PNP to probe sabotage of vaccination program


PHILIPPINE National Police chief General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar has ordered an investigation into the alleged sabotage of the government’s Covid-19 vaccination program in some parts of Metro Manila through the dissemination of fake information.

“We are already looking into this and part of it is to trace the identity of the source of disinformation on vaccination being circulated on social media and text messages,” Eleazar said last Sunday.

Spurious and malicious information that circulated on social media and via text messages prompted massive crowds to troop to different vaccination centers in Metro Manila over the past days, overwhelming centers and resulting in the violation of health protocols.

The fake information claimed that unvaccinated persons would not be allowed to go outside and would not receive cash aid while the National Capital Region is under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).

Eleazar said no less than Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo M. Año made the assurance that qualified beneficiaries of the cash assistance from the national government in Metro Manila will be given the ayuda,” regardless if they are vaccinated or not.

“There is no truth whatsoever to the rumor that only vaccinated individuals will be given ayuda,” Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Jonathan E. Malaya said. “The ‘Ayuda 2’ is for low-income individuals and families in the NCR [National Capital Region] regardless of vaccination status.”

Threats of charges

QUEZON City Mayor Josefina G. Belmonte threatens to file charges to “some shameless individuals [who] still continue to instigate these situations by spreading fake news on social media.”

“These online saboteurs typically urge the public to line up outside vaccine sites for ‘walk-in accommodations.’”

Belmonte added that if these saboteurs can’t be appeased with pleas, the city government would file charges of reckless endangerment, violation of the Cybercrime Law and unjust vexation against them.

“To this end, I would like to appeal to our national law enforcement agencies to investigate these posts and file the necessary charges.”

The mayor also clarified that Quezon City does not allow walk-ins in its vaccine sites.

“Hindi po maaaring magbakasakali at pumila lamang upang mabakunahan. May maayos na sistema po ng pre-registration at scheduling na patuloy na ipinatutupad sa ating lungsod. [You can’t take chances and just line up to be vaccinated. There is a proper pre-registration and scheduling system that continues to be implemented in our city.]”

“Accordingly, I would like to make the following requests: to those spreading this fake news [for whatever malicious reason], makonsensya naman kayo [grow a conscience]. You are literally endangering the lives of countless men, women, and children.”

Belmonte also appealed to operators of social media platforms to “help curb the spread of this particularly dangerous type of fake news and permanently ban those who use your platform to jeopardize the health and safety of others.”

Rule violators

THE PNP also reported its personnel has apprehended, fined and warned 20,511 individuals for various violations of public health and safety guidelines during the first day of implementation of the ECQ in Metro Manila, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna and Cavite.

Citing statistical data from Joint Task Force (JTF) “Covid Shield,” Eleazar said these individuals were cited for violating regulations relating to the ECQ from August 6 to 4:00 a.m. of the following day.

Of the total, 5,781 were sanctioned in relation to the implementation of uniform curfew hours while 14,775 were cited for violations of the minimum public health standards like not wearing or improper wearing of facemask, face shield, mass gathering, non-observance of social and physical distancing and RA 11332, otherwise known as the “Law on Reporting of Communicable Diseases.”

On the implementation of uniform curfew hours, the PNP chief said that Metro Manila posted the highest number of violators with 4,394 (605 warned, 1,235 fined, 353 released for filing while 2,201 underwent community service), followed by Cavite which is under MECQ with 540.

Laguna, which is under ECQ, recorded 471 violators followed by Rizal, which is under MECQ, with 370, and Bulacan, which is under GCQ with heightened restrictions with six violators.

Effects of ECQ

HEALTH officials said they expect an additional two weeks after the implementation of the ECQ to see possible effects of current interventions on the case trends.

“Please note that we have to ensure strict adherence to minimum public health standards and that mobility restrictions are actually implemented,” a statement from the Department of Health (DOH) read.

On Sunday, the total number of cases in the country stood at 1,658,916 after recording 9,671 additional infections.

The DOH said that the “relatively” low case counts recorded on Sunday is “due to lower laboratory output last Friday.”

There were 8,079 recoveries and 287 deaths.

Of the total number of infections, 4.7 percent (77,516) are active, 93.6 percent (1,552,278) have recovered, and 1.76 percent (29,122) have died.

Ninety-six duplicates were removed from the total case count. Of these, 92 are recoveries.

Moreover, three cases previously tagged as recoveries have been validated to be active cases and 149 cases that were previously tagged as recoveries were reclassified as deaths after final validation.

All laboratories were operational on August 6, 2021 and all labs were able to submit their data to the Covid-19 Document Repository System.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

Leave a Reply