The Department of Health (DOH) reported on Tuesday that 51 additional cases of fireworks-related injuries, bringing to 262 the total of casualties due to firecrackers since last Dec. 21.
Meanwhile, the Philippine National Police (PNP) reported three injuries due to stray bullets.
This year’s fireworks-related injuries was 42 percent higher than the previous year’s 185 cases, but 15 percent lower compared to the five-year average of 308 cases during the same period, the DOH noted.
The National Capital Region (NCR) had the highest number of fireworks casualties at 125, followed by Western Visayas with 31, Ilocos Region with 23, Central Luzon with 22, Calabarzon with 13, and Bicol Region with 12.
There were also eight cases in Cagayan Valley, seven in Central Visayas, six in Soccsksargen, four in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), three in Mimaropa, two each in Northern Mindanao and Davao Region, and one each in Eastern Visayas and Zamboanga Peninsula.
Ninety-two of the victims sustained hand injuries, 75 in the eyes, 35 in the legs, 34 in the head, and 31 in the arms, the DOH said.
Sixteen had blast or burn injuries that required amputation. Fortunately, there were no fatalities, the DOH said. Most of the victims were males aged one to 80.
The top fireworks involved were kwitis, boga, 5-star, and fountain. Of these, boga and 5-star were considered as illegal fireworks, causin injuries to 30 and 21 people, respectively.
The DOH said 145 of the injuries occurred on the street, while 107 happened at home.
There were 45 of the victims who were also allegedly intoxicated at the time of the accident.
Police said a 64-year-old woman from Manila was hit by a stray bullet while on her way to her brother-in-law’s house.
She was taken to the Philippine General Hospital for treatment.
The Police Regional Office (PRO) Cordillera earlier said two individuals were reportedly wounded in Abra after being hit by a stray bullet during the New Year revelry.
PNP spokesperson Police Col. Jean Fajardo said a total of three incidents of indiscriminate firing were recorded during the New Year festivities.
Pangasinan had 45 injuries, followed by La Union with nine cases, Ilocos Sur with five, and Ilocos Norte with one.
According to the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU) and Heath Emergency Management Service (HEMS) FWRI Report, the types of injuries were caused by blast/burn (without amputation – 45.75%, with amputation – 2.3%), eye injury (12.20%) and one stray bullet (1.2%).
Regional Director Paula Paz M. Sydiongco said all health emergency personnel and public health facilities have provided emergency treatment to all injured individuals during the yuletide holidays.
She also proposed a stricter regulation on the sale of pepato kwitis and the manufacture of bogas.
“As these two accounts for most of the injuries in the region., law enforcement should be directed towards preventing importing, distributing and using these fireworks.”