(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Monday, 19 April 2021) At 3:00 AM today, the center of the eye of Typhoon "BISING" {SURIGAE} was located based on all available data at 250 km East of Virac, Catanduanes (14.0°N, 126.5°E) with maximum sustained winds of 195 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 240 km/h. It is moving North Northwestward at 10 km/h. Caraga Region will experience cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorm due to TY Bising. Possible flash floods or landslides during moderate to heavy rains. Light to moderate winds from Northwest to Southwest will prevail over the region with slight to moderate seas/ (0.6 to 2.5 meters).

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Duterte admin enhances strategy against COVID-19

The government has calibrated its strategy against COVID-19 to defeat the virus and restart the economy, the country’s vaccine czar said on Monday.

In his report to President Rodrigo Duterte, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said 2021 is intended for containment strategy with the government securing steady vaccine supply and scaling up its vaccination through the mobilization of the national government, LGUs, and the private sector.

Under the strategy, the government will boost vaccination in April and May, targeting to inoculate 500,000 to one million per week, said Galvez, who is also the chief implementer of the National Task Force Against COVID-19.

And then in June and July, once the bulk of the vaccines arrive, the government eyes two million to three million per week. In August to December, three million to five million per week.

To achieve herd immunity, Galvez said there’s a need to maximize the vaccination drive, with the government administering more or less 450,000 to 500,000 doses a day. “Ang parang pinakatarget po natin is we will have a better Christmas sa 2021.”

The main goal is to completely eliminate COVID-19, according to Galvez. To achieve that objective, he said they are communicating with the different vaccine manufacturers developing booster vaccines. Those are second generation or third generation vaccines that can prevent and neutralize new COVID-19 variants.

The government will authorize local pharmaceuticals companies to directly communicate with their foreign counterparts in order for the country to attain vaccine security by 2022, he added.

The Philippines is looking at India’s self-sufficiency strategy, he said, stressing if the country can establish its own manufacturing capability, there is no need for importation of vaccines and other medicine.

“So iyon po ang isang nakita po namin na magkaroon po tayo sana ng aside from the Universal Health Care Law, magkaroon po sana tayo ng Health Security Act na 'yong ating DOH at ang ating health care system will be modernized,” he said.

“So to 2023, at least we can start ‘yong health self- sufficiency to next pandemic so that we can prepare just in case na magkaroon po ng next pandemic.”

The government has vaccinated 668,018 healthcare workers comprising 81.65 percent of its target for the first vaccine dose, Galvez reported. It targets to inoculate 1.7 million health workers.

Some one million vaccine doses from Chinese drugmaker Sinovac BioTech arrived in the country on Monday, the first tranche of the 25 million procured by the government from China. PND