34% drop in firecracker-related injuries for New Year 2019
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) recorded a total of 340 firecracker-related injuries as Filipinos welcomed 2019, 34% lower than the previous year’s tally.
In a statement on Tuesday, January 8, the DOH said there were no deaths recorded due to firecracker-related injures, and no injuries due to stray bullets. Cases recorded took place from 6 am, December 21, 2018, to 5:59 am on January 5, 2019.
The total number of cases is also 60% lower than the 5-year average, consistent with the downward trend the DOH expected after President Rodrigo Duterte issued Executive Order No. 28, which bans residential and personal use of fireworks and other pyrotechnic devices, and limits to community display of fireworks in designated areas.
Majority of the cases were seen in the National Capital Region (NCR) with 123 cases recorded. This was followed by the Ilocos region with 52 cases, Western Visayas with 51, Central Visayas with 27, Calabarzon with 23, and Central Luzon with 20.
Of the cases in NCR, the city of Manila had the most number of cases at 46, followed by Quezon City with 25, Marikina City with 11, Caloocan City with 10, Pasig City with 9, and Parañaque City and Valenzuela City with 5 cases each.
According to the DOH, majority of those injured were male.
Of the 340 injured, 263 sustained blasts or burns without the need for amputation, while 11 sustained blasts or burns with the victims undergoing amputation. Another 85 sustained eye injuries.
There were also two cases of persons swallowing firecrackers.
Meanwhile, firecrackers that caused the most injuries were kwitis with 74 cases; luces, 40; piccolo, 21; boga, 20; and triangle, 17.
Most injuries also occurred in the streets with 180 cases recorded, followed by cases at home with 145 recorded, and 3 in designated fireworks display areas.
Although the DOH has ended its surveillance of firework-related injuries, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III reminded individuals injured by firecrackers to go to the nearest health facility to prevent tetanus infection, which could lead to death if left untreated.
Aside from the continued implementation of EO 28, Duque earlier said the drop in the number of cases was partly attributed to heavy rain caused by Tropical Depression Usman which dumped large volumes of rainfall in parts of Luzon and the Visayas.
The lower number of cases was also notable as the DOH just added 10 more hospitals to its monitoring, for a total of 60 “sentinel sites” monitoring nationwide. – Rappler.com