water. Alcohol is only the next best thing.”

But for those who would insist on wearing masks, and by this, she was referring to surgical masks, she said they should make sure their hands were clean before wearing them.

“Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, before putting on the mask,” Roa said. “As soon as you put it on, the outside part is already considered contaminated, do not touch it. To remove the mask, never touch the front part. Instead, use the loops and wash your hands afterward.”

She said she often saw the mask being worn covering the nose and mouth at the start of the day, go below the nose at noontime and farther down below the chin in the afternoon.

‘Wear with commitment’

“If you wear a mask, wear it with commitment,” she said.

Roa earlier raised the alarm over the shortage of personnel protective equipment (PPE), which included masks, for health care workers who would be at the forefront in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

She said the front-liners needed all the protection they could get to be able to take care of their patients.

Healthy people wouldn’t need surgical and even N95 masks because they would only contribute to the shortage and put the lives of health care workers at risk, she said.

“Just think, if health professionals get sick, who will take care of the patients?” Roa asked.

She earlier reacted to the “no-mask, no entry” policies imposed by schools and public officials in the early part of the crisis which, she said, would only contribute to the shortage of PPEs for health care workers and would not protect both the public and the healthy people wearing them.

Stay home

Medical practitioners said healthy people should instead reserve those masks for the sick.

“In Japan, they call it a sick mask because you only wear it when you are sick,” said Roa. “But now, we are telling you, if you are sick, stay at home, don’t go out, you don’t need to wear a mask.”

Dr. Jean Lindo, an anesthesiologist, said in a separate interview she was even surprised to see a taxi driver wearing a mask at the height of the COVID-19 scare. “I asked him, ‘Why are you wearing a mask, are you sick?’ But he said, ‘No, this was only required by the company.’”

To illustrate this point, Lindo said three healthy people, each wearing a mask, could still get easily infected once a sick person who is not wearing a mask suddenly sneezes, spreading infectious droplets around. 

“The droplets will be on everyone’s hair, clothes, mobile phones and even masks,” she said. “So, it’s best for a healthy person to give the mask to the sick person to wear because wearing it would be useless.”

“This is not the time to be thinking of yourself alone,” Roa said. “To combat the virus, we have to take care of each other.”  —RICHEL UMEL

 

COVID 19 – W.H.O., U.S. and D.O.H. preach WRONG use of masks recommendations

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There is a saying that goes “The road to HELL is paved with good intentions” and no sentence is more apt to describe the World Health Organization, the US Surgeon General and Philippine Department of Health pronouncements regarding the use of masks. In essence the so-called international medical experts as well as our local ones advocate the use of protective masks for health facility personnel (which is logical and necessary), for symptomatic patients (which is reasonable and helpful for the non-infected), for those at home taking care of sick patients as well the persons being nursed back to health.

Nobody will question those aforementioned guidelines. Scientific. Practical. Useful. In the end these measures should limit the spread of the disease and save lives.

Our issue is regarding the recommendations to the public to dispense with the use of masks.

The Lancet says “For example, the US Surgeon General advised against buying masks for use by healthy people. One important reason to discourage widespread use of face masks is to preserve limited supplies for professional use in health-care settings. Universal face mask use in the community has also been discouraged with the argument that face masks provide no effective protection against coronavirus infection.”

The World Health Organization says “If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection.”

The Philippine Department of Health keeps on saying that the use of masks in public settings is unnecessary and may even be counter-productive (since those wearing masks would touch their faces more often).

Oh my, Einstein once said that a hundred physicists shouting that he was wrong (regarding the theory of relativity) did not automatically mean he (Einstein) was wrong. In fact, if he was wrong, Einstein said a single physics major could just as easily proven him wrong. The more physicists ganged up on him simply meant that they were relying on their numbers to carry the day. As we all know by now, Einstein was right.

Fast forward to 2020 and we have all of these educated professionals telling the ordinary people not to wear masks. In an ideal world, where all the sick people would be wearing masks, then that would be okay. However, we live in an imperfect world. Sick people may be coughing all over the place. There is a stage in viral diseases wherein people could be infecting others at the same time that they have not yet experienced the signs and symptoms of the viral infection. There may also be those who know they need to wear masks because they are sick yet they have no available masks to wear. In the end, the responsibility of viral spread protection should not only be in the hands of those who are sick but rather INCLUDE the potential population that could get sick. In other words, the general public should be ENCOURAGED to wear masks when out in public as well as at home if there is any suspicion that a single person in the house may harbor some kind of throat or lung infection.

We agree with these D.OH. recommendations below.

DOH called on the public to be vigilant and practice personal preventive measures such as proper hand hygiene, social distancing, and cough etiquette.

DOH also called on people to refrain from visiting public places and/or attending mass gatherings.

 

 

 

COVID 19 – Philippine Heart Center MD, Cardiology Fellow dies

19 heart center rip

Doc (name will not be mentioned here) died at the young age of 34. He had a bright future ahead of him. Spending most of his life studying (grade school, high school, college, college of medicine, residency in Internal Medicine and at the time of his death, as Philippine Heart Center fellow in Cardiology), he was almost at the end of his academic pursuit.

Then he contracted the COVID 19 virus during the course of his work and the doctor became a patient too. Breathing difficulties. Respirator. Cardiac arrest. Cremation. There were 39 PHC staff members initially placed on quarantine, this one is gone while others are still fighting for their lives.

It is the sworn duty of health workers to save lives. In particularly grave situations like this pandemic, health workers put their own lives at risk in an effort to cure the sick and bring back patients to their healthy states.

The Department of Health confirmed 380 COVID 19 cases with 25 deaths. DOH called on the public to be vigilant and practice personal preventive measures such as proper hand hygiene, social distancing, and cough etiquette.

DOH also called on people to refrain from visiting public places and/or attending mass gatherings.

China seems to have controlled the problem at this stage while Italy, Spain, Germany, the United States, Iran and France are the new centers of massive spread.

 

Husband and wife physician frontliner anesthesiologists – man dies, woman also positive for COVID 19

 

Blog post predicted number of RP COVID 19 cases – 300 by week ended March 21; still to happen is 1000 total cases by week ending March 28

#COVID19

Husband and wife physician frontliner anesthesiologists – man dies, woman also positive for COVID 19

19 greg family

With 380 COVID 19 cases confirmed with 25 deaths in the Philippines, the first few cases were foreign nationals or locals with a history of travel to infected countries. Today as those who have died breached two dozens, medical personnel manning our hospitals are dying too. In Manila Doctors Hospital, husband and wife anesthesiologists both caught the virus most probably while attending to a patient. Greg has just died. Evalyn is still hospitalized. In the Philippine Heart Center, a 34 year old Internal Medicine graduate and Cardiology fellow also died. At least a half dozen other doctors are currently in very serious and critical condition, intubated and connected to a respirator.

Since Heart Center placed 39 of its staff on quarantine, the hospital would have to go about an increased workload with fewer doctors, nurses, med techs, rad techs, PTs, orderlies, aides, janitors, office personnel and security guards. How long can this situation keep up until a hospital or two are forced to close down further increasing the burden those that manage to stay open?

PHOTO: Greg (right) and Evalyn with their special child son

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Blog post predicted number of RP COVID 19 cases – 300 by week ended March 21; still to happen is 1000 total cases by week ending March 28

 

A March 15, 2020 blog post predicted 300 to 400 COVID 19 confirmed cases in the Philippines by the end of the week (March 21) and 1000 cases by the end of next week (March 28). The March 21 prediction has already happened with 307 confirmed cases reported by the Department of Health. Would the 1000 confirmed predicted also come true by March 28, 2020? We have to average 100 (a figure already mentioned in the March 15 article) new confirmed cases a day to reach the March 28 prediction. In all probability at this stage of the spread of the disease, the Philippines will be hitting 100 new cases per day. The mathematical model being used here is called doubling time. We are assuming that the spread of the disease will double every week. This simply means that if we get to the 100 cases per day level ending March 28, then the next week (ending April 4) we may be getting 200 cases per day. In terms of total number of cases to date, the week ending March 21 had 300 cases, the week ending March 28 will have 1000 predicted cases and the week ending April 4 will have 2400 predicted confirmed cases.

Using the same projection, we could be hitting 400 cases a day in the week ending April 11 and 800 cases a day in the week ending April 18. These would translate to roughly 5000 cases by April 11 and more than 10000 cases by April 18.

We can project the figures until a majority of the Filipino people have been infected, many have died and, hopefully, more have recovered. The end of the virus is when there are no more Filipinos to infect (many in the rural areas may be spared if they isolate themselves from the urban folks). Far flung cities and municipalities may also be spared due to lack of contact with the rampaging virus.

Now that we know the worst case scenario, what can stop the natural spread of the virus. For one, it is claimed that COVID 19 does not survive long in high temperature. Now that we are at the start of summer and things begin to heat up, we are hopeful that fewer infections would occur. Two, the full effects of the massive Metro Manila lockdown or community quarantine has already reduced people to people contact which should result in lower new cases per day reported.

So the question is will things get worse before they get better? Probably. The number of new cases confirmed per day is the best indicator. If it keeps rising, then we are in big trouble (as if we are not there already). No huge growth for a few days may signal stabilization while smaller numbers per day compared to the previous high may indicate some sort of control (unless it explodes in another part of the country).

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COVID 19 – The Metro Manila SURVIVAL RACE against TIME 

With the number of Philippine COVID 19 cases breaching the 100 mark (140 at latest count) and the number of deaths at 11, a disturbing development has now happened. The Philippine Heart Center had a COVID 19 mortality and as a result 39 of its staff are under quarantine. The PHC Medical Director announced that no new patient admissions would be entertained until the hospital gets back into full (or at least more manageable) personnel strength. Considering that in the past 24 hours, there were 47 announced new confirmed cases (from 64 to 111), today the Department of Health added another 29 confirmed cases bringing the total to 140, it is very clear that more cases are now being diagnosed per day. Should this 50 something new cases per day persist for next week then it would be easy to calculate a 200 confirmed cases level at the start of the week and possibly 300 to 400 confirmed COVID 19 cases at the end of the week. This level is bound to take its toll on the big Metro Manila hospitals when their own physicians, nurses, med techs, rad techs, physical therapists, aides, orderlies, janitors and security guards begin (as it has already begun) to become patients themselves. Should the Philippine confirmed cases growth curve follow those exhibited by China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, France and Spain then we may be seeing 100 new cases confirmed per day starting 7 days from today. In other words, we could just be 14 days away from reaching the 1,000 confirmed COVID 19 cases level.

What would be the implication of this to the average Metro Manila citizen? One, the National Capital Region health care delivery system could be SWAMPED with cases. Some hospitals, as already implemented by the Philippine Heart Center, may not take in new admissions. More hospitals may limit admissions. The idea of total closure is beyond imagination because at a minimum, patients already admitted would be allowed to heal in the normal course of their disease and would be discharged upon completion of the medical treatment plan. Only a MAJOR BREAK in protocol wherein all confined patients would have a high risk of getting infected with the corona virus would an emergency transfer of all patients to other facilities be done. This would happen when patients previously admitted for other conditions (normal delivery, elective surgery and other non-respiratory admissions) SUDDENLY and UNEXPECTEDLY develop flu like symptoms with the more serious cases testing POSITIVE for COVID 19. This could only mean that those patients got the COVID 19 during their hospital stay for non-COVID infirmities. A massive transfer of these patients would also put other hospitals at risk thus possibly crippling the hospital operations of more health facilities.

At this time Metro Manila is now on COMMUNITY QUARANTINE which would hopefully prevent, reduce or at least delay the rate of transmission of the dreaded disease. It may take at least a week or two before we may see the full (hopefully positive) effect of this emergency measure. Thus Metro Manila is in a RACE against TIME, meaning we are all banking on the community quarantine to FREEZE the spread at the same time that we know that there could be dozens (or, heaven forbid hundreds) of positive cases (but still undetected) that could be spreading COVID 19 at this very minute and the cases would only manifest in a week or two.

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A new source of test kits from the University of the Philippines is in the works and would increase the number of test kits necessary to diagnose every individual with the COVID 19 disease.

Vaccines are being tested which would be the true game changer in stopping the spread of COVID 19. Various medicines are also being tried out (mainly those that have shown stopping power against the other corona viruses).

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The Department of Health confirmed 140 COVID 19 cases with 11 deaths. DOH called on the public to be vigilant and practice personal preventive measures such as proper hand hygiene, social distancing, and cough etiquette.

DOH also called on people to refrain from visiting public places and/or attending mass gatherings.