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PHILIPPINE Covid-19 Cases, Monitoring, Articles & Discusions

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Dafey

 

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Masbate reports first COVID-19 cases; Bicol Region cases at 101

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The number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in the Bicol Region rose to 101 on Saturday with six new infections, including Masbate's first two COVID-19 cases.

According to the Department of Health Center for Health Development-Bicol (DOH CHD-Bicol), there were 22 active cases in the region.

Patient 96, one of the first confirmed cases from Masbate, was a 23-year old Filipino asymptomatic patient who arrived in the region from Caloocan on June 22.

Patient 97, the other confirmed case from Masbate, is a 25-year-old Filipino who had traveled from Taguig and arrived in the Bicol Region on June 21. The patient first experienced symptoms on June 24.

Patient 98 is a 30-year-old Filipino from Matnog, Sorsogon who traveled from Tondo, Manila. The patient was asymptomatic.

Patient 99 was a 35-year-old Filipino from Canaman, Camarines Sur who was exposed to a COVID-19 case. He was asymptomatic and was the third uniformed official in the region to have tested positive for the virus.

Patient 100 was a 60-year-old Filipino from Naga City who was exposed to COVID-19 patients. He was asymptomatic.

Patient 101 was a 1-year-old Filipino who was also exposed to COVID-19 patients. The patient's status was under verification.

All patients have been quarantined, according to the DOH CHD-Bicol

https://www.msn.com/en-ph/news/national/masbate-reports-first-covid-19-cases-bicol-region-cases-at-101/ar-BB162uVS?ocid=msedgdhp

 

 

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Paddy

While on/off island travel is still restricted here in Masbate, we had been enjoying relatively free movement, social distancing and masks etc otherwise. There were some rumours a few days ago about these cases, now confirmed. We’re waiting to see if any intra-island restrictions come back into place. 

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Dafey
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Cebu City looms as new COVID epicenter

MANILA, Philippines — Cebu City is “more likely” to be the new epicenter of coronavirus disease 2019 contagion in the country as COVID-19 infections continue to rise, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said yesterday.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año made the observation as he cited the growing number of cases being logged in Cebu City compared to Metro Manila, which is composed of 17 local government units.

“Yes, more likely because of the rate of infection in Cebu City,” Año said in an interview aired over ANC, when asked if Cebu City had become the epicenter of COVID-19 in the country.

There are at least 5,500 COVID-19 cases in Cebu City, including about 150 deaths and at least 2,300 recoveries.

Authorities said rampant violation of quarantine rules has greatly contributed to the spike in cases. Cebu City is under the strictest enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). President Duterte is set to announce possible adjustments in quarantine levels across the country today.

Over the weekend, hundreds of people reportedly gathered in Sitio Alumnos in Barangay Basak San Nicolas for a religious procession and fiesta despite the prohibition of mass gatherings under ECQ.

Año said the DILG would be filing cases against the organizers of the event, while concerned local government officials including barangay executives and police authorities would be made to explain why such gathering had been allowed.

Barangay officials have denied giving go signal to the event.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) chief made it clear yesterday that violators of the ECQ in Cebu City would be immediately arrested.

“That is our guidance there in Cebu because it is a requirement since their infection rate has increased dramatically. That’s why if it is needed, no more warnings, an immediate arrest follows,” PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa said at a briefing.

He said that while Cebu City residents were generally mindful of quarantine rules, many were still displaying defiance.

The PNP had earlier deployed Special Action Force (SAF) commandos and at least a dozen aerial drone units to keep residents indoors.

Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) dispatched a medical team to Cebu City to augment the city’s healthcare system.

The team, composed of nine doctors, 10 nurses, and 13 medical aides, flew to Cebu City on a C-130 transport plane.

“The Group of 32 will be part of history. You are among the first responders to help Cebu,” Cebu coronavirus management overseer Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said in his send-off message.

“Our services during this pandemic in Cebu will never be repeated in our lifetime. Pagbutihin ninyo ang ating (Be good in your) services not only in the name of the AFP but you as an individual. Then after this pandemic you will feel self-satisfied in your life because we are here to help save lives in this moment of despair,” he said.

“In our first aid lesson, primary concern is to stop the bleeding. And the bleeding in Cebu is the number of deaths. That’s what we are going to do. To stop the bleeding there,” he said.

https://www.msn.com/en-ph/news/national/cebu-city-looms-as-new-covid-epicenter-año/ar-BB167aHT?ocid=msedgdhp

 

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SkyMan
24 minutes ago, Dafey said:

“The Group of 32 will be part of history. You are among the first responders to help Cebu,” Cebu coronavirus management overseer Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said in his send-off message.

Right, we don't have a single doctor or nurse here that has done anything.  WTFO?

25 minutes ago, Dafey said:

“Our services during this pandemic in Cebu will never be repeated in our lifetime.

Let's hope.  What about Covid-26?  Maybe he thinks we'll all be dead by then?

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Dafey

 

1 hour ago, SkyMan said:

Right, we don't have a single doctor or nurse here that has done anything.  WTFO?

Of course there have been frontliners battling for peoples health. The issue as I see it is:

1 hour ago, Dafey said:

rampant violation of quarantine rules has greatly contributed to the spike in cases. Cebu City is under the strictest enhanced community quarantine (ECQ)

All we have to go on is what we read in the news and what is reported here in this forum. From those sources it 'appears' that Cebu City residents have been shrugging off the seriousness of the pandemic as it it couldn't happen to them.

Granted the area has been low to nil on cases early on but especially since the borders have been opened cases are exploding and it's more critical than ever that people 'Stay Home' whenever possible. And again we see residents bucking the system and trying to bend the rules to suit their purposes. It is a lot like the country that is currently leading the world in CV19 cases. The people don't want to be told what to do.

But:

1 hour ago, Dafey said:

He said that while Cebu City residents were generally mindful of quarantine rules, many were still displaying defiance.

The PNP had earlier deployed Special Action Force (SAF) commandos and at least a dozen aerial drone units to keep residents indoors.

Meanwhile, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) dispatched a medical team to Cebu City to augment the city’s healthcare system.

The ax has fallen?

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Dafey
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MANILA, Philippines  — More health workers will be deployed to Cebu City, which remains under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) amid increasing coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19 cases.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said infectious disease consultants from the Philippine Society of Medical Specialists would be sent to the city to assist in the management of cases, noting that the deployment of doctors under the Doctors to the Barrio program is voluntary.

Several nurses and military doctors had been earlier dispatched to hospitals in Cebu City.

Vergerie said the government has been sending health workers to various hospitals in the city to build up their health system capacity.

Data shows that case doubling time in Cebu City as of Tuesday was at 7.62 days.  This means that it took seven days for the number of cases to double.

Vergeire said critical care utilization rate in the city was placed at 62.45 percent, which is slightly lower than the 70 percent average. It pertains to utilization rate of beds in intensive care units, which was pegged at 55.83 percent.

At least 62.45 percent of isolation beds were occupied and 41.90 percent of mechanical ventilators were used.

“We have to enforce the ECQ to allow the health system there to prepare if and where cases will continue to increase,” Vergeire said.

Secretary Carlito Galvez, National Task Force against COVID-19 chief  implementer, and NTF vice chairman Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said they expect ”remarkable changes” in Cebu City and Cebu province on July 15.

Año and Galvez returned to Manila yesterday after an assessment of the situation on the ground.

The two officials inspected health centers, hospitals and the Cebu International Airport. They also had dialogues with local government officials and representatives of the private sector and civil society organizations.

Año said the province seems to be  going in the right direction in the fight against COVID-19.

”Hopefully by July 15, Cebu City will graduate from ECQ,” he said.

https://www.msn.com/en-ph/news/national/doh-deploys-more-health-workers-to-cebu-city/ar-BB16gb7m?ocid=msedgdhp

 

 

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Goetz1965

I guess in 2021 we will go worse, when government finds out that they spend all available money but theres nothing fresh coming in from taxes!

But we need to make clear that people here, especially poor ones are used to those situations (no work, no money) for decades. Yes they sometimes get a money, but usually not much.
So in 2021 in my opinion there will sure be more unrest, more burglaries and more killings, so for me I will get more allerted and cautious.

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Kreole

Unfortunately, the worst is yet to come.  What we are now witnessing with the quarantine, social distancing and the restrictive “passes” being employed in the hope of curbing the pandemic is the beginning of a resistance by desperate people here in the RP (and other poor nations) who are already pushed to their limit.  They cannot long endure such impositions that result in more privation, malnutrition and starvation. One of the trends we are seeing with the crumbling of the economic infrastructure due to the pandemic, is government borrowing of large sums of money form the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which can never effectively be paid back.  

Most all of the countries that are borrowing are already deeply in debt and can only become more entrenched in debt due to this pandemic.   It should be instructive to remember that the IMF is NOT a charitable or humanitarian organization.  It's condition for loans is to cut all social services, except the military and police which must actually be increased to deal with the suffering and social uprisings that always follow. 

Of course, the economic free fall can be viewed from different perspectives, but the main reason is self-inflicted economic implosion in order to deal with a pandemic for which the RP is financially ill prepared. The RP does not have the economic depth that other SE Asian nations have and therefore cannot afford to run an already impoverished population ragged with more austerity before there is an uprising.  But austerity is the very condition that the IMF always imposes on any nation that dares borrow from it poisoned chalice.

 The poorer and weaker nations are the first to fall.  So, the end consequences are even more disturbing because they will leave long lasting scars that will impede the growth and vitality of all countries being forced to borrow in order to fight this pandemic.

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SkyMan

This should help the numbers....

image.thumb.png.9dc5a838a6616783da7fd0822b6ded46.png

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Headshot

What does "harmonizing data" mean? It sounds more like something that would come out of the government of another Asian country that shall go unnamed.

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mikewright
25 minutes ago, Headshot said:

What does "harmonizing data" mean? It sounds more like something that would come out of the government of another Asian country that shall go unnamed.

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Harmonizing Data, Regardless of System or Setting

In order to make meaningful use of the bits and bytes of information that are being collected every day by providers across the care continuum, healthcare leaders must begin to investigate solutions that allow data points to be organized semantically so information being acquired can likewise be managed.

In other words, healthcare organizations must begin to explore platforms that allow disparate systems not only to view external information, but also to truly understand and make use of the incoming data while maintaining the original meaning of that information, regardless of source, format, or nomenclature.

http://library.ahima.org/doc?oid=102000#.XwQmKedS_IU

 

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Dafey

 

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House eyes additional DOH budget for testing, hospital beds

MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives is looking into providing additional funding to the Department of Health (DOH) to boost its programs to combat the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, lawmakers bared yesterday.

This developed as a public health expert warned yesterday that 137 hospitals nationwide are in the “danger zone,” with their occupancy rates already at more than 70 percent.

Ways and means committee chairman Joey Salceda and Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero said the chamber is ready to pass measures to increase funding to boost testing and hospital capacities of the DOH when the House convenes in special session as requested by Malacañang.

They cited the need to provide more funds to the DOH amid reports of increasing COVID-19 patients in some hospitals and the recent record-high new daily cases.

Salceda explained that sufficient health care measures against the disease are necessary in reopening the country’s economy, following months of community quarantine measures.

“We will have to steel the nerves of our people. They will have to feel assured that we have their back. It’s hard to do that if they keep fearing that, if they get sick, they will have nowhere to go to get treated, or that it will cost them a fortune. That’s why the House economic team has always been prepared to accommodate requests for COVID-19-related health expansion,” the Albay representative stressed.

Salceda, also chairman of the House economic stimulus cluster, believed that preparing hospitals and treatment centers for COVID-19 surges will be key to maintaining consumer and business confidence. He has advised the DOH to prepare a plan to be presented to Congress.

“We want a plan from the DOH. How are we going to allocate resources? Have we conducted stress tests of our health facilities? Where is the mismatch between available capacity and potential risk biggest, and how do we address the mismatch? If we don’t answer these questions, we are courting disaster,” he warned.

“We have always been strongly supportive of the government’s fight against COVID-19. But I have a simple trade to ask from our pandemic managers: for every allotment Congress makes, we want a coherent and comprehensive plan for that allotment and an explanation of how it fits the larger picture,” Salceda appealed.

Romero, for his part, suggested to the government to further increase its testing capacity by building mass testing facilities in strategic locations, particularly Metro Manila, Southern Luzon, Central Luzon, Cebu and Davao.

“We need to meet the requirement on testing and contact tracing as soon as possible so we can already reopen businesses and prevent further damage to the economy,” the 1-Pacman party-list representative pointed out.

Romero, an economist, explained that the country is still behind the ideal 3-percent positive rate set by South Korea on testing capacity.

“We all need to work double time and hand-in-hand to win this battle. Every action of Congress must be in sync with the executive branch,” he commented.

Salceda made the same appeal, saying the current testing capacity of the DOH is not yet sufficient.

“My office has studied the daily testing rates and we always fall in between the 10 percent positive rate that Harvard public health experts identified as the ceiling to determine whether a country is doing enough tests, and the three percent gold standard for testing that South Korea set. So we’re doing so-so, and can do better. We are prepared to take up proposals from the Executive to help us improve these numbers,” he added.

Romero said they expect the loopholes on testing capacity to be addressed when Congress tackles the proposed Bayanihan to Recover As One Act or Bayanihan Act 2 (House Bill 6953).

The bill seeks to provide P12 billion for the procurement of PRC testing and extraction kits, supplies and materials for COVID-19 testing and for the enhancement of DOH capacity to provide healthcare services.

The House committee of the whole passed HB 6953 last June 3 before Congress adjourned sine die.

Danger zone

Citing the Nationwide Facilities Data of the DOH as of July 3, Susan Mercado, public health expert and the President’s special envoy on Global Health Initiatives, said the availability of beds in 137 hospitals nationwide is “declining.”

Of the 137 hospitals, 42 are in Metro Manila.

“This is the first time that we had that. We used to have occupancy rate at the very low, especially for COVID-19,” she noted during an interview with The Chiefs on One News.

Mercado observed that there are many isolation facilities in the National Capital Region at 1,391. This, however, means that “people are going straight to the hospital even if their condition is mild.”

“That’s not a good thing because we want to reserve the hospitals for those who have moderate or severe illness,” she added.

For Mercado, the imposition of a lockdown should be “localized” but this must be coupled with strict public adherence of infection prevention protocols, particularly physical distancing, frequent hand washing and wearing of masks.

“We have to get used to the fact that this is not going to go away. What we want to see in the Philippines is the ability to lock down very specific locality every time there is a COVID case,” she said.

Mercado cited, for instance, a hospital in Manila which had 24 admissions from Tondo on a single night.

In such a situation, she underscored, “we need to watch and restrict movement there, test people, separate the sick from the healthy and just move on.”

Mercado maintained that lockdown cannot continue because “this has a lot of socio-economic and health costs.” She recommended that local government units identify where the outbreaks are

“What we want to see is quick, laser-pointed quarantine, restriction or isolation for those who are sick and who have symptoms and bring them to isolation facilities,” she added.

“Obviously, here in Metro Manila as in Cebu, people were not going to isolation… Let’s not forget this is a 14-day illness, so when you look at total number of positive since February, how many of them are still going around and infecting other people?” she cautioned.

On persistent reports that COVID-19 is also airborne, Mercado said it is not yet certain if the virus can live in the air for a long period of time but “definitely in hospitals, we can see that happen.”

This is because in hospitals, there are many medical procedures that generate aerosols, such as intubation which may spew large amount of microscopic particles.

“In hospitals, it is really being treated as airborne illness… and that’s why doctors are investing on all types of personal protective equipment,” she added.

Virus mutation

According to Mercado, she will not be surprised if there is a mutation of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, because it is “in the nature of this virus to mutate.”

But regardless if the virus had mutated or not, she said interventions will always be the same – keep your distance, always put the mask on and frequently wash hands.

She urged the public to get used to these practices as COVID-19 “is not going away. Instead, the illness will be like dengue which will peak during its season.”

“So if you are thinking you are going to see the day when there is no COVID, that’s going to be a long time. This is going to be like dengue and we have outbreaks that we have to deal with during dengue season,” Mercado added.

https://www.msn.com/en-ph/news/national/house-eyes-additional-doh-budget-for-testing-hospital-beds/ar-BB16rARP?ocid=msedgdhp

 

 

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softail

A European tourist finally returned home after being stranded at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) for over 100 days.

Roman Trofimov said in a Facebook post on July 3 that he arrived in the country via AirAsia on March 20. It was three days after the government placed the entire Luzon under enhanced community quarantine.

I am European from Estonia held in Manila International Airport for more than 100 days need any help getting out of here,” he said.

“I am person with disability my health is getting worse because malnutrition, lack of sun and fresh air,” the European tourist shared.

“I arrived in Manila March 20th and been denied entry, airline who fly me in AirAsia took my passport and stop operations that same day i am not allowed to fly out. AirAsia say i need to wait for Enhanced Community Quarantine to be over before i am allowed to fly i don’t know details,” he added.

After over 100 days in NAIA, stranded European tourist returns home

A report on Metro said Trofimov had a connecting flight to Cebu and a return flight to Bangkok on April 2, but they were canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trofimov said he reached out to the Estonian Consulate, but he said they were not able to assist him at the time.

“Estonian consulate is no help either. I held inside NAIA airport Terminal 1 for more than 100 days,” he said.

He said he stayed in Terminal 3 at first and slept on the floor and the metal benches for one week.

“Only after I talk to my Consulate of Estonia, the airline started to provide food for me and then transferred us here on April 1st I think,” he said.

AirAsia in a statement sent to GMA News Online said the foreigner arrived in Manila when airlines suspended flights to comply with the travel restrictions imposed by the government.

“AirAsia covered costs for his accommodation and meals three times a day since his arrival,” the airline said.

Trofimov finally returned home on Tuesday, July 7. AirAsia coordinated with the Estonian Consulate General in Manila to arrange Trofimov’s flight.

“With help of god and [thanks] to all people who supported me in this difficult time I am going home now!” he said. “Thanks for sharing my story with world, good advice you give me and kind word of support.”

https://philippineslifestyle.com/after-over-100-days-in-naia-stranded-european-tourist-returns-home/

Looks like I got lucky, I flew out on March 14th a couple of days before the airport closed

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Salty Dog
23 hours ago, SkyMan said:

Don't be this guy.  It would be funny if it wasn't true.

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https://metro.co.uk/2020/07/07/man-has-trapped-philippines-airport-110-days-12955321/amp/?fbclid=IwAR2NzvoI-60ebNNUBT_6C98d7__QeKg7yhFVQgEhrkAPMoPJia8IBPdz4YM

Man has been trapped in Philippines airport for 110 days

A tourist is desperate to be rescued after spending 110 days living in an airport in the Philippines due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Roman Trofimov, who lives in Estonia, landed in Manila airport from Bangkok on March 20, but was denied access to the country as entry visas were no longer being issued for arrivals. He says his passport was then taken from him before he reached immigration.

The airline he had travelled with, AirAsia, was then unable to return him to Thailand, and he was told he would have to wait for Enhanced Community Quarantine to be over until he is allowed to fly. The lockdown, which restricts all travel for anyone not a diplomat, medical or humanitarian worker, was brought in by the Philippine goverment on March 16.

Mr Trofimov, who says he is disabled, likened his situation to being a prisoner in the airport. He has been sleeping in an airport departures hotel room and surviving on food and snacks donated by staff.

Pictures and more at the link.

Yeah, it's kind of funny anyway.  You think the BI will charge him for overstaying?

 

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SkyMan

https://www.rappler.com/nation/266084-estonian-stranded-naia-coronavirus?fbclid=IwAR1ps2NolAZlTC-wFcGcy_KM_UCgrksQTkcz9_pQOwH69a2eVBXEP0pa-2Q

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Trapped for 110 days in NAIA, Estonian finally flies home

'To the travelers who might get stuck like me, don’t be afraid or don’t be ashamed to go public with the problem. You have to make the situation known…because I believe this is a violation of my rights,' says Estonian Roman Trofimov

MANILA, Philippines – Only a flight an hour and a half long separated Estonian Roman Trofimov from the end of his vacation, a trip he had spent nearly a year saving up for.

Wanting to take a break from his daily routine, Trofimov had considered traveling to Thailand or the Philippines for a chance to distance himself from Estonia, whose bustling city life had left him feeling tired and stressed out.

He settled on Cebu after weeks of doing research, and purchased a ticket for a flight from Russia to Thailand, and later Manila.

“This was my dream,” he said.

But Trofimov would never get past the immigration gates of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3, after arriving in the Philippines on March 20.

The Philippine government had closed the country’s borders to foreigners in an effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus, which by then had escalated into a pandemic. And what he had hoped would just be a few days’ wait stretched into 110 days in limbo.

Trofimov finally boarded a plane back to Estonia on Wednesday, July 4.

Speaking to Rappler from the Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, where he waited for a connecting flight to his country, Trofimov recounted his ordeal waiting weeks to know when he could return home.

“For the first weeks, (there) was terrible lack of information. I didn’t know why I was there. I arrived as a tourist and I was thrown on the floor and (told) I can go nowhere. I can’t return (to Estonia) and I cannot fly out to other countries. I didn’t understand what was going on. I’ve been treated very harshly,” Trofimov said.

In several Facebook posts, Trofimov documented his ordeal, going as far back as his first night in Manila when he went through Immigration and passport control.

“What kind of passport is this?”

“Who gave it to you?”

“What state are you a citizen of?”

“Through what country and what time did you fly?” the immigration officer at NAIA asked.

“During his insensitive questioning, I felt like a second-class person or a refugee who came to the Philippines to ask them for alms,” Trofimov said in a post.

After the questioning, he was told by the airport and airline authorities that he would not be able to enter the country, as his flight to Cebu had been canceled and he had no place to stay in Manila.

“The thought flashed in my mind, maybe I landed by mistake in the USA. What kind of frightening...difficulties are there for a tourist from the EU to get to the Philippines?” Trofimov said.

As Trofimov no longer had business in the country, he was told his only options were to go back to Thailand or Estonia – both nearly impossible as international flights had ground to halt.

Left with nowhere to go, Trofimov suddenly found himself stranded in NAIA. After spending about a week in NAIA Terminal 3, he was transferred to NAIA Terminal 1 where he was given accommodations at the passenger lodging facility.

Immigration officers had initially told him his airline, AirAsia, would be responsible for taking him back to Estonia.

Without any flights available, he roamed the empty halls of the airport in search of airport and airline employees who might give him answers to when he would be able to leave the country.

“It was really painful emotionally and also physically because I have a disability.... My back hurts all the time, and you know emotionally it was very difficult to bear cause I had to stay in a tiny room in the terminal. I never go outside to see the sunlight or fresh air,” Trofimov said.

Like Trofimov, thousands of foreign tourists were also left stranded in different parts of the Philippines due to quarantine restrictions.

But where other foreign tourists had the assistance of the Department of Tourism, Department of Foreign Affairs, and local government units in securing transportation to airports and flights home, there were no clear rules for those stuck in airports.

Help, Trofimov added, only came after he decided to publicize his ordeal, prompting Estonia’s embassy in Japan to take notice. What followed were weeks of back and forth between the embassy and Trofimov, who sent out emails through fellow stranded passengers’ laptops.

Trofimov's efforts would later pay off as his embassy informed him on July 6 that he would have a flight out by Tuesday, July 7.

“I just want to say, to the travelers who might get stuck like me, don’t be afraid or ashamed to go public with the problem.... You have to make the situation known...because I believe this is a violation of my rights and people shouldn’t be quiet about that,” he said.

“I’m a free person now,” he added. – Rappler.com

Pictures, video at the link.

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