Fireworks injures 77; DOH fears more unreported

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

MANILA -- Seventy-seven cases of fireworks-related injuries have been recorded less than a week before the New Year revelry but the Department of Health (DOH) admitted that many others may remain unreported.

In a press conference, DOH Secretary Enrique Ona related that from December 21 (6 a.m.) to December 26 (6 a.m.), there were already 77 cases of fireworks-related injuries nationwide.

“(But) the number can easily be more than double since we are only basing our numbers from those reported by DOH sentinel hospitals,” noted Ona.

“The figure is 39 cases lower compared to the same period last year, which is 116,” said the Aksyon: Paputok Injury Reduction (APIR) Report No. 5.

Of the 77, 72 were found to have been related to fireworks and firecrackers, topped by the illegal scratch banger, Piccolo, with 37.

Eighteen cases of injuries were also found to be children that are less than 10 years old and that 62 of those injured are males.

Ona lamented the continuous proliferation of Piccolo in the market ,saying its being illegal is already enough reason to shun it.

But instead of pinning the blame on the police, the health chief said it would be crucial for parents to always be on the lookout for their children’s welfare.

“Yes, it has always been the responsibility of the police to be on the lookout for Piccolo… (But) I think a more informed public is what we really need. There is too much freedom in the country and there are also many children playing around,” said Ona.

He also urged the public to always report to the police if they know anyone selling illegal firecrackers, such as Piccolo.

The health department has similarly expressed alarm over the high number of passive users getting injured by firecrackers as the number has gone up to 30.

“Many of them are just watching those using fireworks but still get injured and it’s saddening,” said Ona.

He, then, advised the parents to prevent their children from watching their neighbors using firecrackers and instead bring them to community fireworks displays and theme parks, where there are professionals handling fireworks.

In the same APIR report, the DOH reported that there are already four cases of stray bullet injuries, with three coming in the last 24 hours.

Aside from the 23-year-old male from Ormoc City that was reported Wednesday, the DOH report noted that three new cases of stray bullet injuries were tallied in Mandaue City, Naga City, and Taguig City.

A 65-year-old male from Mandaue City got hit by a stray bullet on his left leg while he was walking on the street.

In Naga City, a 40-year-old male was hit by a stray bullet on his left leg while he was urinating just outside their house.

Also, a 17-year-old male from Taguig City was hit in the back by a stray bullet while he was inside their house and is currently admitted at the Rizal Medical Center.

“To us, this is already worrisome because stray bullet injuries are already rising,” said Ona.

He reiterated the DOH’s call for those in possession of firearms to restrain themselves from firing their guns to celebrate the New Year.

“This may bring fun to us by firing our guns but let us also think of the harm it may cause to others. Please, let us not ruin this very special week,” said Ona.

Meanwhile, there is no new case of firecracker ingestion reported in the last 24 hours and remains at one.

The DOH also reported that there remains to be no death reported ahead of the New Year revelry. (HDT/Sunnex)

Local news

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