KUWTT: Virus surge eases in 5 Metro cities Apr 07, 2021

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Here are the top stories of The Manila Times for Wednesday, April 7, 2021.

READ: Virus surge eases in 5 Metro cities

Five cities in Metro Manila have experienced negative growth rates of up to -28 percent in new coronavirus disease 2019 or Covid-19 cases, which shows a glimmer of hope despite the increasing number of infection in the country.

READ: Economic frontliners, poor to get jabs in May

The government plans to start the vaccination of frontline personnel in essential sectors, uniformed personnel and the poor in May as more vaccines are expected to be shipped to the country, said vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr.

READ: Palace to PhilHealth: Cover patients in tents

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. or PhilHealth to include, in its Covid-19 coverage, patients staying in accredited isolation centers and tents, said Malacañang.

READ: Erap on ventilator as condition worsens

Former president Joseph “Erap” Estrada’s condition has worsened, and doctors had to use a machine to help him breathe, confirmed his son on Tuesday.

READ: Fake Covid-19 vaccine sold in Binondo ‒ Roque

On Tuesday, Palace spokesman Harry Roque Jr. bared that Chinese state-owned pharmaceutical firm Sinopharm was not too keen on distributing its vaccine in the Philippines because of the presence of fake Covid-19 vaccines in the country.

READ: Dizon rejects calls for mass testing

Vivencio Dizon, the country’s testing czar, has junked calls for mass testing despite the continuing rise in daily infections in the country.

READ: Expand coverage, Go asks PhilHealth

On Tuesday, Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go issued an urgent appeal to the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. or PhilHealth to scale up its response to the pandemic by expanding its coverage of medical costs, particularly for families facing financial strain.

READ: 2 Dengvaxia recipients die

On Tuesday, the Public Attorney’s Office said two recipients of the controversial Dengvaxia vaccine have died.

In regional news,

READ: 2 Tarlac mayors test positive for Covid-19

Two mayors in Tarlac province have contracted Covid-19: Concepcion Mayor Andres Lacson and Capas Mayor Reynaldo Catacutan.

In world news,

READ: Coronavirus crisis shows society’s inequalities ‒ UN

The Covid-19 crisis “has revealed how unequal our societies are,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in his message, released on Monday (Tuesday in Manila) for the World Health Day.

In business,

READ: ECQ seen to shave off 2021 economic growth

The two-week enhanced community quarantine or ECQ being implemented in Metro Manila and adjacent provinces will likely trim the Philippines’ gross domestic product growth this year by 0.5 to 0.8 percentage points, according to two of the country’s economic managers.

And in sports,

READ: Clarkson eager to play for Gilas in FIBA World Cup

Filipino American and Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson expressed his intention to play for Gilas Pilipinas anew; this time, in the 2023 FIBA World Cup, which the Philippines will be co-hosting with Japan and Indonesia.

Rigoberto Tiglao and Marlen Ronquillo are the featured columnists on the front page of The Times.

Tiglao analyzes the

READ: Reef row: US plot in its ‘re-pivot’ to Asia

Ronquillo contrasts

READ: The tragedy, then the farce

In The Times editorial, hope is given that

READ: Misinformation is the pandemic we can cure

Read all about it.

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With Aric John Sy Cua, this is Dafort Villaseran reporting. Happy Easter!