Bzzzzz: Councilors among 178 in region watched for virus infection

PEOPLE talk about...

ACTIVITIES, EVENTS BEING CANCELLED OR POSTPONED BY COVID-19. Entertainment events, sports events (NBA games), national conventions, meetings, barangay assemblies, and business, government and NGO conferences, including a conference on coronavirus (a Council on Foreign Relatins roundtable called "Doing Business under Coronavirus in New York, March 13).

It will be prudent to check out first if a function you're dressing up to go to today has not been put off or crossed out.

Two dads from Cebu City

One hundred seventy eight persons whom the Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (Resu) tags as "suspected" of being infected with coronavirus include councilors who attended the Philippine Councilors League convention in Pasay City last February 27 and 28. Fifty three are PUIs (persons under investigation) and PUMs (persons under monitoring).

The suspicion was cast after one of them was tagged and confirmed as having been infected with Covid-19, a councilor from Tayasan, Negros Oriental, a third-class town with 28 barangays. He was reportedly in critical condition.

A breakdown from Resu says that of the 53 PUIs, two are from Cebu City, two from Cebu Province, two from Bohol, and one each from Negros and Siquijor.

It's not known if the city/town/province legislative bodies with PUIs will put off their sessions or just ask the councilors/board members concerned to stay away.

The PUIs who are councilors, as leaders of the community, can show there's no stigma in submitting to test of infection and, if found positive, treatment of the disease.

Fake news and naming hospitals

Can a hospital's name be named in news stories about Covid-19 patients? Can a hospital refuse a suspected coronavirus patient on a plea that it has no room or facilities?

Yes to the first. Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Monday (March 9) he would now disclose names of hospitals, where Covid-19 patients are admitted, to "combat fake news." No to the second, although it would be a matter of proving the truth or validity of the reason for refusal. What if the hospital is already full, beyond capacity?

The spate of information, mostly in social media messages, about this or that patient being confined in a hospital near you, has prompted DOH to identify this time the hospital where the suspected patient is being treated.

If a hospital has equipment and capacity to protect its people and patients who are not Covid-infected, there may be less reason to fear publicity about its involvement in the campaign against the virus.

Locsin tweets again

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Locsin, whose Twitter account was locked for "offensive" content, got it unlocked a day or two later. Not much punishment, less than a slap on the wrist.

The sanction, imposed after Bayan Muna complained, may not change Locsin's propensity to tweet "rough" and "gross" (or so his critics allege).

What did he tweet that got some people crying out loud? "These are f***ing" communists. You shoot them. You don't listen to them." The "f" word was not obscured.

Of the same genre ("profane and insulting") that he spewed out in past tweets, such as: "Uh, did you get the p**ang ina I sent..." (November 4, 2019) or "F**k the international community" (June 12, 2019) or "Sh*t, I'm changing sex..." (August 24, 2019).

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