The country’s consul general in Shanghai said Tuesday seven more Filipinos in the Chinese city tested positive for COVID-19.
Consul General Josel Ignacio said this brought the number of confirmed infections among Filipinos in Shanghai to 17.
Of the figure, 3 have been discharged from isolation facilities while 14 are considered active cases, he added.
China is trying to contain a wave of infections in Shanghai—its biggest city—which has been almost entirely locked down for weeks. It reported 52 new COVID deaths on Tuesday.
The economic hub of 25 million people is struggling to defeat China’s worst outbreak in two years, despite weeks of strict measures. It has recorded over half a million cases since March 1.
Under its zero-COVID strategy, China imposed lockdowns, mass testing and travel restrictions to stamp out infections.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health (DOH) is coordinating with vaccination sites after second COVID-19 booster shots were given to health workers and the elderly when the initial rollout was supposed to be limited to immunocompromised individuals.
The Food and Drug Administration earlier amended the emergency use authorization (EUA) to include a fourth dose, or second booster, for immunocompromised persons, the elderly, and health workers.
But the Health Technology Assessment Council (HTAC) is still reviewing evidence for the additional jab for seniors and medical frontliners, the DOH said.
The DOH said it was investigating reports that a hospital in Metro Manila administered second boosters to health care workers and seniors who were not immunocompromised.
The management of the hospital said it “unintentionally misinterpreted the guidelines,” the DOH said.
“The DOH and NVOC are currently coordinating with the relevant health care facilities and Vaccination sites to prevent further instances of these events,” the DOH said.
Those eligible for the second booster shots include the following who have received their first booster at least three months prior:
• Those who have immunodeficiency
• Those living with HIV
• Cancer patients (active)
• Transplant recipients
• Patients who take immunosuppressive drugs; and
• Bedridden patients or those with terminal illness.
Also, the Department of Finance (DOF) said Tuesday the government has secured additional loans from the Japanese government to fund ongoing COVID-19 recovery efforts.
In a statement, the DOF said Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Akihiko Tanaka, the new president of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), signed a ¥30 billion (about P12.25 billion) loan agreement on Monday, April 25, 2022, in Tokyo, Japan.
The loan agreement is under the second phase of JICA’s COVID-19 Crisis Response Emergency Support Loan.
The first phase, amounting to ¥50 billion (P20.42 billion), was signed by the Philippines and Japan in July 2020 to support the government’s COVID-19 response and economic relief efforts.
The latest loan agreement carries a concessional lending term of 0.01 percent fixed interest rate per annum with a maturity period of 15 years, inclusive of a four-year grace period.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III thanked the Japanese government, noting that Japan remained the Philippines’ largest provider of official development assistance.