COVID 19 Testing – Dr. Minguita Padilla

19 davao ncr

Here’s What You Need To Know About COVID-19 Tests In The Philippines

By Ryanne Co
May 11, 2020
Dr. Minguita Padilla, medical team leader at Project ARK (Project Antibody Rapid Test Kits), gives us the lowdown on what we should know about the different kinds of tests available in the Philippines.
Manila has been under enhanced community quarantine for nearly two months. In a pre-COVID world, that would have been nearly unthinkable. But now, it’s a necessity — a “new normal” that has been thrust upon people to accept.

The key out of it? Testing. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has stressed the importance of mass testing in the fight to flatten the curve. One of the organisations at the helm of this movement is Project ARK, a private sector-led initiative that aims to introduce rapid antibody testing to companies and barangays in a bid to contain the spread of the virus. Today, Dr. Minguita Padilla, ophthalmologist and head of the medical team at Project ARK, tells us about what there is to know about COVID-19 testing right now.

What parts of the body does COVID-19 affect?

There is still so much scientists don’t know about COVID-19. What we know about it today can be disputed or reinforced tomorrow. But as of today, we know that COVID-19 doesn’t just affect the lungs. In some cases, it can affect other parts of the body including the eyes, the heart, the liver, the kidneys, and the intestines.

Currently, the WHO has released more symptoms for COVID-19. The full list includes fever, dry cough, and tiredness. They have also added aches and pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discolouration of fingers or toes to the list.

Was the lockdown necessary?

Lockdown was definitely necessary. Without it, the number of infections would have grown exponentially. One person has the ability to infect three other people, and each of those three individuals could infect another three.

On a macro level, what is the best way to handle COVID-19? How does our country compare?

In an ideal situation, there would have been swab tests done for everyone the moment the first few cases of COVID-19 were confirmed. Unfortunately, the country only had 2,000 test kits available until later on in the game. As of 4 May 2020, testing capacity stands at 3,000 tests a day.

It would also be best for test results to come out within 4-8 hours but turn around time within the past few months had been 5-7 days, and sometimes as long as 2 weeks. As of 2 May 2020, there has also been a backlog of 8,000 test results yet to be released.

What are the different types of tests available for COVID-19?

Here, Dr. Padilla makes two distinctions. First, there is the swab test also known as the real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test. This test identifies the virus through a throat or nasal swab. The swab is then transported in ice to a laboratory where machines can convert the specimen into data that can read as positive or negative. Results come out anywhere between hours to days. 
There’s also the rapid antibody testing, which is a blood test that identifies antibodies produced by the immune system. This is your body’s response as it develops immunity to the virus. This test can read two kinds of antibodies: the immunoglobulin M (IgM), which is your early immune response, and the immunoglobulin G (IgG), which is your delayed immune response.

IgM can be found in patients who are positive for COVID-19 by RT-PCR and are still infected and infectious. IgG is found in those previously tested as positive, but who have since recovered. Those with IgG can donate blood to the Philippine General Hospital for plasma therapy to help those who are currently positive but have not yet recovered.

What should you do after you use a rapid antibody test kit?

That depends on your results. Keep in mind that IgM is found in patients who are SARS-COV-2 positive. IgG is found in those previously tested positive, but who have since recovered. 
  • If you have no symptoms, are negative for IgM, and positive for IgG then you are probably infected and developing immunity. It is best to self-isolate.
  • If you have no symptoms, are positive for IgM, but are also positive for IgG, then it’s best to self-isolate for another 14 days, take another rapid antibody test after that time, and check the results again.
  • If you have no symptoms, are positive for IgM, and are negative for IgG, then you are considered infected. It is best to self-isolate for 14 days and take an RT-PCR swab test.
  • If you have no symptoms, are negative for IgM, and are negative for IgG then you’re not likely to be infected but may consider taking a retest after 7 days.
  • If you have symptoms, then it is always best to self-isolate.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of these tests?

Speaking first on the swab test or the RT-PCR: the advantage is that this test can detect the virus up to 2 days before symptoms start to appear. The disadvantages, however, include the lengthy processing time in the country, as well as the possibility for human error in either of the processes involved (swabbing, transporting, extracting, reading). The RT-PCR can also pick up on the remnants of the virus that are no longer viable — as in the case of a confirmed patient who has recovered — leading to false positives.

The advantage to the rapid antibody test is that it’s quick, relatively inexpensive (should cost around Php400 – Php700), and easy to use. However, the disadvantage lies in the fact that accuracy depends on the sensitivity of the kit itself so the brand and manufacturer are quite important. It may also result in false negatives if one tests too early and the immune system has not had time to generate antibodies.

Who should be tested?

Unfortunately, due to lack of test kits, there is a hierarchy to follow in terms of who should be tested. Those that must be prioritised are:

  • All asymptomatic or symptomatic persons who have been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 patient
  • All asymptomatic or symptomatic persons who have been in close contact with a probable confirmed COVID-19 patient. According to the WHO, probable confirmed patients are suspect patients who have been tested for COVID-19 but with inconclusive results. Another definition for a probable confirmed patient are those who have tested positive for COVID-19, but the test was not conducted in an officially accredited laboratory for confirmatory testing. A suspect case for whom testing could not be performed (for any reason) is also a probable confirmed patient.
  • All symptomatic persons
  • Frontliners
  • Those with high-risk including diabetics, hypertensives, the immunosuppressed, the obese, and the elderly

Is Manila ready for general community quarantine?

According to Dr. Padilla, yes. But we must proceed with caution to avoid a second wave. On the bright side, Dr. Padilla has also noted that a few hospitals are less overwhelmed than they were a few weeks ago. The DOH, in partnership with a few private companies, has also promised to amp up testing to 30,000 a day by 30 May 2020.

Right now, it is best for everyone to stay calm but vigilant by wearing masks, constantly washing hands, and observing proper social distancing. It’s also best not to take the state of general community quarantine as an excuse to let our guard down, as carelessness and absent-mindedness can lead to another surge of infections, and in the worst case scenario, another lockdown.

ABS CBN – 80 MILLIONG Pinoy ang nanonood arawaraw – DILAWANG Cong Sol Aragones, former Kapamilya

abs aragones

Hindi kaya NAHIHIBANG na ang mga DILAWAN? Dati si VP Leni Robredo 4 x 40 equals 1,600 daw. Dapat 160 lang kaya nadagdagan ng isang zero (na multiply by ten). Eto namang si Maria Ressa ng Rappler 11 MILLION daw ang mga kawani ng ABS CBN eh dapat 11,000 lang na hanggang ngayon at pinagtatalunan pa. Nadagdagan ni Ressa ng tatlong zero (na multiply by 1,000). So etong si Aragones, nadagdagan naman ng isang zero (na multiply by 10) ang pigura (mas malapit kasi sa 8 million, baka nga 20 million pa, ang nanonood sa ABS CBN arawaraw kaysa sa 80 MILLION).

Ano kaya ang rason na wala na dito sa lupang ibabaw ang mga nakukuha nilang mga numero? Di kaya pang halalan na iyang mga DAGDAG BAWAS na iyan. Sobra na ba ang galit at poot nila sa kasalukuyang administrasyon na naging mga malimali na sila? O gusto talaga nila mapaniwala ang mga mamamayan sa kanilang pinalolobong mga bilang?

Si Ressa ay humingi ng paumanhin sa kaniyang pagkakamali na nangyari sa isang banyagang programa. Umamin kaya si Aragones na hindi tama ang kanyang nasabing bilang ng mga manonood at tagasubaybay arawaraw sa ABS CBN?

COVID 19 – Duque has FOOT IN MOUTH DISEASE – asymptomatic carriers are not contagious, second wave, no need to wear masks in public, etc. EVERY TIME he OPENS his MOUTH, an ERRONEOUS statement comes out.

19 binay

Senator Nancy Binay on Thursday, May 21, hit Health Secretary Francisco Duque III over his claim that there’s no evidence that asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19 are not contagious.

https://balitangbalita.com/2020/05/25/replace-health-secretary-duque-now-na-fire-him-request-for-courtesy-resignation-resign-on-his-own-volition/

balitangbalita.com/2020/05/21/covid-19-walang-gamot-sa-bobo-doh-sec-second-wave-inupakan-ng-mga-senador-at-cabinet-secretary/

**************************

‘Nakakabahala’: Senators hit Duque over false claims on COVID-19 contagion

‘Sobrang nakakabahala…kung ang secretary of health na mismo ang nagpapakalat ng maling information tungkol sa COVID-19,’ Senator Nancy Binay says

Bonz Magsambol (Rappler)
May 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Nancy Binay on Thursday, May 21, hit Health Secretary Francisco Duque III over his claim that there’s no evidence that asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19 are contagious.

“Sobrang nakakabahala, Mr President, kung ang secretary of health na mismo ang nagpapakalat ng maling information tungkol sa COVID-19,” Binay said during the virtual Senate hearing on coronavirus response.

(This is alarming, Mr President, if the secretary of health himself is spreading false information on COVID-19.)

Citing a situation report from the World Health Organization, Binay said the WHO didn’t say that asymptomatic cases are not contagious.

“There are few reports of laboratory-confirmed cases who are truly asymptomatic, and, to date, there has been no documented asymptomatic transmission. This does not exclude the possibility that it may occur,” Binay said.

Binay was reacting to the statement made by Duque during the Senate hearing on Wednedsay, May 20, when she asked him about how the government would trace “silent spreaders” of the disease.

Asymptomatic patients are those who show no symptoms of COVID-19, such as difficulty in breathing, dry cough, or cold, the Department of Health (DOH) said.

Meanwhile, Senator Migz Zubiri said he was “very alarmed” over Duque’s statement that the country is now in second wave of COVID-19 infections, going into 3rd.

“We are the only country in the world that has admitted that we are [in] the 2nd wave,” Zubiri said.

Zubiri added that the first 3 coronavirus cases in the Philippines were “not even a ripple.”

“How could that have been a wave?” Zubiri said.

According to Zubiri, Duque’s statements were “sowing panic amongst our people that we are [in] the second wave.”

“They should be very careful with their statements,” Zubiri said.

Several government offiicials also contradicted Duque’s statement.

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said he did not know what the health chief was talking about.

As of Thursday, the Philippines recorded 13,434 cases of coronavirus infections, with 846 deaths and 3,000 recoveries.

**********

COVID 19 – Walang gamot sa BOBO – DoH Sec SECOND WAVE INUPAKAN ng mga Senador at Cabinet Secretary

Executive Secretary Medialdea, DILG Secretary Ano, Presidential Spokesperson Roque, Senator Gordon, Senator Lacson, Senator Pangilinan, Senator Drilon and former Health Secretary Cabral all expressed DISMAY at Department of Health Secretary Duque’s statement. Pansinin ninyo na madalas ay sumasalungat sila Pangilinan at Drilon sa pamahalaan ngunit ngayon maraming kasama sa administrasyon ang nakiupak din sa Health Secretary. Malimali kasi. Walang gamot ang KABOBOHAN. 

************

Palace contradicts DOH: Philippines still in first wave of COVID-19 infections

By: Darryl John Esguerra
INQUIRER.net
May 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines —  The Philippines is still in the first wave of the novel coronavirus outbreak, Malacañang said Thursday, refuting Health Secretary Francisco Duque III’s declaration that the country is now facing the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Tayo po ngayon ay nasa first wave,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a televised Palace briefing.

“Alam niyo po ang medisina, para ring mga abogado ‘yan, iisa lang ang batas namin (pero) iba iba ang interpretasyon. Ganyan din po siguro sa medisina, iisa ang siyensya ,iisa ang datos, iba ang basa,” Roque said.

During a Senate hearing on the government’s COVID-19 response Wednesday, Duque disclosed that the Philippines is actually on the second wave of COVID-19 infection now, citing data from epidemiology experts.

Duque’s statement, however, was met with opposition from some senators, lawmakers, and even government officials, especially after President Rodrigo Duterte himself has repeatedly mentioned trying to avoid a second wave of COVID-19 cases, which his economic managers said would be too costly to address.

It added that the second wave of more than 10,000 cases peaked at the end of March. It can be recalled that the DOH reported 583 new COVID-19 infections on March 31, the highest recorded new cases in a day.

Citing data from health professionals, Roque said the first wave started with the three COVID-19 positive Chinese nationals late January and went on until May when the Philippines started to report a decrease in coronavirus infections.

“Kaya nga po ang sinasabi natin bagamat hindi pa po fully flattened ang curve, nagsisimula na po ang pag-flatten ng curve,” he said.

The Palace official likewise claimed that the first three cases are too small to be considered an outbreak wave.

**********************

Replace Health Secretary Duque – NOW NA – Fire Him, Request for Courtesy Resignation, Resign on his own volition

The problem of the Duterte Administration is that it has a SHALLOW BENCH. Duque, more of a politician than a doctor of medicine, was chosen on the recommendation of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. In other words, political expediency rather than expertise won out. The first Duterte Health Secretary, Ubial, was appointed on the basis of merely coming from Mindanao, thus did not have the personality, stature and vision to lead the national health bureaucracy. At a time of COVID 19 pandemic, Filipino lives are at stake more than ever. Frontliners have suffered heavily. The country needs a Health Secretary that can and would guide us in this time of living dangerously.
**********
Duterte scouting for new DOH chief?
Edith Regalado (The Philippine Star)
May 25, 2020

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — President Duterte is reportedly scouting for somebody to replace Francisco Duque III as health secretary amid calls for his resignation by members of the Senate and other sectors of society due to his handling of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

“I understand the President is now looking around for somebody to replace Duque,” a source told The STAR.

Another source, however, said the timing of the supposed firing of Duque, if not his resignation, comes at a time that the country is in the midst of the “battle against COVID-19.”

Several sectors have claimed that Duque has lost the credibility to lead the country’s fight against COVID-19 after the Department of Health was accused of overpricing the procurement of medical equipment to battle the disease.

“We hope the President will not take long to give Duque the way out. He has to go,” a Duterte Cabinet member, who asked not to be named, said.

The Senate quizzed Duque on overpriced purchases, but he pointed to the Department of Budget and Management as responsible for “the discrepancies in the purchases.”

Replace Health Secretary Duque – NOW NA – Fire Him, Request for Courtesy Resignation, Resign on his own volition

doh surfing
The problem of the Duterte Administration is that it has a SHALLOW BENCH. Duque, more of a politician than a doctor of medicine, was chosen on the recommendation of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. In other words, political expediency rather than expertise won out. The first Duterte Health Secretary, Ubial, was appointed on the basis of merely coming from Mindanao, thus did not have the personality, stature and vision to lead the national health bureaucracy. At a time of COVID 19 pandemic, Filipino lives are at stake more than ever. Frontliners have suffered heavily. The country needs a Health Secretary that can and would guide us in this time of living dangerously.
**********
Duterte scouting for new DOH chief?
Edith Regalado (The Philippine Star)
May 25, 2020

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — President Duterte is reportedly scouting for somebody to replace Francisco Duque III as health secretary amid calls for his resignation by members of the Senate and other sectors of society due to his handling of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

“I understand the President is now looking around for somebody to replace Duque,” a source told The STAR.

Another source, however, said the timing of the supposed firing of Duque, if not his resignation, comes at a time that the country is in the midst of the “battle against COVID-19.”

Several sectors have claimed that Duque has lost the credibility to lead the country’s fight against COVID-19 after the Department of Health was accused of overpricing the procurement of medical equipment to battle the disease.

“We hope the President will not take long to give Duque the way out. He has to go,” a Duterte Cabinet member, who asked not to be named, said.

The Senate quizzed Duque on overpriced purchases, but he pointed to the Department of Budget and Management as responsible for “the discrepancies in the purchases.”

*************

COVID 19 – Walang gamot sa BOBO – DoH Sec SECOND WAVE INUPAKAN ng mga Senador at Cabinet Secretary

Executive Secretary Medialdea, DILG Secretary Ano, Presidential Spokesperson Roque, Senator Gordon, Senator Lacson, Senator Pangilinan, Senator Drilon and former Health Secretary Cabral all expressed DISMAY at Department of Health Secretary Duque’s statement. Pansinin ninyo na madalas ay sumasalungat sila Pangilinan at Drilon sa pamahalaan ngunit ngayon maraming kasama sa administrasyon ang nakiupak din sa Health Secretary. Malimali kasi. Walang gamot ang KABOBOHAN. 

RELATED READING: balitangbalita.com/2020/05/20/covid-19-stupid-second-wave-of-doh-sec-causes-confusion/

doh surfing

*****************

Palace contradicts DOH: Philippines still in first wave of COVID-19 infections

By: Darryl John Esguerra
INQUIRER.net
May 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines —  The Philippines is still in the first wave of the novel coronavirus outbreak, Malacañang said Thursday, refuting Health Secretary Francisco Duque III’s declaration that the country is now facing the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Tayo po ngayon ay nasa first wave,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a televised Palace briefing.

“Alam niyo po ang medisina, para ring mga abogado ‘yan, iisa lang ang batas namin (pero) iba iba ang interpretasyon. Ganyan din po siguro sa medisina, iisa ang siyensya ,iisa ang datos, iba ang basa,” Roque said.

During a Senate hearing on the government’s COVID-19 response Wednesday, Duque disclosed that the Philippines is actually on the second wave of COVID-19 infection now, citing data from epidemiology experts.

Duque’s statement, however, was met with opposition from some senators, lawmakers, and even government officials, especially after President Rodrigo Duterte himself has repeatedly mentioned trying to avoid a second wave of COVID-19 cases, which his economic managers said would be too costly to address.

It added that the second wave of more than 10,000 cases peaked at the end of March. It can be recalled that the DOH reported 583 new COVID-19 infections on March 31, the highest recorded new cases in a day.

Citing data from health professionals, Roque said the first wave started with the three COVID-19 positive Chinese nationals late January and went on until May when the Philippines started to report a decrease in coronavirus infections.

“Kaya nga po ang sinasabi natin bagamat hindi pa po fully flattened ang curve, nagsisimula na po ang pag-flatten ng curve,” he said.

The Palace official likewise claimed that the first three cases are too small to be considered an outbreak wave.

ABS CBN Franchise Renewal Issue – Sonza versus Pacman (CONFLICT of INTEREST)

pacmab sonza

Malaki ang pakinabang ni Pacman sa ABS CBN dahil sa mga boxing matches niya na dinala ng Kapamilya network. MILYONMILYONG PISO ang kitaan dito at may parte si Senator Manny sa binayad ng mga nanood. CONFLICT of INTEREST situation si Pacquiao sa franchise renewal kaya dapat hindi siya sumali sa mga usapan at botohan sa Senado kung sakaling makapasa ang panukalang batas sa Kamara at iakyat naman sa Mataas na Kapulungan.

Tagahanga man tayo ni Pacman, sa usaping ito, tama ayon sa batas si Jay Sonza.

Davao City Mayor Inday Sara chides ABS CBN for creating more enemies, closure not a freedom of speech issue

abs sara 4

Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte slams ABS-CBN: “Kaya marami naiinis sa inyo dahil nanadya kayo!

 

Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte slammed ABS-CBN’s report about her interview with a radio station.

In her Instagram post, Mayor Duterte said that ABS-CBN only put her short statement instead of putting all her explanations on why her father, President Rodrigo Duterte was allowed to travel back to Davao City.

According to her, ABS-CBN’s latest news report about her is one of the reasons why many people don’t like Kapamilya Network.

“Alam niyo Abs-Cbn kaya marami naiinis sa inyo dahil nanadya kayo. Apart from this sassy answer, I gave a mouthful of numbers as legal basis, aba kahit isa wala man lang kayo sinulat. Ansabe ko IATF Omnibus Guide dated 15 May 2020 Sec. 7 (2) 2 at Notam DIA exemption to restricted travel 2) Government flights,” the Mayor said.

IATF Omnibus Guide Sec. 7 (2) 2 includes government officials as people permitted to travel under any form of community quarantine, including President Duterte.

She also said that instead of making new supporters, ABS-CBN only created new enemies.

Inday Sara then reminded that ABS-CBN franchise issue doesn’t have any connection with freedom of speech.

“Andami niyo na nga kalaban gusto niyo pa dagdagan. Kung sabagay pasok naman na sila Espasol, Sapin-Sapin at Chicharon sa bulsa eh noh, 6 months to 25 years. So tuloy lang tayo sa bias.,” she said.

“Magsulat kayo maayos oi. And for the record, walang connection ang freedom of speech at iba pang kieme ninyo sa isang franchise. Amen,” she added.

ABS CBN – Cayetano SPECIAL TREATMENT and FAVORITISM, maski RECESS o BREAK raratsadahin ang 25 year franchise renewal. Paano na kaya ang mga COVID related bills? Economic stimulus? Financial assistance? Taxes? Loans? Budget realignment? Emergency measures?

abs cayetano arguing

Inabandona ng kasama sa Kamara? Speaker Cayetano, umatras sa provisional franchise o five month extension na panukala para sa ABS-CBN at ito ang palusot niya. Panibagong pakulo naman ay 25 year franchise renewal. Nililito niya tayo. Mailusot niya kaya sa Kamara ang hinahangad na prangkisa? Sa Senado kasi, matagal nang bistado ang mga CONFLICT of INTEREST na mga senador. Sa Mababang Kapulungan, marami pa ang NAGKUKUNWARI. May sinasabi pero iba naman ang gustong mangyari. Abangan.

**********************************************

House to skip break to hear ABS-CBN issue

By: Melvin Gascon (Philippine Daily Inquirer)
May 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Members of the House of Representatives would have to skip their midterm break when they deliberate on ABS-CBN’s application for a franchise renewal, House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said on Tuesday.

“The deliberations … will continue … until they are finished so no one can say we’re stopping the process, or dragging our feet,” Cayetano said.

Cayetano said the issue had become “so divisive” and “so polluted,” that it distracted Congress from more pressing concerns like the COVID-19 crisis.

The House committee is likely to hold two to three hearings a week, Cayetano said, adding that the House should be ready to decide when it comes back after its recess starting on June 4 and after President Duterte’s State of the Nation Address on July 27.

In the Senate, Se­nate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Wednesday said Cayetano’s decision to withdraw the bill showed his indifference to the plight of the network’s 11,000 workers.

Union leaders of the company meanwhile said they were staying strong for their coworkers and families despite the looming prospect of layoffs.

—With reports from Marlon Ramos and Miguel R. Camus

 

COVID 19 – Walang gamot sa BOBO – DoH Sec SECOND WAVE INUPAKAN ng mga Senador at Cabinet Secretary

Executive Secretary Medialdea, DILG Secretary Ano, Presidential Spokesperson Roque, Senator Gordon, Senator Lacson, Senator Pangilinan, Senator Drilon and former Health Secretary Cabral all expressed DISMAY at Department of Health Secretary Duque’s statement. Pansinin ninyo na madalas ay sumasalungat sila Pangilinan at Drilon sa pamahalaan ngunit ngayon maraming kasama sa administrasyon ang nakiupak din sa Health Secretary. Malimali kasi. Walang gamot ang KABOBOHAN. 

RELATED READING: balitangbalita.com/2020/05/20/covid-19-stupid-second-wave-of-doh-sec-causes-confusion/

doh surfing

Palace contradicts DOH: Philippines still in first wave of COVID-19 infections

By: Darryl John Esguerra
INQUIRER.net
May 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines —  The Philippines is still in the first wave of the novel coronavirus outbreak, Malacañang said Thursday, refuting Health Secretary Francisco Duque III’s declaration that the country is now facing the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Tayo po ngayon ay nasa first wave,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a televised Palace briefing.

“Alam niyo po ang medisina, para ring mga abogado ‘yan, iisa lang ang batas namin (pero) iba iba ang interpretasyon. Ganyan din po siguro sa medisina, iisa ang siyensya ,iisa ang datos, iba ang basa,” Roque said.

During a Senate hearing on the government’s COVID-19 response Wednesday, Duque disclosed that the Philippines is actually on the second wave of COVID-19 infection now, citing data from epidemiology experts.

Duque’s statement, however, was met with opposition from some senators, lawmakers, and even government officials, especially after President Rodrigo Duterte himself has repeatedly mentioned trying to avoid a second wave of COVID-19 cases, which his economic managers said would be too costly to address.

It added that the second wave of more than 10,000 cases peaked at the end of March. It can be recalled that the DOH reported 583 new COVID-19 infections on March 31, the highest recorded new cases in a day.

Citing data from health professionals, Roque said the first wave started with the three COVID-19 positive Chinese nationals late January and went on until May when the Philippines started to report a decrease in coronavirus infections.

“Kaya nga po ang sinasabi natin bagamat hindi pa po fully flattened ang curve, nagsisimula na po ang pag-flatten ng curve,” he said.

The Palace official likewise claimed that the first three cases are too small to be considered an outbreak wave.

 

COVID 19 – STUPID Second Wave of DoH Sec causes CONFUSION

doh second wave

By DEFINITION pa lang medyo napaghahalata na ang ating DoH Secretary ay nangangapa ng sagot. Nagiimbeto. Nambobola. Walang alam. Bago po magkasecond wave, dapat itong ating unang hagupit ng CPVID 19 ay humupa muna, tapos dala ng ating kapabayaan ay magkaroon ng panibagong pagatake at pagdami ng mga kaso.

Second wave: A phenomenon of infections that can develop during a pandemic. The disease infects one group of people first. Infections appear to decrease. And then, infections increase in a different part of the population, resulting in a second wave of infections.

******************

Duque’s statement on COVID-19 ’second wave’ confuses experts

Christian V. Esguerra, ABS-CBN News

May 20, 2020

 

MANILA – The Philippines is still dealing with the current stream of COVID-19 infections, contrary to its health chief’s announcement that the country was now experiencing a “second wave,” medical experts said Wednesday.

This next phase in a pandemic comes only with “humongous outbreaks,” and after the first wave of infections has come under control, said Dr. Benjamin Co, a specialist on pediatric infectious diseases who has been monitoring the country’s epidemiological curves based on daily government data.

“We’ve never flattened anything yet,” he told ABS-CBN News. “We’re still dealing with the first wave.”

Co said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III should clarify his statement during Wednesday’s Senate hearing that the country’s first wave came in late January when 3 Chinese nationals sickened with the virus arrived here.

“I think he’s coming from a definition, probably, that (the curve) was flat from the very beginning then came a few cases,” Co said.

The health department on Wednesday reported 279 new cases bringing the total number of infections in the country to 13,221, with a death toll of 842. Of the total number of infections, 9,447 were considered “active” cases.

“We’re seeing gains, to be fair,” said Co, citing the fewer number of reported deaths and new cases daily.

Dr. Tony Leachon, a medical adviser to the government task force on the pandemic, said quarantine measures in certain areas would not have been relaxed if epidemiological data pointed to a second wave.

“It would have been counterintuitive to do that,” he said. “When you say ‘second wave,’ it means you have flattened the first one. We’re still in the first wave.”

The UK-based Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (CEBM) cautioned against “making absolute statements of certainty about ‘second waves’” about the new coronavirus, which has infected 4.9 million people worldwide.

“We do not know for certain whether COVID will recur in phases, or sporadic outbreaks or disappear altogether,” wrote Tom Jefferson, a senior associate tutor and honorary research fellow at CEBM.

ABS CBN – Korte Suprema HINDI naglabas ng TRO para sa daliang pagbubukas ng network

Sa halip na TRO ang ibinigay para makapagbroadcast na ang Kapamilya network, minabuti ng Kataastaasang Hukuman na pagaralan muna ang mga isyu hinggil sa pagkasara ng ABS CBN. Dahil sa maraming araw na magiging palitan ng mga sagutan, ilang linggo din ang lilipas bago makapagpasya kung mabibigyan na talaga ng Temporary Restraining Order ang NTC sa kanilang Cease and Desist Order na naging sanhi kung bakit na OFF THE AIR ang Channel 2, DZMM at mga iba pang mga istasyon sa kaanib nito. Sa Kamara naman ay tila hindi na ipagpapatuloy ang panukalang ABS CBN franchise extension hanggang Octubre, 2020 bilang pansamantalang paraan para mabuksan ang ABS CBN. Tatahakin na nila ang regular na 25 year franchise renewal na ayon kay House Speaker Cayetano ay baka sa Agosto pa matapos o maaprubahan.
abs no tro 2
No TRO from SC; ABS-CBN to remain off air
Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star)
May 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Media giant ABS-CBN Corp. yesterday failed to secure a temporary restraining order from the Supreme Court (SC) that could have allowed the network to resume its radio and television broadcast.

The high court’s failure to issue a ruling on ABS-CBN’s petition for a TRO means that the cease and desist order (CDO) issued by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) against the company stays.

During an online full court session, 14 justices unanimously ordered the NTC and Congress to comment on ABS-CBN’s petition instead of issuing a TRO, SC spokesman Brian Keith Hosaka said.

The SC gave the NTC, Senate and House of Representatives 10 days from receipt of notice to comment on the network’s petition questioning the CDO.

ABS-CBN named the NTC as the only respondent, but the justices separately impleaded Congress and required them to file a comment, Hosaka said.

The SC also denied the plea of lawyer Lorenzo Gadon to consolidate the ABS-CBN case with his petition, which asked the high tribunal to stop the NTC from issuing the network a provisional authority to operate after the expiration of its 25-year franchise.

ABS-CBN filed the petition for TRO on May 7, two days after the NTC issued the CDO against the media giant.

Malacañang said it is leaving it up to the SC to decide on the petition filed by ABS-CBN.

“I don’t know how to react to that. We will just let the SC decide,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said at a press briefing. “If there is no TRO, that means the SC is not convinced that a restraining order is needed.”

House recalls provisional franchise bill

At the House of Representatives, lawmakers dropped yesterday the proposed measure granting ABS-CBN a temporary franchise pending deliberations on its application for a fresh 25-year franchise.

In a privilege speech during a mixed physical and virtual plenary session, Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano recalled House Bill 6732 that had been approved on first reading by the chamber sitting as committee of the whole.

“Because of divisiveness and after consulting with lawmakers, the House leadership decided to forgo the grant of a provisional franchise and immediately proceed with the hearings on the bills seeking renewal of the ABS-CBN franchise,” Cayetano said.

He said the matter would be returned to the House committee on legislative franchises chaired by Palawan Rep. Franz Alvarez.

The decision was reached following a caucus among leaders of political blocs in the majority coalition and after the chamber recalled its approval on second reading of the bill that would have granted provisional franchise to the network until Oct.31, 2020.

A majority of House members supported the proposal of Bulacan Rep. Jonathan Sy-Alvarado to refer the matter back to the legislative franchises panel.

Cayetano explained that he earlier pushed for the provisional franchise because he would have wanted to allow the network to continue airing while Congress hears the franchise renewal application.

It was not clear if the withdrawal of HB 6732 would still need approval of the House plenary.

Solicitor General Jose Calida said he agreed with Cayetano’s call to have a thorough investigation on supposed violations of ABS-CBN.

“These issues must be resolved first before a bill authorizing ABS-CBN to operate is passed, even if what is being granted is only a provisional franchise. Certainly, one cannot put the cart before the horse,” Calida said yesterday.

“The grant of a legislative franchise is imbued with public interest. It cannot be haphazardly issued. Thus, to issue a provisional franchise to allow ABS-CBN to continue its broadcasting operations without conducting a hearing would amount to Congress acting speedily for the sake of acting speedily, which is a disservice to the Filipino people,” he added.

Provisional franchise OK

The network is amenable to a provisional franchise from Congress if only to be able to air immediately to provide news and information, and stop the possible retrenchment of thousands of its workers, ABS-CBN president and chief executive officer Carlo Katigbak said.

“At this point, the priority for ABS-CBN is to return on air as quickly as possible. We need to do this so we can start earning revenues so we can continue paying the salaries of our employees,” Katigbak told the Senate committee on public services through video conference.

“If a provisional franchise valid until October is the quickest way to get back on air, then we accept that with the hope that Congress continue hearings so we can secure the 25-year franchise,” he added.

He said ABS-CBN and its subsidiaries, which employ over 11,000 people have committed to retain jobs for three months even if it continues to lose over P30 million per day since it was shut down by the government on May 5.

ABS-CBN on Monday said it was stunned by accusations raised during House deliberations on the proposed provisional franchise, saying the allegations have been answered under oath by network executives and government officials at a Senate hearing on Feb. 24.

ABS-CBN said officials of the Securities and Exchange Commission, NTC and Bureau of Internal Revenue have testified that the network “had no violations as it relates to their specific agency.”

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said he was worried if the matter is not immediately settled, the network may lose its frequencies, which is necessary if it is to resume operations.

“Unless the franchise is outright rejected, I think we should give them a fighting chance to be able to continue their operations,” Zubiri said.

The hearing, presided over by Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian, was supposed to take up pending bills in the Senate all seeking to grant the network a provisional or 25-year franchise.

The panel did not take up HB 6732, which seeks to grant the network a temporary five-month franchise as senators agreed to wait for the measure to reach the Senate.

Officials of the NTC were a no-show at the hearing. But senators said they would be made to explain in the next hearing expected to be held next week.

During the hearing, former chief justice Reynato Puno said Congress has the authority to grant the network a provisional franchise, but advised that it would be better if the Senate waits for the House bill.

Former Senate president Juan Ponce Enrile said if Congress intends to grant ABS-CBN a 25-year franchise, then it should do so instead of giving it a temporary authority. Alexis Romero, Edu Punay, Paolo Romero, Ralph Edwin Villanueva