todays top stories

Bats seen as more likely the origin of Wuhan coronavirus, experts reveal

February 3, 2020

304 DEATHS IN JUST 1 MONTH; 15,000 PEOPLE INFECTED. This is how deadly the threats that novel coronavirus poses to all people around the world. Although the epicenter of the virus was Wuhan City in China, but this dangerous strain easily spread like wild fires in many countries of the world. Scientists claimed that a certain kind of a snake is perhaps the culprit of this virus that has already claimed hundreds of people's lives and infected more than 15,000 around the world. But experts of infectious diseases also claimed that the ultimate source of this deadly virus is more likely to be the bats found in China, considering that bats are known carriers of viruses in recent years. Photo shows health experts trying to catch a bat on a well to conduct a study. Scientists claim a type of snake in Wuhan City, China, is the culprit of Novel Coronavirus. However, infectious diseases experts also say the ultimate culprit of the deadly virus are more likely the bats in China. Photo credit CNN. Dr Peter Daszak, EcoHealth Alliance president said "When you look at the genetic sequence of the virus, and you match it up with every known coronavirus, the closest relatives are from bats." Dr Daszak is an environmentalist and has long observed that bats are known biological super villain. Research had shown that the winged mammal has been the source of several deadly viruses in the past such as the Marburg, Hendra and Nipah. These bats, according to health experts, have long been studied by infectious disease experts.   Professor Guizhen Wu of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said a study was recently released by the Lancet medical journal, and the said data was also consistent with the virus hosted by bats in the past. 

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Councilor warns public vs health problems due to coronavirus; govt creates task force

February 3, 2020

CAGAYAN de Oro City--A councilor yesterday called on residents in the city to practice "good personal hygience" and "use face masks" to prevent the spread of  novel Corona Virus (2019 nCoV). Councilor Maria Lourdes S. Gaane, chair of the City Council committee on health and health insurance, issued the call to reduce the risks of infection and to protect the residents from getting sick. This, as the Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed the first case of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus or 2019 nCoV in the Philippines just recently. “Mao nga ang atong local nga gobyerno nagpahinumdum kanato tanan bahin niining mga pahimangno sa kung unsaon pagpahibalo kanato sa sakto nga mga simtomas ug kahinlo sa panglawas para malikayan kini nga matang sa sakit,” said Dr. Gaane. Based on the report, the identified patient is a 38-year old woman who arrived in the Philippines last January 21 from Wuhan in China, the epicenter of the newly-discovered strain of coronavirus. DOH said asymptomatic or displaying no symptoms means she has no fever and no other signs and symptoms suggesting illness at this point. “Always remember to wash hands, use mask properly, have temperature checked regularly, avoid large crowds, and never touch your face with unclean hands, no ‘beso-beso’,” she stressed. Gaane further advised the public to avoid those who have cough and colds, and to always cover one’s mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing to stop the possible spread of the virus She said drinking plenty of water is also advised and ensure foods are cooked properly, she added. Coronavirus is from a family of viruses that cause various diseases characterized by cough and colds leading to serious infections, pneumonia, acute respiratory syndrome, kidney problems, and even death. Task Force Amid the world health threat of 2019 nCoV and its first reported case in the Philippines, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has advised all local government units (LGUs) to create their respective Corona Virus Task Forces to help contain the spread of the disease in the country. "With the declaration of the World Health Organization of a World Health Emergency, Secretary Eduardo M. Año has directed all LGUs to be on a state of preparedness and take all pro-active steps to stop the spread of this disease. All LGUs nationwide are advised to create their respective task forces to implement DOH protocols and guidelines and extend full cooperation to the DOH and other government agencies to meet the world health emergency," said DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya in a statement. He said that the Local Task Force under the direct leadership of the governor or the mayor shall ensure that local health authorities have the necessary equipment and protective gadgets such as masks, goggles, gowns, gloves, etc. The Task Force should also cause the referral and transport of a nCov suspect to a DOH-designated coronavirus-referral center or hospital, in coordination with DOH and police authorities. Malaya said that local chief executives must also train their respective health workers on nCov prevention, containment, and control, in coordination with the DOH. He also urged LGUs to conduct city and municipality-wide coronavirus prevention, containment, and control information campaigns to educate the public. "For LGUs hosting international airports like Manila, Cebu, Davao, Kalibo, Puerto Princesa, General Santos, Zamboanga, Laoag, and Iloilo, they must immediately coordinate with the Bureau of Immigration and airport authorities for flights coming from nCov-affected countries so that quarantine procedures may be effected to those suspected of possible infection," he added. The DILG also urged LGUs to fully cooperate with the DOH as they conduct contact-tracing of all individuals that came into contact with the Chinese national that tested positive of nCov yesterday. "The mayor should immediately inform the DOH should there be reasonable basis to place an individual under quarantine. The DOH needs the support of all LGUs in this important matter and local and police authorities should extend all possible assistance in this regard," he said. LGUs should also post public advisories about the coronavirus as well as precautionary measures that the public can take such as maintaining proper hygiene and regular handwashing. "Local health authorities doing frontline work must exercise extreme vigilance in handling suspected individuals and strictly monitor those possibly infected," he said. A report from SP/JBDacer with additional reporting from PIA/NCR

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Trackdown on other plane passengers start as Chinese tourist found positive with Coronavirus dies

February 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines - The trackdown on other co-passengers on board a Philippine Airlines (PAL) flight on January 25, where a 44-year-old Chinese tourist who was the first reported death of coronavirus infection in the country, has already started. Government authorities yesterday sent a team of trackers in Cebu and Dumaguete City where the first fatality of nCoV also went into after their arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. They would check on places visited by the couple such as restaurants, hotels and other tourist destinations. Government health experts also said there might have been other passengers on board the PAL flight who have also needed medical attention and have shown early signs of the deadly virus. Meanwhile, the wife of the Chinese tourist who was the first recorded nCoV-infected patient in the country, as confirmed by a lab test in Australia, is still alive and now under close watch of the government, most especially that her husband had already died. Earlier DOH secretary Francisco Duque III told reporters the Philippine Government has enough facility to monitor the conditions of patients infected with the deadly virus which originated from Wuhan, China. PAL spokesperson Cielo Villaluna said they have already contacted most of the 150 passengers onboard the said PAL flight PR 2542 from Dumaguete to Manila last January 25, but most of them have not experienced symptoms of the coronavirus.  “So far, based sa update—kasi may emergency meeting tayo kahapon—lahat ng pasahero, wala namang sakit," Villaluna said in an interview with DZMM on Monday. She said the airline company would again give updates after all of the passengers are being contacted. There are passengers, she said, have not registered their phone numbers so that they find it difficult to make contact with these passengers. Villaluna advised PAL passengers onboard flight 2542 on January 25 to immediately contact the hotlines of the Department of Health should they feel something bad on their health conditions. PAL earlier reported that the crew of the said flight have already been under a quarantine period of 14 days and the plane was also disinfected for safer plights in the future.

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Oro's welfare agency needs more budget, says councilor

February 3, 2020

CAGAYAN de Oro City--A councilor is pushing for additional budget allocation for the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO). Councilor Lordan Suan came up with the proposal to enable the agency, run by the city government of Cagayan de Oro, to buy medicines for people with mental health concerns. “If we cure those with physical illness, we must also cure those who are suffering from depression, especially our loved ones,” he cited. With this, the councilor strongly urged his fellow legislators to treat mental illness like other medical diseases as he pushed for more budget allocation to bolster mental health programs of the city. Morever, Suan cited that it is not the victim’s fault that they committed suicide, “It just happens,  especially if left untreated,” he added. In January alone, 19 cases of suicide were reported in Cagayan de Oro City. According to the website by the city government of Cagayan de Oro, Mr. Teodoro Sabuga-a Jr. is the acting head of CSWDO. CSWDO, according to the website, is the “Heart and Conscience of the City” that principally leads in the social protection and development of the least, the last privileged, the marginalized and the vulnerable sectors to become self-reliant breaking the chain of servitude towards sustainable total development. Some of its frontline services listed under the Public Assistance and Complaint Unit (PACU) include:  • Assistance for Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS)  • Food Assistance  • Medical Assistance  • Burial/Embalming Assistance  • Assistance for Requisition of Blood  • Eye Care and Surgical Care  • Referral Services to other offices (GO/NGO). With a report from EFaelnar, the Power

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Bambi to distribute thermometers at Misor ports of call

February 3, 2020

MISAMIS Oriental Gov. Yevgeny Vincente Emano has authorized the use of the Capitol’s emergency funds to buy thermometers to be used at Laguindingan airport, Mindanao Container Terminal and the Port of Cagayan de Oro.   The thermometers will be used to scan incoming passengers disembarking at Laguindingan airport and the Port of Cagayan de Oro and in the case at Mindanao Container Terminal, crews of international cargo vessels doing their stopover recreations in Misamis Oriental while their ships are unloading and loading produce.   Laguindingan airport is in Laguindingan municipality; the Mindanao Container Terminal is inside the sprawling Phividec industrial estate in Tagoloan town; and the Port of Cagayan de Oro is in barangay Macabalan in Cagayan de Oro City.   Speaking during his weekly flag raising at the capitol yesterday, Emano said he included the Port of Cagayan de Oro as recipients of the thermometers even if it is not part of the province anymore since many disembarking passengers there are passing through Misamis Oriental to their destinations.   The thermometers are expected to be turned over anytime this week to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) which manages Laguindingan airport; the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) which manages the Port of Cagayan de Oro; and the private management of Mindanao Container Terminal.   In a separate speech during the same flag raising, provincial health officer Jerie Calingsan ordered the activated barangay emergency response teams in each of the 424 villages in Misamis Oriental to report to him the presence of transients in their barangays who recently came from abroad.   Calingasan said all transients in Misamis Oriental who recently came home from abroad between the last week of December to the present must submit themselves to self-quarantine within 14 days, or the incubation period of the dreaded novel coronavirus.   In Cagayan de Oro City, city health officer Lorraine Nery reported that the City Health Office had verified that no Chinese national had died at Alwana compound in barangay Cugman last week, contrary to rumors that had spread on social media.   An inspection was conducted in the area by City Health Office personnel last Saturday and the group did not find any body or any evidence indicating thereon.   “The report of the Chinese national who allegedly died due to NCoV is considered hearsay as no one surfaced to prove that it actually occurred,” Nery said.   However, Nery assured the public that her office would continue to monitor and validate any report concerning the novel coronavirus.

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Drug suspect arrested in buy-bust

February 3, 2020

ZAMBOANGA CITY - A suspected drug peddler was arrested by operatives of Zamboanga City Police Office - City Drugs and Enforcement Unit (ZCPO-CDEU) and 2 personnel of ZCMFC after a drug buy-bust operation conducted Sunday evening (February 2) along Mayor Jaldon St, Barangay Canelar, this city. The CDEU operatives led by Police Capt Ahmed Czar Anuary arrested Virgilio Laquiao, 36, resident of Bat compound, Gov Camins, this city. The raiding team also confiscated 2 sachets of suspected shabu with an estimated street value of P700,000; one bill of P1000 marked money; one .45 caliber Colt pistol; one magazine of .45 loaded with five live amos; one unit Nissan Navarra Calibre pick up with conduction sticker F2 B208; one key less remote and (99) pieces of P1000 boodle money.  During an initial investigation conducted by the police office, it was learned that the suspect has been reported peddling the illegal drugs in the city, after which surveillance were also conducted to confirm the veracity of the report by concerned citizens. When the suspect's illegal trade was confirmed after several weeks of surveillance, CDEU police operatives planned the buy-bust operation to arrest the suspect, which also positively resulted to the confiscation of illegal drugs and and his caliber pistol with live ammunitions. The suspect is now languishing at the city jail and appropriate charges for violation of RA 9165 is now prepared by the police bureau. If found guilty after a fair trial in court, the suspect would be imprisoned for years based on the gravity of his violations as embodied under RA 9165.   

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