25 April 2020



MANILA—The number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines breached 7,000 on the

same day the government announced another extension of the enhanced

community quarantine in Metro Manila and other places.

The Department of Health on Friday recorded 211 new COVID-19 cases, raising

the total to 7,192 cases.

The number of recoveries continued to increase with 40 new recovered

patients, or a total of 762.

There were, however, 15 new COVID-related deaths, bringing the sum of

coronavirus fatalities in the Philippines to 477.

Since a week ago, the total recovered patients have been higher than deaths.

The DOH has attributed the increase in recoveries to their inclusion of

people who recovered while on home quarantine. Only patients who get a

negative COVID-19 test using the PCR method are included in the official

recovery tally.

While the health department expects more people to recover, it has also been

preparing for new cases. On Friday, the national government announced that

it will be extending the ECQ in Metro Manila and other regions for two weeks

while placing other areas under different general community quarantine.

The DOH said the extension would allow the country to increase its testing

capacity and to enable hospitals to prepare for more critically ill


Worldwide, there have been 2.7 million people infected with COVID-19 since

the pandemic started. Of this number, more than 740,000 have recovered and

more than 190,000 have died.





MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila still has some 12,000 suspected cases of

coronavirus disease 2019, according to Presidential Adviser on the Peace

Process Carlito Galvez Jr.

Galvez – also the chief implementer of the national action plan of the task

force against COVID-19 – said yesterday that these suspected cases are the

targets of aggressive testing now that the enhanced community quarantine in

the National Capital Region has been extended to May 15.

“We still have 12,000, more or less, suspected COVID-19 cases,” Galvez said

noting that the government, with the help of the Metro Manila Development

Authority and local government units, aims to bring the suspected number of

possible infections to zero.

“We believe that if we will have aggressive testing also in cooperation with

the private sector, it is then that we can say if the enhanced community

quarantine can already be lifted,” he said.

Galvez said the basis for lifting the quarantine is dependent on several

factors, such as the number of new cases and deaths and how hospitals cope

with cases.

He noted that the goal is also to prevent a second wave of cases, which may

happen if the quarantine is lifted too early.





MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte is asking Congress for a

supplemental budget after the finance department admitted that funds might

be stretched thin in the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019

(COVID-19) pandemic.

“We are confident that Congress will provide the necessary authority to the

President,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. said yesterday.

Duterte said the government has enough funds, but not for long.

“Actually, what Sonny (Dominguez) is telling us is that there’s money for

now, but the budget was crafted last year when there is no COVID-19 yet,”

the President said, noting that respective agencies already have their

allocations under the general appropriations act.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, during a meeting last Thursday, said

the government has tapped P352.7 billion under the P4.1-trillion 2020 budget

to fight the pandemic in the country.

Duterte said the government might be cash-strapped since there are no taxes

and cash inflow so far.

“At this point, everything is in the hands of the executive department. We

have not received any request for a supplementary budget. We will be ready

to do our part on the 4th of May,” Sotto said.





MANILA - The number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in Quezon

City has risen to 1,104, the city government said Friday, citing Department

of Health (DOH) data.

In a bulletin released 11 p.m., the city government said 133 patients have

recovered from the disease, while the number of fatalities is at 106.

The number of COVID-19 cases with complete addresses in Quezon City is now

at 956, the city government added.

Of this number, the Quezon City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit and

district offices have validated 788 cases so far.

Barangay Batasan Hills still has the most COVID-19 cases with 43, followed

by Matandang Balara with 35, and Culiat at 31.

Meanwhile, District 4 has the most COVID-19 cases among the city's 6

districts, with 191.

The city government has placed 34 barangays under "extreme enhanced

community quarantine" due to the numbexr of COVID-19 cases in the areas.





MANILA, Philippines — The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) yesterday

cautioned that some two million Filipino children are likely to miss their

regular vaccination due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

In a statement, UNICEF Philippines representative Oyunsaikhan Dendevnorov

said that routine immunization should continuously be promoted and

implemented despite the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon, which has

been extended up to May 15.

“With routine immunization services disrupted or suspended, possibly at

least two million children below two years old who are most vulnerable to

vaccine preventable diseases will be affected,” she noted.

UNICEF cited that in the Philippines, childhood immunization coverage has

been declining sharply in recent years, from 87 percent in 2014 to 68

percent in 2019, thus “exposing children to vaccine-preventable diseases

such as measles and polio.”

Dendevnorov added the measles outbreak in the Philippines in 2019 saw a

“staggering” 130 percent increase in cases compared to the same period in


Last year, polio re-emerged in the country with 17 confirmed cases, and

health experts fear an increase as the polio outbreak response had to be

suspended due to COVID-19.

UNICEF has encouraged local government units with no known cases of COVID-19

and who have adequate immunization staff and vaccines to continue

immunization activities if feasible.

Dendevnorov said catch-up immunization and intensified immunization

activities are deeply needed once the COVID-19 pandemic is under control.

These vaccination activities must focus on children who missed vaccine doses

during this period of interruption and prioritize the poorest and most

vulnerable children.









MANILA- Local government units cannot place their areas under a lockdown

without the approval of the national government, Interior Secretary Eduardo

Año said Friday.

Local officials need to seek the approval of the inter-agency task force on

COVID-19 first before they could declare an enhanced community quarantine,

Año said.

"Hindi po pupuwede na mag-unilateral declaration ang isang local chief

executive na ilalagay niya ang isang probinsya sa ECQ," he said.

"Ito ay kailangang aprubado ng IATF," he added.

The government previously allowed local officials to declare lockdowns in

their respective jurisdictions as long as they coordinate with the

Department of the Interior and Local Govenrment.

Año explained that unilateral declarations of lockdowns would make the

locality ineligible to receive cash assistance from the national government.

The following areas will remain under enhanced community quarantine from May

1 to 15, some of which are subject to rechecking: Metro Manila, the Southern

Tagalog (Calabarzon) and Central Luzon regions, Mindoro island, the

provinces of Pangasinan, Benguet, Catanduanes, and Albay; Antique, Iloilo,

Aklan, Capiz, and Cebu in the Visayas; and Davao del Norte, Davao de Oro,

and Davao City in Mindanao.





MANILA (3rd UPDATE)- An inmate at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) who

contracted the coronavirus disease died Thursday night, the Bureau of

Corrections (BuCor) said Friday.

It was the first case of a Bilibid prisoner dying of the contagious disease.

"Despite stringent measures undertaken for the past weeks to prevent the

incidence of a COVID-19 case, BuCor NBP recorded on Monday its first

confirmed COVID-19 positive male PDL (person deprived of liberty) patient,"

the BuCor said in a statement.

"Today, official report reached this office that said PDL patient expired on

the evening of 23 April 2020," it said.

It said the prisoner's relatives were already informed and that the NBP

Hospital has coordinated with the RITM "for proper disposition" of the


The BuCor said the inmate, who was from the medium security compound at the

Muntinlupa penitentiary, was admitted to the Research Institute for Tropical

Medicine (RITM) on April 17.

Other inmates who had interacted with the patient and earlier quarantined

"remain asymptomatic as of this time," BuCor said. Prison authorities are

monitoring their health, it added.





A 32-year-old man from Marawi City is the 10th confirmed coronavirus disease

2019 (COVID-19) case in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao

(BARMM), according to the regionÂ’s Ministry of Health.

The patient, PH 6982, has diabetes mellitus and is now admitted at the

Northern Mindanao Medical Center in Cagayan de Oro City.

His laboratory result came out positive for COVID-19 last Thursday.

According to MOH-BARMM, PH 6982 has no travel history.

However, he is the son-in-law of BARMMÂ’s 9th COVID-19 confirmed case, PH

6367, who was also admitted at Northern Mindanao Medical Center.

As of now, BARMM has recorded 10 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Three of the COVID-19 patients have died, 5 recovered and 2 are still

admitted in the hospital.





MANILA, Philippines — Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said best hygiene and

health measures practiced among leading export companies should be the new

protocol in business operations as the country prepares for the

post-enhanced community quarantine scenario.

“Minimum health standards such as strict social distancing, wearing of face

masks, presence of sanitation stations, taking of body temperature and

provision of vitamins must always be observed in work and public places,”

Lopez said.

“Likewise, the conduct of COVID-19 tests, provision of nearby accommodations

and shuttle services, allowing more work-from-home arrangements, and

healthcare preparedness and insurance from enterprises, should be the new

normal as we ease into the new way of doing business,” he added.

The trade chief explained that these measures must be exercised in order to

minimize the health risk among workers as essential enterprises conduct

their operations.

He emphasized that these should be strictly required once other sectors are

allowed to resume business operations.

“We need to have a new way of doing business to ensure that our significant

gains during the ECQ and the collective efforts in flattening the curve will

not be put to waste once ECQ is fully lifted,” he added.





MANILA – The Philippine Army on Friday sought the help of the National

Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to look into the fatal shooting of retired

soldier Winston Ragos by a policeman.

Army chief Lt. Gen. Gilbert Gapay wrote a letter to NBI director Eric Distor

requesting for an impartial investigation over supposed conflicting claims

on the incident.

“Apparent prejudgement by police investigators moved the Army to seek help

from the NBI so that justice may be served for Ragos and his family,” the

Army said in a statement.

In a teleconference, QCPD director Brig. Gen. Ronnie Montejo confirmed that

a case has been filed against M/Sgt. Danny Florendo Jr., who was seen in a

viral video shooting retired Army corporal Winston Ragos.

Ragos was fatally shot by Police Master Sgt. Daniel Florendo Jr. near a

quarantine checkpoint in Barangay Pasong Putik, Quezon City on April 21.

He served in the military for 7 years and was placed on complete disability

discharge due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after serving in


“What happened to Cpl. Ragos was an unfortunate, but avoidable event. Let

his death serve as an awakening on the plight of other soldiers who are

being plagued by the traumas of war,” Gapay said in a statement.

In response to the incident, Gapay ordered his staff to review existing

policies and programs dealing with combat stress, trauma risk management,

and other health concerns related to mental health.

He also ordered his staff to look for other retired soldiers suffering from

the same condition as Ragos.

Meanwhile, Ragos was given military honors at his wake in Taguig City early


The remains of Ragos arrived at the Philippine Army Mortuary at the Libingan

ng Mga Bayani (Cemetery of Heroes) days after he was shot by Police Master

Sgt. Daniel Florendo Jr. near a quarantine checkpoint in Barangay Pasong


Authorities said he will be laid to rest at the Libingan ng mga Bayani on






MANILA, Philippines — At least 85 persons were arrested less than 24 hours

after the Sampaloc district in Manila was placed under “hard lockdown”

Thursday night.

Lt. Col. Carlo Magno Manuel, Manila Police District public information

chief, said three of those arrested are minors while 10 are street dwellers.

The arrested persons, held in four barangay covered courts used as temporary

detention facilities, were charged with non-cooperation during a health

crisis, violating a provision of Republic Act 11332, in which President

Duterte declared a state of public health emergency to address the

coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

They were also charged with disobedience to police under Article 151 of the

Revised Penal Code as well as violating city ordinances on curfew hours and

the mandatory wearing of face masks when in public.








MANILA -- Jericho Rosales and Matteo Guidicelli recently partnered with

fellow celebrity Drew Arellano to sell their pre-owned items, with proceeds

going to those affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Through Arellano's account Drew's Closet, Rosales and Guidicelli were able

to auction off jackets, pants, caps, and helmets.

The sale of Rosales' pre-owned items amounted to P73,800 which went to

Lockdown Cinema Club, an initiative that aims to help displaced film


Guidicelli's auction for Drew's Closet, on the other hand, was able to raise

P17,800 for Puso Kitchen, which provides food for residents of Barangay

Calawis in Antipolo.

Meanwhile, some well-known female personalities have given their pre-owned

designer goods to the Fashion for Others sale of Vestido Manila.

Among them are Pia Wurtzbach, Marian Rivera, Judy Ann Santos, Steph

Kienle-Gonzalez, and Pam Quinones.

Vestido Manila's auction is still ongoing, and the online store regularly

gives updates on the funds raised for frontliners and those whose

livelihoods have been affected by the coronavirus-induced lockdown.

In a post early this week, Vestido Manila said it was able to raise P116,000

in three days, before adding the pre-loved items of Wurtzbach, Santos, and







MANILA – The Philippine government has extended the enhanced community

quarantine in Metro Manila and other parts of the country until May 15 to

stem COVID-19 infections.

As Filipinos have to come to grips with the additional lockdown, Dr. Jerome

Go, a psychiatrist at the Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center,

offered some tips on how to navigate this challenging time.

Be prepared

“Prepare yourself mentally, emotionally and financially. Anticipate of

whatÂ’s to come in the coming days. We have to be prepared that the lockdown

could be extended again or not,” Go told radio DZMM in Filipino.

Stick to a routine

“Do household chores. Spend time taking care of your plants. Or make use of

your time exercising,” he said.

Stay in contact with others

Physical distancing doesnÂ’t mean isolation, Go stressed.

“Talk with friends or people so you remain attached to people. So you will

feel you are not alone in this crisis,” he said.

A time for self-care

“Use this time for self-care, self-love. You can use this time to get enough

sleep, eat well and do some exercise,” Go said.

ItÂ’s okay to struggle

Everyone is doing the best they can to make it through this crisis, Go said.

“We cope differently. It doesn’t mean you are weak if you can’t adopt to a

situation immediatelyÂ…. ThatÂ’s why itÂ’s important to connect to other people

to seek support. It can start with your family or friends,” he added.

To date, the Philippines has recorded 7,192 COVID-19 cases. The tally

includes 477 who succumbed to the disease while 762 have recovered.








China is in the throes of a multibillion-dollar splurge on new football

stadiums, ramping up ambitions to be a superpower in the sport and host a

World Cup as early as 2030.

The building spree is taking place despite the coronavirus pandemic which

has brought much of the world to a standstill, ravaging economies and

putting live sport on hold.

But with the outbreak receding in China, where it emerged in December,

Chinese Super League (CSL) champions Guangzhou Evergrande last week began

construction on their 12 billion yuan ($1.7 billion) new home.

With a capacity of 100,000, the lotus flower-shaped stadium will for a time

trump Barcelona's Camp Nou -- which is set for expansion -- as the world's

biggest football arena, once it is completed by the end of 2022.

Evergrande Group, a major property developer founded by one of China's

richest men, said it also intends to build two more 80,000-seater stadiums

in China.

The country will have at least 12 major new football stadiums two years from

now, said the state-run Southern Metropolis Daily, calling it "a new era for

Chinese football".

Most will be used for the newly expanded 2021 Club World Cup and the 2023

AFC Asian Cup, but President Xi Jinping has his eyes on the biggest prize of


"I think China's desire to apply for the World Cup is very clear," said Ji

Yuyang, a journalist for the Oriental Sports Daily.

Ji said it was a matter of when, not if, China bids.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino said in June that he would welcome a Chinese

bid to stage the 2030 World Cup, the next one up for grabs.





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Comments (0)

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