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Various Philippines News: Removal of The State of Health Emergency Means Removal of Restrictions? Dengvaxia? SIM Registration. President Marcos' 2nd SONA at 4 pm on 24th July 2023. Duterte Meets Xi.
The ICC rejects Philippines Appeal over Drug War Probe, Philippines Rejects ICC Claiming it has no jurisdiction over the Philippines. 3 more cases of died suddenly Philippines.
As announced yesterday, the State of Public Health Emergency has been lifted, and with that, officially, all of the proclamations and ordinances pursuant to it are also lifted. The EUA approvals of the various Covid-19 injectables are extended for 1 year to allow on-hand stock to be consumed. From other sources, I have noted that most of this stock appears to be expiring (for the final time) by October 2023.
The article ends reporting that the population are still recommended to take Covid-19 jabs and boosters.
DOH Secretary Herbosa has both been praising his team and emphasizing the need for the public to maintain minimum health standards and to adhere to recommended health protocols. That would necessarily include vaccination (of all types), which Herbosa has expressed are critical tools for public health and primary care!
While Philippines provincial readers have assured me that most people in their provinces no longer wear masks, Metro Manila still has many people wearing masks. Requirement for wearing masks is stated by DOH to be rescinded from a technical standpoint. [what does that mean?]
Changing Patterns of Covid-19 Deaths? Too Early to Tell.
Covid-19 deaths in 2023 have been low. The most recent available DOH data set shows 158 deaths up to 15th July 2023. While the maximum reported daily deaths has been 8 (2nd Jan), 1 or even no deaths have been more common. Bear in mind that historically average deaths in the Philippines with its population of close to 110 million are about 1,700 a day.
I have been following Dr. Guido on twitter to see if there are any changes in death rates following the rollouts of the 390,000 bivalent jabs donated from Lithuania last 21 June 2023, 48,354 doses of were reported to have been administered as of July 14.
After no new reports of deaths on 16-17 July 2023, he reported 32 new deaths from 18-21 July (5, 10, 10, 7). I will update on the dates of deaths when the next DOH data is released next Saturday 29th July! Hopefully this spike are mostly back-dated deaths and don’t represent any change in trending.
EUA approvals. Procedures.
Dengvaxia Case Updates
In a new update on the Denvaxia Case, it has just been reported that former DOH Secretary Garin and some of her colleagues are recommended to face graft charges.
SIM Registration Deadline on 25th July 2023
Unregistered SIM cards are to be deactivated starting on 26th July 2023. There has been much concern amongst phone uses about the safety and security of their data. About 100 million SIM cards have been registered with another 68 million still not registered.
It has already been documented that spam, and online scams have soared since mandatory SIM card registration was legislated. Personally, I have recently started receiving multiple daily unsolicited messages across various social media platforms.
There are ongoing legal cases challenging the legality of forced SIM registration, particularly with respect to data privacy concerns.
Philippines SONA at 4 pm on 24th July 2023, and No Work Proclamation for Government Offices and Schools.
The public are invited to watch President Marcos Jr. Present his second State of the Nation Address on Monday 24 July 2023. PCO FB Page Link to access.
Incidentally, the President has declared no work for all government offices and schools on 24th July 2023, purportedly as a safety measure against incoming tropical storm “Egay” and to counter inconvenience of a planned 72-hour transport strike!
Duterte Meets with Chinese President
Former President Duterte recently met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing. Philippines Department of Foreign affairs is reported to have been unaware of the meeting.
With no details of the visit having been made public in the Philippines speculation on the agenda for the meeting has been sparked.
Duterte’s discussions with Xi are of great national interest. While China is a close neighbor and Duterte worked hard at building that relationship, the Philippines has also recently been consolidating relations with the US, particularly with the expansion of US Bases and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), which specifically recognizes the Philippines strategic importance to their former colonial ruler US [The Philippines was a US colony from 1898 to 1946].
The ICC Probe into the Duterte Government’s Bloody Drug War will Continue
The issues around the ICC investigation, and even local investigations are likely to take many years. Some families are reporting being offered hush money to drop their cases.
Marcos confirms that the Philippines will not cooperate with any ICC probe.
Died Suddenly Philippines
Public reports of 3 deaths of people who should have been in their professional prime shared below. Condolences to their bereft families, friends, and colleagues. Of course we don’t know their medical history. However, such frequent losses of well-known people were unheard of prior to 2021.
Veteran reporter and Journalist Mario Dumaual died on 5th of July 2023 aged 64. He was reported to have developed fatal complications (sepsis / fungal infection) after suffering a cardiac arrest last June 2023.
Much loved actor Ricky Rivero has died aged just 51 on July 16, 2023. While he is reported to have suffered a stroke last May 2023, no immediate cause of death was disclosed.
Thoughts and prayers for all those going through trying times!