Regional Updates (02/04/21)

Navotas ice plant ammonia leak claims 2 lives, over 90 hospitalized

THE ammonia leak at an ice plant in Navotas City on Wednesday killed two workers while 96 others, including residents of surrounding communities, were hospitalized, according to Mayor Tobias “Toby” M. Tiangco. In a series of statements on his social media platforms, Mr. Tiangco said the TP Marcelo Ice Plant and Cold Storage, owned by his mother and her three siblings, will remain closed until it has complied with all the recommendations of the Bureau of Fire Protection. He also said he has asked the fire bureau and sanitation officers to check other ice plants in the city for compliance to occupational safety and environmental standards. Ice production is an important ancillary industry in Navotas, home to the main fish port complex that supplies Metro Manila. — MSJ

Mati City to set up COVID-19 test laboratory

MATI City, the capital of Davao Oriental, is preparing to set up its own laboratory for testing the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) to speed up the detection of positive cases, which has remained less than 1,000 province-wide. City Information Officer Ben Jason Tesiorna said with the laboratory, swab samples will no longer have to be sent to the accredited government laboratories in either Tagum City or Davao City. Mr. Tesiorna said the people of Mati have been generally cooperative in following the minimum health protocols, and the few violators are slapped with fines and penalties. “There are really some who do not comply,” he said. Mati City, along with the rest of Davao Oriental, is among the few areas in the country that has reopened to tourists. Among the requirements for entry is registration to the province’s QR code system through As of Feb. 3, the province had 926 total COVID-19 cases, of which 184 are active, 727 have recovered while 15 died. — Maya M. Padillo

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