Quezon City mayor positive for coronavirus, asymptomatic

QUEZON CITY Mayor Maria Josefina “Joy” G. Belmonte has tested positive for coronavirus, but is asymptomatic and will continue to work while on quarantine. In a statement in Filipino on Wednesday, Ms. Belmonte said she is in good health and not feeling any of the symptoms of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). She said her rounds of health centers and hospitals, areas under strict lockdown, and other communities must have exposed her to the virus. “Nangyari po ito sa kabila ng aking ibayong pag-iingat, pagsusuot ng face mask, madalas na paghugas ng kamay, at social distancing. Kaya sana ay magsilbi itong paalala na ang COVID-19 ay tunay na isang kakaibang sakit na dapat pag-ingatan pa nang lubusan (This happened despite taking extra precaution, wearing of face mask, frequent hand washing, and social distancing. That is why I hope this will serve as a reminder that COVID-19 is really an extraordinary disease that we should be cautious of),” she said. Her office and common areas of the city hall have been temporarily closed for disinfection. The city’s Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit is also undertaking contact tracing procedures. As of July 7, the city has recorded 3,869 coronavirus cases, with 1,301 active and 247 deaths.

Police beefs up border patrol operations in central islands to prevent entry undocumented returning residents

MEMBERS of the police elite Special Action Force and members of the Crisis Response Battalion have been deployed in Cebu City to assist in implementing quarantine protocols. — THE FREEMAN/RMARANTAL

BORDER PATROL operations in the Visayas, composed of the country’s central islands, have been intensified to prevent the entry of undocumented returning residents amid the coronavirus outbreak. Lt. Gen. Guillermo T. Eleazar, police deputy chief for operations, has instructed units to strengthen border control measures following reports that there are stranded people who are trying to return to their hometowns without going through protocols intended to mitigate local transmissions of the deadly virus. “We are further intensifying border control operations in these areas because we have been receiving reports that some LSIs (locally stranded individuals) are illegally entering some areas in the region through small boats and even cargo and other vehicles,” Mr. Eleazar said in a statement on Wednesday. The order was specifically given to cops deployed in the regions of Eastern and Western Visayas, and Cebu and Mactan Islands, where the repatriation of stranded individuals has been temporarily suspended to give local governments and health authorities time to decongest and disinfect quarantine facilities. Eastern Visayas, which had one of the lowest number of COVID-19 cases before the LSI repatriations started in end-May, has recorded 600 patients as of July 7, including 486 recoveries. Western Visayas has 395 cases, with 152 recoveries. The Central Visayas, on the other hand, posted 10,854 cases, with 3,642 recoveries, 410 deaths, and 6,802 active cases. Cebu City, the regional center of Central Visayas, accounts for the biggest number of cases at over 7,000, with 3,852 still active. The city is currently under strict quarantine restrictions. — Emmanuel Tupas/PHILSTAR and Marifi S. Jara

Baguio court orders arrest of 3 doctors, 2 cadets in military academy

A BAGUIO City court has ordered the arrest of two cadets and three doctors from the Philippine Military Academy who are linked to the hazing-induced death of Darwin Dormitorio last year. In the warrant issued July 7, Presiding Judge Maria Ligaya V. Itliong-Rivera ordered the arrest of Shalimar G. Imperial, Jr., Felix M. Lumbag, Jr. and doctors Captain Flor Apple A. Apostol, Major Maria Ofelia R. Beloy, and Lt. Col. Ceasar A. Candelaria for the murder of Mr. Dormitorio. No bail was recommended for Messrs. Imperial and Lumbag while a P200,000 bail each was fixed for the doctors. The two cadets and Julius Carlo P. Tadena were also ordered arrested for violating the Anti-Hazing Act. Mr. Dormitorio died on September 18 last year after coming from an emergency sick call. Autopsy conducted by the police medico-legal officer showed that his cause of death was acute peritonitis, or inflammation of the inner wall of the abdomen, “secondary to blunt traumatic injury and abdomen severe.” The Prosecutor’s office said cadets Imperial and Lumbag, the victims upperclassmen, “undoubtedly been the cause of the repeated beatings of Dormitorio” between August 20 and Sept. 17, 2019. The prosecutors also said the doctors failed to give Mr. Dormitorio adequate medical care, which led to his death. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas