THREE days before the New Year's Eve revelry, the number of firecracker-related injuries reported have already matched those of 2018 during the same period, according to the Department of Health (DOH).
Based on the Fireworks-Related Injury Surveillance 2019 Report No. 8, there are now a total of 46 cases between December 21 and December 29.
"It has already matched the number of cases in 2018. So this is not a good sign as the number may equal, if not exceed, the total for the entire period (for 2018)," said DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III in a television interview.
The Health chief attributed the rise in cases to the improving weather condition with the exit of Typhoon Ursula (international name Phanfone).
"Also, I think the public have the capacity to buy fireworks despite them being expensive. So, there are those that are insistent and do not heed our repeated appeal to welcome the New Year safely," added Duque.
All 46 injuries were caused by firecrackers or fireworks, with 33 being blast/burn injuries not requiring amputation; 14 eye injuries; and 1 blast/burn injury requiring amputation. Two of the cases sustained multiple types of injuries.
Of the 46 cases, 17 involved the hand, 5 the forearm, 4 the head and 4 the foot.
Twenty-four, or 52 percent, were found to be active users and majority of the victims, 37 or 80 percent, are male.
Illegal firecrackers piccolo and boga caused the most number of injuries with 6 each while 5-star, kwitis, and luces caused four injuries each.
Most of the injuries, or 18, were in the National Capital Region; followed by Ilocos Region with 5; and Cagayan Valley, Calabarzon, and Bicol Region with 4 each.
In Metro Manila, the City of Manila saw the most cases with 11; followed by Quezon City with 3; and Marikina City with 2. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)