Now, more than ever, is the time to always be in the know. Let’s be aware of what’s happening to the world and be a responsible citizen by not spreading fake news.

The more knowledgeable we are, the better preparation we can do for our lives. Whether it’s good or bad, it would still be helpful than being clueless and ending up unprepared. 

We’ve rounded up some of the biggest news in the Philippines since April 9, 2020. 

1. 4 COVID survivors donated their blood plasma for critical patients

Photo credits to Jonas Del Rosario

Four COVID-19 survivors in the Philippines donated their blood plasma in high hopes that this will help other patients battling the virus recover. Their antibodies that helped them defeat COVID-19 will be transferred to other patients through the convalescent plasma transfusion.

The blood plasma will be used only to COVID-19 patients who are in critical conditions. The Department of Health and Philippine General Hospital said that this process is still experimental and DOH is still studying the effectiveness of convalescent plasma therapy as treatment for the coronavirus disease.

Source: GMA News

2. Meralco rate hike in April

meralco bill and an adaptor

Power distributor Manila Electric Company (Meralco) on Thursday said customers can expect an increase in their bills for the month of April.

Meralco announced rates inched up to ₱8.9951 per kilowatt hour (kWh) for the month from ₱8.8901 per kWh in March.

This translates to a roughly ₱21 increase in the total bill of a typical household consuming 200 kWh a month.

In a statement, Meralco said that the slight adjustment this month is not due to an increase in the cost of producing and delivering electricity, but mainly due to the Universal Charge returning to its normal level following a one-time refund of ₱0.1453 per kWh in Universal Charge-NPC Stranded Contract Costs.

Prior to the extension of the Luzon lockdown, the company announced it will provide a 30-day payment extension for bills due from March 1 to April 14, 2020

Source: CNN Philippines 

3. WHO health alert brings COVID-19 facts to billions via WhatsApp

WHO has launched a dedicated messaging service in Arabic, English, French and Spanish with partners WhatsApp and Facebook to keep people safe from coronavirus. This easy-to-use messaging service has the potential to reach 2 billion people and enables WHO to get information directly into the hands of the people that need it.

Source: WHO

4. First COVID-19 vaccine trial starts

vaccine trial

Word Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus did not reveal the places where the vaccine trial was conducted, but he expects that it will take 12 to 18 months before it is released to the public.

Ghebreyesus has praised the researchers for allotting time in searching for a cure against COVID-19.

Source: PTV News

5. Duque touts Philippines among lowest COVID-19 rates, credits Duterte

passenger-free airport in manila

Health Secretary Francisco Duque has touted the low COVID-19 infection rate in the Philippines compared to other countries, crediting President Rodrigo Duterte for the country’s response to the crisis.

In a briefing that started airing late Wednesday, Duque said that the Philippines’ current rate compared favorably to other countries.

The health chief said Duterte’s order to temporarily deny entry to travelers from China and its Special Administrative Regions in February and the lockdown of Luzon in March helped drive down the number of COVID-19 cases in the country.

Source: GMA News

6. DOH boots Telemedicine services for NCR; service to expand to other regions soon

woman texting on her phone

Health Secretary Duque said that DOH is maximizing the use of technology to connect the public with medical professionals, allowing them to secure medical advice without leaving their homes. Even healthcare workers can avail of these services themselves through DOH-recognized telemedicine providers.

The DOH COVID-19 Hotlines 1555 and (02) 894-COVID (26843) are available nationwide for all COVID-19 related concerns including consultations with our volunteer-doctors from the Philippine College of Physicians and the University of the East-Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center (UERMMC).

Metro Manila residents will be served by the following free telemedicine hotlines:

– Telimed Management and Medgate hotline: (02) 8424-1724

– Globe Telehealth, Inc (KonsultaMD): (02) 7798-8000 (free for Globe/TM users)

More partnerships are underway and will be announced in the coming days.

The DOH’s collaboration with the National Privacy Commission (NPC) is also expected to allay concerns on data privacy and confidentiality. Duque explained that the DOH-recognized telemedicine providers are registered entities of the NPC. All doctors providing telemedicine services are licensed and certified to provide telemedicine consultations.

“This service will greatly decongest our hospitals and minimize risks posed by unnecessary patient traffic,” Duque added.

Source: Department of Health

For further updates, you may check the websites we included. Times like this, we should also keep ourselves informed because everyone has the significance and responsibility to make our world safer in the future. Kaya natin ‘to! 

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