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22 Makati Medical Center nurses under home quarantine

Patricia Lourdes Viray - Philstar.com
22 Makati Medical Center nurses under home quarantine
This Dec. 18, 2019 photo shows Makati Medical Center, which earlier declared full capacity after handling 700 patients suspected to have the new coronavirus.
The STAR / Miguel de Guzman, File

MANILA, Philippines — Some 22 nurses of Makati Medical Center (MMC) are under home quarantine after exposure to COVID-19 patients, the hospital's medical director said.

Dr. Saturnino Javier, in an interview with ANC's "Headstart" Thursday morning, said some nurses have been cleared for work as the duration of observation has lapsed.

"Usually, we'd want them to quarantine for 14 days although there have been some guidelines already coming out," Saturnino said in a telephone interview with ANC.

According to Javier, if the health worker does not develop symptoms between five to seven days and the level of exposure is low, they can be cleared to to back to work provided that they wear a mask.

"We cannot strictly enforce the 14 days (quarantine). Otherwise we will run out of personnel," Javier said in a mix of English and Filipino.

6 to 8 MMC staff exposed to virus-infected Pimentel

Javier also noted that about six to eight MMC personnel, including doctors, residents and techinicians have been exposed to Sen. Koko Pimentel, who earlier announced that he was positive with COVID-19.

Pimentel accompanied his wife, who was about to give birth, to the hospital on Tuesday night.

The MMC medical director said there could be more staff exposed to the senator who breached the hospital's strict infetion and containment protocols.

"There could be more because we now have to determine the second layer of staff who came into contact with those people," Javier said.

On Wednesday night, MMC released a statement denouncing Pimentel's breach of protocols for entering the premises of the hospital's delivery room and exposing health workers to possible infection.

"He (Pimentel) added to the burden of a hospital trying to respond in its most competent and aggressive manner to cope with the daunting challenges of this COVID-19 outbreak. More than anyone else, Mr. Pimentel, should have realized the ardent desire of every well-meaning Filipino and every dedicated healthcare institution to contain the spread of the infection," the statement read.

Earlier this week, MMC also announced that it will no longer admit COVID-19 cases as the hospital has reached its full capacity.

AQUILINO PIMENTEL III

MAKATI MEDICAL CENTER

NOVEL CORONAVIRUS

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: December 6, 2022 - 3:59pm

Follow this page for updates on a mysterious pneumonia outbreak that has struck dozens of people in China.

December 6, 2022 - 3:59pm

Students have staged a protest against a coronavirus lockdown at a university in eastern China as authorities across the country take baby steps away from their hardline zero-Covid policy.

Millions of people around China still face restrictions, despite some cities rolling back mass testing and curbs on movement following nationwide anti-lockdown protests last week.

Analysts at Japanese firm Nomura on Monday calculated that 53 cities -- home to nearly a third of China's population -- still had some restrictions in place.

China's vast security apparatus has moved swiftly to smother the demonstrations, deploying a heavy police presence while boosting online censorship and surveillance.

But videos published on social media Tuesday and geolocated by AFP show a crowd of students at Nanjing Tech University on Monday night shouting demands to leave the campus.

"Your power is given to you by students, not by yourselves," one person can be heard shouting in the footage. "Serve the students!" -- AFP

December 6, 2022 - 11:09am

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday that the United States had a stake in China's response to Covid as Beijing eases stringent restrictions following protests.

"We want China to get Covid right. It's profoundly in our interest that that happen," Blinken told an event organized by The Wall Street Journal.

"It's in the interests of the Chinese people first and foremost, but it's also in the interest of people around the world, so we want them to succeed," he said.

He pointed to the "dramatic impact" to the world of slowdowns in China's economy, the world's largest after the United States, triggered by its earlier policy of imposing sweeping lockdowns in response to Covid outbreaks. -- AFP

December 5, 2022 - 12:54pm

Businesses reopened and testing requirements were relaxed in Beijing and other Chinese cities on Monday as the country tentatively eases out of a strict zero-Covid policy that sparked nationwide protests.

Local authorities across China have begun a slow rollback of the restrictions that have governed daily life for years, encouraged by the central government's orders for a new approach to fighting the coronavirus.

In the capital Beijing, where many businesses have fully reopened, commuters from Monday were no longer required to show a negative virus test taken within 48 hours to use public transport.

Financial hub Shanghai -- which underwent a brutal two-month lockdown this year -- was under the same rules, with residents able to enter outdoor venues such as parks and tourist attractions without a recent test.

Neighbouring Hangzhou went a step further, ending regular mass testing for its 10 million people, except for those living in or visiting nursing homes, schools and kindergartens.

In the northwestern city of Urumqi, where a fire that killed 10 people became the catalyst for the recent anti-lockdown protests, supermarkets, hotels, restaurants and ski resorts reopened on Monday. -- AFP

December 2, 2022 - 9:05am

China's top COVID-19 official and multiple cities signal a possible relaxing of the country's strict zero-tolerance approach to the virus, after nationwide protests calling for an end to lockdowns and greater political freedom.

Anger over China's zero-COVID policy -- which involves mass lockdowns, constant testing and quarantines even for people who are not infected -- has sparked protests in major cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

But while authorities have called for a "crackdown" in the wake of the demonstrations, they have also begun hinting that a relaxation of the hardline virus strategy could be in the works. — AFP

December 1, 2022 - 12:54pm

China's top Covid official signals a possible relaxing of the country's strict zero-tolerance approach to the virus, after nationwide protests calling for an end to lockdowns and greater political freedom.

Anger over China's zero-Covid policy -- which involves mass lockdowns, constant testing and quarantines even for people who are not infected -- has sparked protests in major cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

But while authorities have called for a "crackdown" in the wake of the demonstrations, they have also begun hinting that a relaxation of the hardline virus strategy could be in the works. — AFP

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