todays top stories

Filipina dies of coronavirus disease in America

March 21, 2020

UNITED STATES (MDN International News) - A visiting Filipina from Orlando, Florida, has died of the deadly coronavirus disease in Los Angeles County. The Filipina and her husband, report said, was coming from a trip to Thailand, Philippines and another long stay in South Korea, one of the top countries of the world strongly hit by the deadly virus that originated from Wuhan, China. The woman and her husband left Orlando in February for their scheduled trip to Thailand and the Philippines as their kicked off activity for retirement. They had also stayed for much longer time in South Korea before they went back to Orlando, Florida on March 8.  The victim's son Rem was texted by his father telling him that his mom has already died. His father said his mom has no pulse anymore and he even went into giving her a CPR but she was gone. She was still brought to the nearest hospital, hoping she was only unconscious, but attending physicians officially pronounced her dead upon arrival. Rem narrated to the media that his mother died 36 hours after arriving at Los Angeles International Airport and only eight hours after she was admitted to the hospital. The grieving father was also immediately quarantined in Southern California since he also developed symptoms such as fever and flu. However, Rem said, the Los Angeles County informed him that his dad was not yet positive of covid-19, as they are still waiting for the test results.    

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NMMC doctors handling PUIs isolated

March 21, 2020

COVID-19 preventive measures at Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) are so strict that all doctors and nurses who are handling persons under investigation (PUIs) there aren't allowed to go home even off duty.   NMMC chief of hospital Jose Chan revealed this yesterday even as he said that they have provided a holding quarters for these medical personnel to rest after their 12-hour shift.   "It is there where they will sleep, it is there where they will eat," Chan said during a press conference Saturday, March 21.   The cycle is repeated for one whole week until they will be relieved by two other medical teams who will cover the 12-hour shifts each day for the next seven-day cycle.   Chan said that each medical team is composed of seven doctors and nurses or a total of 14 personnel on duty for a one-week rotation.   Within a 12-hour shift, each medical team is responsible for all the PUIs confined at the hospital.   Chan said he implemented this scheme to prevent a repeat of the case of the lone COVID-19 casualty at NMMC two weeks ago wherein all 50 hospital workers who cared for him were forced to undergo quarantine after he died due to the virus.   As of Saturday (March 21), there are 12 PUIs admitted at NMMC - the designated regional hub for infectious diseases in Northern Mindanao.   Of the 12, Chan said only one is on respirators and the rest are in stable condition.   All of them are awaiting results of their COVID-19 tests.   Since the pandemic began in February, there were already 37 PUIs admitted at NMMC. Only one - Patient 40 - was confirmed positive for COVID-19 and eventually died.

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Ten of 12 Persons Under Investigations in Northern Mindanao test negative of covid-19

March 21, 2020

UPDATED AS OF MARCH 22... CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY - A top-ranking official of the Department of Health yesterday revealed that at least ten of the 12 patients under investigations at the regional hospital in Cagayan de Oro, already tested negative of SARS-COV-2, the causative agent of coronavirus disease. DOH-10 Regional Director Adriano P. Suba-an said the TEN patients currently isolated and quarantined at NMMC did not show the viral RNA, which is present in persons infected with the deadly coronavirus disease (covid-19). The DOH official said the negative result of the ten patients was based on swab testing that were sent to Metro Manila. PROBLEMS ON TESTING KITS Dr Jose Chan, the chief of hospital at NMMC revealed that until now they hve not received their covid-19 testing kits, which had put them in dilemma in easily identifying whether the PUIs were already covid-19 positive or negative of the deadly strain. Chan said that the local health authorities have been asking the national government to provide provincial hospitals the “testing kits” to be able to immediately detect a patient's illness. “Our problem is that we have to transport samplings for laboratory testing to the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine in Mandaluyong before we could determine whether the patient is COVID-19 positive,” Chan said. As a result, two of those PUIs who have died this week were not known whether they were coronavirus positive or not. They were only identified by local attending physicians as persons who died because of Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI). The chief of hospital also reported that those who died of SARI were not residents of Cagayan de Oro, as they were only referred by other local hospitals in Northern Mindanao since NMMC is the most equipped government hosptal in the region, fully supported by DOH-10 and DOH National.  NMMC MEDICAL WORKERS QUARANTINED Dr Chan also revealed that he has implemented covid-19 prevetive measures at NMMC by having all doctors and nurses taking care of PUIs to undergo quarantine. This, even if they are off duty, as a way of effectively resisting contamination from those PUIs who are still waiting results of their lab tests. He said the medical workers might spread the virus to their immediate families, friends and their circle of friends.   Chan revealed this yesterday even as he said that they have provided a holding quarters for these medical personnel to rest after their 12-hour shift. "It is there where they will sleep, it is there where they will eat," Chan said during a press conference Saturday, March 21. The cycle is repeated for one whole week until they will be relieved by two other medical teams who will cover the 12-hour shifts each day for the next seven-day cycle. Chan said that each medical team is composed of seven doctors and nurses or a total of 14 personnel on duty for a one-week rotation. Within a 12-hour shift, each medical team is responsible for all the PUIs confined at the hospital. Chan said he implemented this scheme to prevent a repeat of the case of the lone COVID-19 casualty at NMMC two weeks ago wherein all 50 hospital workers who cared for him were forced to undergo quarantine after he died due to the virus. As of Saturday (March 21), there are 12 PUIs admitted at NMMC - the designated regional hub for infectious diseases in Northern Mindanao. Of the 12, Chan said only one is on respirators and the rest are in stable condition. All of them are awaiting results of their COVID-19 tests. Since the pandemic began in February, there were already 37 PUIs admitted at NMMC. Only one - Patient 40 - was confirmed positive for COVID-19 and eventually died.  

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2 congressmen in America test positive for coronavirus infection

March 20, 2020

UNITED STATES (MDN International News) - Two of the lawmakers in the United States tested positive for coronavirus infection. Those who were hit by the virus were Rep Ben McAdams and Rep Mario Diaz-Balart. McAdams has confirmed in a statement Wednesday (March 17) that he contracted the virus and he was confirmed positive by medical experts. Rep. Diaz-Balart, for his part, claimed he tested positive of the deadly virus on Saturday and started feeling bad about his health conditions.  McAdams told the media he had developed "mild cold-like symptoms" on Saturday. This, after he returned home from Washington. Feeling bad about his health conditions, McAdams has decided to be isolated and treated at an undisclosed place.  “I am still working for Utahns and pursuing efforts to get Utahns the resources they need as I continue doing my job from home until I know it is safe to end my self-quarantine,” McAdams wrote. “I’m doing my part as all Americans are doing to contain the spread of the virus and mitigate the coronavirus outbreak.”

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ADB identifies PH priority areas to maintain economic stability

March 20, 2020

THE Asian Development Bank (ADB) has identified priority areas that the Philippines has to improve on to be able to sustain its economic performance in the medium term. According to the ADB, the country has to invest in human capital to enhance the quality of the country’s labor force, ensure fair competition practices, address infrastructure gaps, promote social inclusiveness, and look at the future of jobs in order to maintain economic stability in the coming years. ADB Chief Economist and Director General Yasuyuki Sawada said there is a need to improve the quality of the labor force that caters to industry subsectors such as information technology and business process outsourcing. “Fifty percent of the labor force in the Philippines are now working in those subsectors, which generate more than sixty percent of the gross domestic product. [Therefore], implementing programs to enhance labor quality should be strengthened so that a high supply of quality labor force may be absorbed by these industries,” Sawada explained during the presentation of ADB’s history book titled Asia’s Journey to Prosperity: Policy, Market, and Technology over 50 Years at PIDS recently. He also stressed the importance of maintaining fair competition in the market “especially in this era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution”. The ADB chief said the government should look into existing competition policies as giant investors tend to monopolize the market, thus putting small businesses at a disadvantage. Relative to Sawada’s statement, James Villafuerte, ADB’s senior chief economist, said the Philippines has very limited market players, even in terms of retail trade, compared to Thailand and other ASEAN countries. This is “because of the very high cost of doing business” in the country. Moreover, Sawada emphasized the need to beef up the Philippines’ infrastructure and transportation systems to encourage more investors in putting up businesses in the country. He said the traffic condition in major cities remains a major concern that has to be addressed through continued infrastructure investments.   Additionally, ADB’s Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department Senior Economic Advisor Juzhong Zhuang said the Philippines has to work on its tax and transfer systems in order to “reduce poverty and make growth more inclusive”. On the other hand, Villafuerte said the Philippines is doing well in some areas. In terms of maintaining macroeconomic stability, Villafuerte asserted that the “Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the National Economic and Development Authority have done a good job in helping the country consistently deliver a positive economic growth in the last three to four quarters.” Villafuerte also gave a passing mark to the country’s openness to trade and industry, saying that “tariffs are quite low” and “financial markets are quite open.” He noted, however, that there are still tariff barriers particularly in the services sector that have to be relaxed. As to social inclusiveness, the ADB senior economist gave the Philippines a fair score, saying that the Gini inequality of the Philippines are “quite correct” compared to other countries in Asia. He also lauded the government’s effort in engaging with development partners. The ADB presentation may be downloaded from this CLICK THIS LINK.

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Local officials meet reporters on Covid-19

March 20, 2020

Local officials meet reporters on Covid-19:  Dr. Jose C. Chan (left), chief of hospital at the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NNMC); Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno (middle); and Land Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Regional Director Aminoden Guro (right) of Northern Mindanao speak before reporters during a press briefing amid the scare on Coronavirus (Covid-10) held at the City Hall in Cagayan de Oro City in regard to the implementation of Enhanced Community Quarantine being orderd by President Rodrigo Duterte. Photo by Gerry Lee Gorit

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