There’s a mix of good and bad news in Manila this past week.
First, the good news. Manila led the way in the formal vaccination roll out of the first batch of the anti-COVID-19 vaccines that arrived in the country. It was held at the Philippine General Hospital, where PGH Director Gap Legaspi himself became the first recipient of the Coronavac made and donated by China’s Sinovac
Later during the day, Manila was fortunate enough to receive 3,000 Coronavac vaccines from the national government and for this, we profusely thank President Rodrigo Duterte, National Task Force (NTF) Deputy Chief Implementer and Testing Czar Vince Dizon, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez, Jr., Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and the DOH family for being highly instrumental in the donation of vaccines given to the city.
My ever-supportive Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna, who also happens to be a doctor, was among those who got vaccinated at the Sta. Ana Hospital where we received the vaccines and had them put immediately at our storage facility.
Manila Health Department head Dr. Poks Pangan and Sta. Ana Hosptial Director Dr. Grace Padilla, as well as our Manila Infectious Disease Control Center head Dr. Nerissa Sescon, also took the jab and led the event to encourage other medical frontliners to follow suit and erase their hesitation.
Much as I would also very much want to get vaccinated, we are adhering to the rules accompanying the donated vaccines which prioritizes the health frontliners as beneficiaries.
As of this writing, the vaccines donated by the national government have all been administered to our health frontliners, all in just a matter of days and for this, I thank and commend the MHD personnel who carried out the entire vaccination program successfully and without hitches. We were also able to administer the vaccines to health frontliners from private hospitals and clinics on top of those from our public hospitals.
Our many past simulation exercises of our vaccination program really paid off. Proudly, we were able to conclude the entire vaccination processes without any hitches, except for one vial that was found to be broken when our personnel opened the box in which it was put.
So far too, no adverse effects were recorded among those who received the initial batch of vaccines.
Now, the bad news. The current COVID-19 situation in Manila is very, very alarming. Imagine, 196 positive cases were recorded in just a single day last March 4. This is a first in recent months.
Equally alarming is the fact that the occupancy rate of our six city-run hospitals is at 36 percent. Of the city’s 300-bed capacity, the total occupied is 108.
At our quarantine facilities, the occupancy rate is at an all-time high of 61 percent. For the 371 bed capacity, the number of patients is 225.
The record-high of 196 cases in one day was confirmed by the city government’s own RT-PCR testing that continues to be given for free to those who need it.
The surprising spike in the number of persons getting infected is a serious cause for alarm, not only for us in the city government but equally, for the citizens of Manila, although the same thing is happening all over the country right now.
The local government will never succeed in any of its efforts to fight COVID-19 without the active participation of Manilans themselves and as always, I appeal for voluntary or self-discipline.
I also will not get tired of repeating over and over again my call for all to never, ever let their guard down. Continue practicing the basic, minimum health protocols —wear your masks, wash your hands and watch your distance—at all times.
Also, I encourage all of our residents to grab the opportunity to get vaccinated once the opportunity presents itself. Without the vaccine, we are a hundred percent at risk of getting infected and even dying from the coronavirus while with the vaccine, the risk of turning into a severe case is lessened to a great degree due to the protection that
the vaccines provide.
Gaya ng paulit-ulit kong sinasabi, kailangan ko ang tulong ninyong lahat. Walang magmamalasakit sa Maynila kundi tayo ding mga Batang Maynila. Manila, God first!
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