New Year’s eve alone leads to 227 firework injuries
This year's number of firework-related incidents is only 37 cases lower than last year's record.

MANILA, Philippines – More than 200 cases of firework-related incidents were recorded on New Year’s eve alone, according to data from the Department of Health (DOH).  

The Health Department announced Tuesday, January 1, that there is already a total of 413 firework-related injuries recorded by 6am.

This number is almost 4 times higher than the figure obtained by 6am of Sunday, December 31, with only 186 cases. This means that 227 cases were reported in the course of celebrating the 2013 New Year’s eve.

Of the 413 cases, one was due to fireworks ingestion and 8 were hit by stray bullet. There were 51 victims who sustained eye injuries, while 14 suffered amputations of fingers.

Health Undersecretary Teodoro Herbosa earlier said that they will release a complete report by January 5.

Lower than previous years

In a press conference on Tuesday, Health Secretary Enrique Ona said that this year’s number of firework-related incidents is 17% lower than last year’s record.

There were 498 cases reported from December 21, 2011 to January 1, 2012, with 264 cases reported in the course of celebrating the 2012 New Year’s eve.

Herbosa earlier explained that this year’s number of cases is in fact the lowest they’ve seen in the past 5 years.

“But it is too early to conclude that we had a better campaign this year based on this report alone,” Ona said.

He also stressed that the implementation of a ban on the individual use of firecrackers must be “seriously considered” for the next New Year revelry.

“While the number of cases decreased, many will suffer lifelong disability because of firecrackers. So we really have to be serious in implementing the laws on firecrackers,” he said.

More victims between 4-6am

In the data from the health department’s Aksyon: Paputok Injury Reduction (APIR) campaign, most of those injured in this year’s New Year’s eve celebration are admitted in hospitals between 4am to 6am.

In at least 7 hospitals in Metro Manila, the number of victims of various firework-related incidents slowly increased per hour from 53 as of 6am (December 31) until it reached 101 between 3 and 4am (January 1). The number suddenly shot up at 171 between 4 and 5am, then jumped to 214 between 5 and 6am.

Metro Manila accounts for more than half of the total number of injuries recorded. As of the department’s 6am update on December 31, 49% of all cases happened in the said region.

Herbosa earlier explained that aside from victims of firework-related incidents, hospitals usually receive victims of riots and vehicle accidents in the morning due to excessive drinking from various New Year parties. –

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