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March 2023 Pharmacovigilance Report Rleased. Philippines Compulsory SIM Card Registration Challenged in Court. Compulsory Masking Pushed Yet Again.
The Philippines 31 March 2023 FDA AEFI report has just been released.
Readers are reminded that benefits far outweigh any current known adverse reactions in the majority of vaccinated individuals: -
As of 31 March 2023, the FDA reports that 181.6 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered. In the same period FDA have received 112,450 reports comprising 239,296 suspected adverse reactions following Covid-19 vaccination with 10,643 of these were judged to be serious including 2,809 deaths.
The report has not been updated for 31 March 2023 deaths, and still lists the February 2,801 reported deaths under fatal outcomes. However, the count of deaths reported total 2,809.
DOH has a different count on delivered doses compared to the FDA. The DOH has only reported vaccine doses up to 16 March 2023; their delivered doses are higher at 216.9 million doses. There is discrepancy between FDA and DOH data.
SIM Card registration challenged in the supreme court.
Philippines SIM card registration act requires all SIM cards to be officially registered by 26 April 2023; unregistered SIM cards are to be deactivated after this deadline. This act is now challenged in the supreme court.
Cancelling of unregistered phone SIM cards, critical in communications, banking, online transactions, and so many industries will cause absolute chaos. I believe that the deadline will be extended, and that the case challenging the legality of SIM registration will likely prosper.
Failure of the SIM registration bill would be a severe blow to SB1869, the PH CDC bill, which had been counting on the mandatory registration of all SIM cards for track, trace, location and detention of persons suspected of illness under future declared state of health emergency conditions.
Masking in Manila, Again?
2,386 cases of Covid-19 were recorded in the week of 10 - 16 April 2023. This is a 23% rise on the previous week (popuation of approx. 110 million). 20 deaths were added, but none of these had occurred in the past 2 weeks and some dated back to 2021.
In response to this rise in cases, there have been calls for a return to mandatory masking.
DOH advised that there was no intent to return to mandatory masking last 14 April 2023, when asked about its response to the recent rise in Covid-19 cases to above 5% positivity in some 11 provinces.
However, Davao Government have advised that LGUs (Local Government Units) can make their own decisions about whether to bring back compulsory masking.
Manila City is also considering revisiting mask mandates with 85 active cases across the populous city of about 1.85 million recorded as of 17th April 2023.
A history of masking in the Philippines is revisited.
Masking was extended to motorcycles. Fear of Covid-19 resulted in mandated imposition of protective barriers: motorcycles were required to place a barrier between the driver and their passenger from July 2020. The plastic or acrylic barrier was either worn by the driver or held by the passenger to meet requirements. Too bad if it windy, or if the barrier obstructed safe driving. At least all helmeted parties were “safe”.
The use of face shields on top of masking became mandatory in all workplaces, public transport and commercial establishments in August 2020 to provide an additional ‘layer of protection’. Initially plastic faceshields were sold at PHP40 - PHP50 per piece, this later dropped to a few peso a piece once there was oversupply.
The compulsory use of motor cycle barriers was dropped in March 2022, when Manila dropped to the lowest Covid-19 Alert Level 1.
Masking continued however, until September 2022 when finally, under Executive Order 3 masking in the Philippines was made voluntary in outdoor settings.
Despite the lifting of the mandates, many Filipinos have continued to wear masks in all settings outside their homes.
All of the international research on the harm of masking is apparently ignored in a knee-jerk fear reaction. Masks don’t prevent Covid-19 transmission. Not only do masks not work, there is abundant evidence that their use is harmful. Furhter, Masking may confound long covid.
The article discusses that recent research is showing that faith in masking is misplaced.
Does Philippines Have High Covid-19 Cases? Not by World Standards. Not by Philippines Own Annual Respiratory Death Standards!
Limitations of testing aside, it would appear that the Philippines does not have high rates of Covid-19 compared to many other nations. Certainly, severe cases and deaths continue to be very low. Put into perspective using OWID data, the Philippines is close to the bottom of the pile in terms of new cases. Last April 7, it was at 1.81 cases per million population. A fraction of rates of cases in Australia, which is unmasked and has essentially has no restrictions.
Put Covid-19 deaths also into the perspective of normal respiratory deaths in the Philippines. In 2019 there were 95, 879 deaths from respiratory diseases across the Philippines. This is an average of 263 deaths per day or 7,990 deaths per month (source: PSA). In 2020, even when Covid-19 was added to regular respiratory deaths, such deaths only accounted for an average of 247 deaths / day. I have not been able to find final COD data for 2021 to update this figure to include 2021. 2022 data is still incomplete.
Surely taken in perspective of typical respiratory deaths, COVID-19 is over in the Philippines! Why is masking being pushed again? To drive booster vaccine uptake? Booster Guidelines for health adults have just been signed.
Boosters for ALL adults aged 18 and above. Pregnant and lactating women included! AstraZeneca, Moderna, Pfizer! Adverse reactions may be reported here! Please recall these vaccines are not mandatory! Support all for informed consent and free choice without coercion.