FIRECRACKER INJURY. One of 12 patients treated at the Jose R. Reyes Memorial Hospital in Sta. Cruz, Manila, due tofirecracker-related injuries on January 1, 2018. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Department of Health (DOH) recorded 191 firecracker-related injuries nationwide as the country welcomed 2018, 77% lower than the 5-year average.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a news briefing on Monday, January 1, that the cases were recorded between December 21, 2017, to January 1. (READ: DOH targets zero firecracker injuries for New Year 2018)
The figure is 45% lower than the 350 cases recorded on January 1, 2017.
"I would say we are relatively pleased – relative because there are still injuries but pleased because of the substantial reduction or decrease in fireworks-related injured from December 21, 2017, to January 1, 2018, compared to the same period of the previous year," Duque said in a press conference held at the East Avenue Medical Center in Quezon City.
He said there were no reported deaths due to firecrackers, fireworks ingestion, or stray bullets, based on reports from the police.
The health chief said the 191 cases recorded so far is 77% lower than the 5-year average.
Duque said the DOH had been expecting a “downward trend” of injuries this year because of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order (EO) No. 28, which restricts the use of firecrackers and the staging fireworks displays. (READ: Locations of firecracker zones in Metro Manila for New Year's Eve)
Duque had inspected the emergency rooms of East Avenue Medical Center and Jose R Reyes Memorial Medical Center and the Philippine Orthopedic Center in Manila to check their readiness to accept patients who will be injured due to the New Year’s Eve festivities.
In June, President Rodrigo Duterte signed EO No. 28, banning private citizens from using firecrackers or staging their own firecracker displays at their homes.
The EO also mandates "community fireworks displays" instead as designated places for the use of firecrackers under supervision of the PNP. (READ: Locations of firecracker zones in Metro Manila for New Year's Eve)
Three people, including a village councilor, were arrested in Iloilo City for violating EO 28.
According to the Department of Health, a total of 630 fireworks-related injuries were recorded from December 21, 2016, to January 5, 2017.
The 630 cases were a decrease of 292 from the total cases during the same period 2015-2016. It was also 319 cases less than the average number from 2011 to 2015. – Rappler.com