MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) said on Monday the number of firecracker- and bullet-related injuries surpassed the 100-mark on the seventh day of the nationwide surveillance and monitoring since Dec. 21 by the DOH-Epidemiology Bureau.
A total of additional 30 victims was added to the previous 81 cases, bringing the total number to 111 as of Monday morning.
Of the total number of cases, two were caused by stray bullets. The first victim was reported in Bayambang, Pangasinan, while the second was a 21-year-old male from Manila who was hit by a stray bullet while walking in the street.
The latest victim suffered abrasion on his shoulder and was brought to the Ospital ng Maynila.
Stray bullet incidents tallied by the DOH has a discrepancy from the records of the Philippine National Police (PNP) because the DOH takes into account only the occurrence of incidents connected with the Christmas and New Year revelries.
On the other hand, the PNP is recording all cases that involve firing of guns and other related crimes involving firearms.
According to DOH spokesperson Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy, based on their analysis, the 111 cases as of Monday was 67 cases or 38 percent lower than the five year (2010-2014) average that they had recorded.
“It is 42 cases or 27 percent lower compared to the same period last year,” Dr. Lee Suy said.
However, despite the decreasing trend of injuries compared with the previous years, the fact that the low number of cases started to rise as the New Year celebration nears and after the Christmas Day revelries, Lee-Suy said there is a need for more parents to guide their children, especially the minors.
“Actually, di kami comfortable sa steady decline, kasi in comparison with the last few days, malaki-laki na rin ngayon ang 27 percent… ibig sabihin, humahabol at napapabalita na madami pa rin ang bumibili ng paputok, despite may mga balita na nagtaas ng presyo, ipinagbabawal and yet madami pa din ang bumibili,” the spokesperson said.
He said that since the ages of the victims range from one to 52 years, wherein the median age or majority of the victims is recorded at 11 years or minors is not a reason to be complacent.
He said that minors need proper guidance from parents because Children cannot buy firecrackers if their parents/caregivers are watching them at the same time on how they spend their money.
The DOH nationwide surveillance on fireworks-related injuries started from 12 a.m. of Dec. 21 and will end on Jan. 5, 2016.
Based on the latest records, 79 percent or a total of 86 individuals sustained hand injuries. Eleven victims suffered eye injuries.
The other victims were injured at their back, chest, head, face, forearm/arm, leg, foot, abdomen and ears.
Of the 109 fireworks-related injuries, 93 or 85 percent involved males.
Majority of the igniters are active, meaning already engaging in igniting firecrackers in the past.
By cause, piccolo, the small match-like prohibited firecracker, remains the top culprit, accounting for 84 of the total injuries so far.
Other firecrackers that caused injuries included kwitis, Sparkler, Five Star and other not very well known firecrackers.
The most number of cases was recorded in the National Capital Region (NCR) totaling 47. Of these, 15 occurred in Manila; 12 in Quezon City; seven in Mandaluyong; three each in Paranaque and Las Pinas; two each in Caloocan, Pasay and Patros; and one in Marikina.
There were 23 cases in Region V (Bicol); 14 cases in Region XI (Davao); seven cases in Region IV-A (Calabarzon); six cases in Region XII (SOCCSKSARGEN); five cases in Region I (Ilocos), four cases in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR); two cases in Region VI; and one each in Regions II (Cagayan Valley), III (Central Luzon), and VII (Central Visayas).