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A demonstration of the contact tracing application TraceTogether, at the Ministry of Communications and Information, on March 20, 2020. / Photo Courtesy CHONG JUN LIANG

PH eyes Singapore's contact tracing app

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The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), in coordination with the Department of Health (DOH) and other government agencies, is looking into Singapore-based app ‘TraceTogether’ as one of the potential tools in ad...

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President Rodrigo Duterte

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Manila News

Manila Infectious Disease Control Center

Sta. Ana Hospital open for COVID-19 cases

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The Manila Infectious Disease Control Center at the Santa Ana Hospital has opened for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. 

The center is open to patients infected not only by COVID-19 but also other communicable diseases.

"We are the only local government unit [that] came up with the Infectious Disease Center. It was done and planned to address future viruses," Manila Mayor Isko Moreno said.

"We started with four, became 14, and, as we speak, we added 19 rooms [which are] accredited, inspection-approved by the DOH as an isolation ward with facilities and, you know, professionals attending to our patients," Moreno added.

According to the mayor, the center is currently housing six COVID-19 patients already included in the nationwide tally of 636 cases and more than 80 persons under investigation for the virus.

Meanwhile, the Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center (CGHMC) earlier announced that it will no longer be accepting COVID-19 patients due to full capacity.

In a statement, Medical Director Samuel Ang said that their health care workers were "depleted" while their test kits and personal protective equipment were lacking.

"With a heavy heart, the CGHMC has decided not to accept anymore PUIs/COVID positive patients. They are encouraged to go to COVID designated hospitals or other facilities," Ang said.

Ang, however, assured that they will assess the hospital's capabilities on a day-to-day basis and will lift the notice once possible.

"Our emergency room would still be available 24/7 to accommodate patients with other emergency medical concerns," he said.

The St. Lukes in Quezon City and Taguig, the Medical City in Pasig, and the Makati Medical Center have all announced that they would also temporarily not accept patients.

Meanwhile, the lack of medical supplies remains to be a challenge for stores and customers alike.

In Bangbang, Manila, an area known for its medical supplies, some establishments have already been closed. Though some stores were open, they no longer have stocks of face masks, alcohol, gloves, and thermal scanners.

"'Yung mask namin January 15 pa nu'ng sa Taal. Tapos 'yung alcohol, siguro three weeks na, tapos yung scanners, February pa, wala na kami," Shile Magala, a staff, said.

"'Yung kasing supplier namin talagang US kasi. Wala talaga dumadating na sa kanila," she added. 

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