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93,000 senior citizens register for Covid shots in Davao City

DAVAO CITY—Local health officials said some 93,468 senior citizens are now included in the master list of those seeking the next priority vaccine shots after the city completes giving the jab to medical frontline workers.

Dr. Josephine Villafuerte, head of the city’s vaccination cluster, said she expected the number to increase as the registration for the elderly continues.

The city targets to vaccinate 120,000 Dabawenyos under Priority Group A2 or the senior citizens.

The registration is being done by the City Health Office, through the district health offices and the Office of the Senior Citizen Affairs under the City Social Welfare and Development Office.

Villafuerte said the city may tap district health offices as venue for the vaccination of senior citizens aged up to 65, although it is still discussing the strategy and venue where to vaccinate those who are 70 years old and above.

“We are set to meet with the different hospitals in Davao City on the other vaccination hubs for the senior citizens who are 70 and above, considering their comorbidities,” she said.

The City Health Office allows manual listing of those in the scheduled priority round of vaccination by requesting residents to go to their respective district health office and fill out the registration form. Residents may also use the Covid-19 vaccination hot lines, 0961-073-4965 for Smart users and 0927-022-9087 for Globe users.

She said registration will soon become faster and easier when it pilots the integration of the vaccination registration with the Safe Davao QR.

Meanwhile, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said protocols remain for all offices and business establishments despite the decreasing infection rate here and the rest of the Davao region.

In a radio program on the city government’s 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio, she said business establishments should strictly comply with the city’s Covid-19 regulations and not to relax minimum public health and safety protocols.

“We don’t have any changes because there is still a pandemic. All guidelines and protocols are still the same. We don’t have changes in guidelines for all establishments,” Duterte said.

Duterte directed the Davao City Task Force Covid-19 Response Cluster to intensify their inspection after being informed that business establishments have relaxed their health protocols for clients and visitors.

Under the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines, offices and establishments under general community quarantine (GCQ) will be allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity, provided that the minimum health standards and precautions are observed.

Davao City has been placed under GCQ until April 30, 2021.

After figuring out the list of places with very high infection rates in January and February, the city went back to stricter protocols, including curfew and a ban on the sale of liquor and alcoholic beverages. Although the daily average number of cases still hovers at less than 30 cases, there are days when the region would not have a single new case, although there would also be some days when the number may shot up to as high as 67.

On April 19, the regional Department of Health here recorded 17 new Covid-19 cases in the region, bringing the total number to 22,772 since the pandemic hit the country last year.

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