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ECCP@Work Featured News Articles | March 09, 2021

March 09, 2021

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ECCP at Work

COVAX completes delivery of AstraZeneca vaccines for PH

The second batch of AstraZeneca vaccines arrived in the country Sunday night, completing the 525,000 doses supplied by the World Health Organization-led COVAX facility. This shipment is made up of 38,400 doses, the balance from the initial 487,200 doses that arrived on March 4.

DITO Telecommunity launch in Visayas, Mindanao seen as 'big boost' in telco industry

The new player—spearheaded by its chairman and CEO Dennis Uy and state-run China Telecommunications—vowed to provide an average broadband speed of 27 megabits per second, covering 37 percent of the country's population for its first year of operations. For its initial launch, DITO's mobile services will be commercially available in select areas in the Visayas and Mindanao.

No ‘second wave’ of COVID-19 cases, DOH says despite presence of new variants

Despite the presence of new transmissible variants, the Health Department on Monday refused to label the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the country as the “second wave” of virus infections. “We would like to veer away from classifying this marked increase in cases as having a surge or having a second wave,” Health Spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

Family of healthcare workers ineligible for early vaccine access – DOH

The Department of Health on Monday clarified that dependents of medical frontliners are not supposed to get COVID-19 vaccines until all 1.8 million healthcare workers have been inoculated. Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the current stockpile of 1.12 million doses can only inoculate 560,000 people since two doses are needed for those who will receive Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines. This is not even enough to vaccinate all healthcare workers, she stressed.

High inflation seen to persist until Q3
The central bank expects the country’s inflation rate to remain just barely within the government’s forecast range for the year amid the spike in the prices of basic commodities that will likely persist until the third quarter of this year. According to the recently released minutes of last month’s Monetary Board meeting, the seven-member group of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas that determines interest rate policy in the Philippines is projecting an average inflation rate of 4 percent for 2021, which is the top end of the official forecast range of 2 to 4 percent.

Philippines, Moderna reach supply deal for 13 million COVID-19 doses

American drugmaker Moderna Inc. will soon supply over 13 million doses through a bilateral deal with the Philippine government, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. announced on Sunday. Galvez said the biotech firm is just awaiting the final draft of a bilateral deal with the Philippine government, while a multilateral agreement for another seven million doses involving the private sector will likely be finalized next week.

Granular lockdowns likely to remain for now despite surge in COVID-19 cases

The government is not yet inclined to further tighten national borders but will review ongoing recommendations to control the rising COVID-19 cases, including the new variants of the virus. Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr., who is the National Task Force against COVID-19 Chief Implementer, said Sunday that the government is already trying to "compensate" for the surge through the deployment of COVID-19 vaccines. According to him, the government is still implementing granular lockdowns in COVID-hit areas.

OCTA projection: Up to 6,000 new daily COVID-19 cases in PH by end-March

The country could see as many as 6,000 new COVID-19 infections a day by month-end, according to the latest OCTA projections. In a report on Sunday, the independent research group said the single-day nationwide tally could grow to around 5,000 to 6,000 by the end of March, as the increase in the country's cases continue to pick up speed.

Bello says ‘no vaccine, no work’ policy illegal

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III says no worker should be forced to be vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to returning to work, noting that a policy requiring such is illegal. This is in relation to reports that there are workers being required to be inoculated first before physically reporting to work.

More regional LGUs kick off vaccination program

After Cebu City, more local government units in the regions including Davao, Bicol, Leyte, and Zamboanga started vaccinating their health workers Friday. The rollout for the first dose will last for two weeks, which will be followed by the administration of the second dose after 28 days.

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