Manila stockpiles on COVID-19 meds amid surge in cases; Isko Moreno urges parents to get kids vaccinated
MANILA, Philippines — With the country experiencing a sudden spike of COVID-19 cases over the weekend, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso on Sunday assured his constituents that the city government has taken all the necessary preparations to combat the spread of the virus, especially the more transmissible Omicron variant.
“There are steps that are being done. Due diligence. Mabuti na ang maagap at alamin niyo ang tunay na sitwasyon ng ating siyudad, at nasaan tayo ngayon, at ano ang gagawin, at ano ang paghahanda, at ano ang mga gamit na kakailanganin natin na naipaghanda na natin a few months ago, a few weeks ago, na maari nating magamit in the coming days and months,” the local chief executive said in a live video posted on his Facebook page Sunday evening.
“Daig ng maagap ang masipag. While it is true that we are still in a situation na medyo kaya pa natin, pero ayaw ko kayo na dumating pa sa sitwasyon na naghahabol tayo lahat,” he said.
Moreno said that based on actual inventory as of 5 p.m. Sunday, the City of Manila’s “medicine cabinet” has an ample stockpile of life-saving anti-COVID drugs: 22,758 tablets of mulnopiravir; 3,935 of remdesivir; 3520 of baricitinib; and 732 of tocilizumab.
The presidential aspirant said an additional supply of mulnopiravir that the city government bought last December is expected to arrive on January 4.
Moreno also assured that Manila has already placed advance orders for Paxlovid, a novel COVID-19 anti-viral pill touted to reduce the risk of hospitalization or death by 89 percent.
“There’s a new product, Paxlovid, nagpabili na po tayo pero hindi pa available sa mundo. Inaantabayanan pa natin na maging available sa mundo, pero umasa kayo, kung saka-sakali, available na siya, tayo po ay mag-aacquire,” said Moreno.
Manila City also has 1,374 tanks of oxygen in reserve, which is on top of the city’s regular usage of oxygen.
“Likewise, our quarantine facility was again reactivated yesterday (January 1). There are quarantine facilities in 12 areas in the city with a total 530-bed capacity. We also have two ‘dormitels’ with a 200-bed capacity. All of them are already cleaned,” Moreno pointed out.
Meanwhile, the 344-bed Manila COVID-19 field hospital is now housing 307 infected returning overseas Filipinos and Filipino workers.
Moreno urged parents to have their kids vaccinated as soon as possible as he announced the resumption of the city’s vaccination program on January 3.
He also urged those still not vaccinated to get their shots, stressing that most new cases came from the ranks of the unvaccinated.
“While it is true that we have achieved more than double of the target population, meron pa tayong ilang kababayan na hindi bakunado. At gusto kong kunin ang pagkakataon na ito na ipaaalam sa inyo na itong nangyari about 72 hours now, napapansin po namin na ang aming mga pasyente ay mga bata at mga taong hindi bakunado. Malaking porsyento na naiimpeksyon ay hindi bakunado,” Moreno said.
Moreno said the city is just waiting for guidelines from the national government to start inoculating children in the 5 to 11-year-old bracket.
“The city of Manila is ready to vaccinate 5-11 years old. We are just waiting for Pfizer and the national government to tell us kung ano ang dosage, kung gaano kadami ang ibabakuna. Wala pa pong binibigay sa aming guidelines, but rest assured mga kababayan ko, kapag ito ay pinayagan na, pwede na, we will immediately deploy the vaccination of 5-11 years old,” explained Moreno.
As of Sunday, Manila City has in its storage facility at the Sta. Ana Hospital 21,672 doses of Pfizer; Moderna, 51,920 doses; 1,261 of the single-dose Janssen; Astrazeneca, 53,780; and 9,583 doses of Sinovac.
Moreno also reminded the public that RT-PCR (Rapid Test-Polymerase Chain Reaction) testing is free in the city.
For those who will be in need of the life-saving drugs stored by the city government or those who just wanted to be tested, Moreno said the 24/7 hotlines for the Manila health department have already been reactivated. These are cellphone numbers 09150656335; 09954966176; 09616281414; 09608229384; and 09777297572; and landline numbers 892-62385; 892-62380; and 892-62383.
“It may be busy sometimes but you have to keep on trying. Marami na pong humihingi sa atin ng gamot sapagkat marami ng infection. Wala tayong sisinuhin. Ang importante ay ang buhay na maiililigtas natin,” Moreno said.
For the public to readily have the numbers at their disposal just in case they needed it, he said they are also preparing publication materials that will be distributed throughout the city.
“Sama-sama tayong kakaharapin itong hamon ng bagong taon sa bawat isa sa atin na idinudulot na panganib nitong Omicron. May awa ang Diyos. At umasa kayo na hindi namin kayo iiwan. May gobyerno sa Maynila. Pipilitin namin na makapaglingkod ng mainam, masinop at episyente sa bawat isa sa inyo. In our own little way, we will always be there, hindi namin kayo iiwan,” Moreno said.
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