Baler Logs First COVID-19 Case, PhilHealth Suspends Release of Funds + More Fast Facts on Today's Biggest Headlines

From news in the Metro to headlines outside the region.

ILLUSTRATION War Espejo

(SPOT.ph) Too tired to catch up on news? We round up what trended in the last 24 hours so you won't have to go down that rabbit hole.

Here are the headlines you might have missed today, August 13:

The Medical City offers drive-thru swab testing

The Medical City - Ortigas in Pasig City amps up the list of services in their drive-thru COVID-19 testing center through the addition of the RT-PCR testing. This swab-type method is available starting tomorrow, August 14 and is strictly by appoinment through their hotline 8988-1000 ext. 3300. Cost for each test is P6,000 and results will be sent via e-mail within two to three days.

Angkas partners with Pasig City

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While Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto believes that motorcycle shields or backpack shields pose danger to its passengers, the local government unit has no choice but to follow the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases rules. In a post, he lauds Angkas "dahil gumawa sila ng disenyo na mas ligtas, mas aerodynamic." The motorcycle service is also providing free rides for health workers in the city.

Province of Aurora reports first COVID-19 case

Aurora in Region III reported their first COVID-19 case since the pandemic broke out early this year. The patient is a woman in her 50s who came from Pasay City. She self-quarantined after arriving in Baler on August 4, but was later admitted to the Aurora Medical Hospital due to stroke. She was then tested; and on August 12, the results came out positive. Baler Mayor Rhett Angara clarified that Aurora still remains COVID-free as per Department of Health's tally since the patient acquired the virus from outside the province.

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Tourist arrivals in PH down by 72%

The tourism industry is one of the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Deparment of Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr. reported that there were only 1.3 million foreign arrivals in the country from January to July, which is a 72% decrease compared to the same period in 2019. As part of their tourism response and recovery plan to revive the industry in the next three years, the agency will focus on promoting local tourism.

PhilHealth suspends COVID-19 hospital funding-related payments

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The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation is suspending their Interim Reimbursement Mechanism to "review overall implementation and resolve issues arising from Congressional inquiries." This comes after the call of several senators to suspend the payments amid reports of irregularities. The Interim Reimbursement Mechanism is "a special privilege for the provision of substantial aid to an eligible Health Care Institutions (sic) directly hit by fortuitious event." T he health insurance agency released this emegency funding to hospitals for dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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