Philippine centenarians beat the odds in virus battle

Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) staff pose for a photograph with their 106-year-old COVID-19 recoveree in Baguio City on Tuesday. (Photo courtesy: BGHMC)
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Updated 21 October 2020

Philippine centenarians beat the odds in virus battle

  • Hospital hails ‘inspirational’ COVID-19 recoveries of two 106-year-old men

MANILA: Health workers have said the recent recoveries of two 106-year-old coronavirus patients in the Philippines is proof that the disease can be beaten, but warned the public to remain cautious.

The first centenarian is a man from Cagayan De Oro City in northern Mindanao, who recovered on Sunday after a month-long treatment at an administration-run facility for virus patients. The second survivor was discharged on Tuesday after 11 days at a hospital in Baguio City.

“Our patient is living proof that coronavirus can be beaten,” Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) infectious disease specialist Dr. Thea Pamela Cajulao said during a ceremony.

Dr. Ricardo B. Runez Jr., BGHMC chief, added that the 106-year-old’s return to health was a “testament to our adaptation to the pandemic and striving towards resilience in everyday life.”

He added: “A tribute is given to our doctors and nurses, and the rest of the health care team for their dedication to work as translated to the challenges that were battled and surpassed.”

When the patient’s daughter arrived at the hospital, she said: “God made you as an instrument. I hope that my father would be an inspiration for all coronavirus patients.” The hospital did not release the name of the man.

The patient “now serves as the epitome of a coronavirus fighter in the Baguio and the Cordillera region,” the hospital said. “Despite all the difficulties during his admission, he was able to prove that age is just a number.”

However, doctors warned that despite the recovery of the elderly man, who is part of the most vulnerable age group, Filipinos must still remain vigilant about health measures.

“Remember that prevention is better than cure, but in instances that we cannot prevent it, early detection, treatment and isolation can help decrease the risk of death,” Cajulao said.

In Cagayan De Oro, city epidemiologist Dr. Teodulfo Joselito Retuya Jr. also called on the public to continue following health precautions.

On Wednesday, the Department of Health reported 1,509 new virus cases in the Philippines, the lowest daily rise in more than six weeks. Total case numbers have now reached 362,243, with 6,747 coronavirus-related deaths.


British woman charged with terror offences for sharing Daesh propaganda

Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London heard how the 28-year-old shared extremist videos on messaging service Telegram with an undercover officer. (Reuters/File Photo)
Updated 01 December 2020

British woman charged with terror offences for sharing Daesh propaganda

Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London heard how the 28-year-old shared extremist videos on messaging service Telegram with an undercover officer. (Reuters/File Photo)

LONDON: A British woman who sent Daesh propaganda to an undercover investigator, on Tuesday appeared in a UK court charged with terror offences.

Muslim convert Aaminah Amatullah, formerly Alison Claire Beech, denied two counts of disseminating terrorist publications, the Independent reported.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London heard how the 28-year-old shared extremist videos on messaging service Telegram with an undercover officer, who she believed was a terrorist contact, in September 2019.

The hearing was told that the first video was an official Daesh propaganda clip, which contained footage of severed heads, battle footage, and messages calling for Daesh sympathizers to carry out terror attacks.

The second showed images of airstrikes and more battle footage in the Syrian town of Baghouz, the group’s last stronghold in the country, and militants waving the Daesh flag.

Amatullah was arrested on Nov. 24 at her apartment in Birmingham, the UK’s second-most populated city, as part of an ongoing investigation by the West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit.

Judge Nina Tempia remanded Amatullah, who will now appear for a secondary hearing at the Old Bailey in London on Dec. 18.