New Year injuries down by 85% amid COVID-19 pandemic —DOH

Injuries related to the New Year festivities went down by 85% this year amid the prohibition in the use of firecrackers as well as mass gathering due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Health (DOH) said Friday.

In a statement, the DOH said that 50 injuries were recorded from December 21, 2020 to January 1, 2021, with no cases of firecracker ingestion nor death reported.

Among NCR cities, Manila had the most number of injuries  with 12, followed by Caloocan with four. Pasig and Quezon cities registered two cases each, while Malabon and Marikina had one case each.

The NCR records show incidents of firework-related injuries went down by 88%, eclipsing national figures.

The age group of those injured ranged from four to 53 years old wherein the most affected age group is between 10 to 14 years old.

The top anatomical sites of injuries were the eye (33%), hand (24%), forearm/arm (16%), head (12%) and neck (10%).

Majority of the injuries were blast injuries not requiring amputation at 67%, while 2% were blast injuries requiring amputation.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III attributed the significant decrease in the total number of recorded cases to the COVID-19 pandemic, which affected the people’s willingness and ability to celebrate through the use of fireworks.

Duque also credited the strengthened initiatives of local government units in banning firecrackers and the efforts of national government agencies and stakeholders through the “Iwas Paputok Campaign.”

“The lower numbers we achieved this year is indeed a welcome development but we will not stop until we achieve zero fireworks-related injuries and ensure that the holidays will be safer for every Filipino,” Duque said.

“We also remind those who incurred injuries due to fireworks na kung pwede lang po, magpatingin na kayo agad at magpakonsulta sa inyo pong mga pinaka-malapit na pasilidad para malapatan ng lunas ang inyong mga sugat at maiwasan ang mga posibleng makamatay na impeksyon,” he added.

In a television interview earlier in the day, Philippine National Police spokesperson Police Brigadier General Ildebrandi Usana said the New Year revelry had been “generally peaceful.”

“Pangkalahatan naging matahimik naman, wala pong masyadong naitala na kahit na anong untoward incident in relation sa celebration ng New Year,” Usana said