MANILA – With 17 additional cases reported as of 6 a.m. Wednesday, the number of firecracker-related injuries reached 148 on the ninth day of the Department of Health’s (DOH) “Iwas-Paputok Injury Reduction” campaign.
So far, no additional case of stray bullets has been recorded and fireworks ingestion is still in zero level based on the reports submitted by DOH’s sentinel hospitals.
“The 148 cases recorded so far was 68 cases or 31 percent lower than the five-year (2010-2014) average and 28 cases or 16 percent lower than the same period last year,” said DOH spokesperson Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy.
From the total number of cases, 120 or 83 percent involved children less than 14 years old. Of them, 110 suffered hand injuries.
There were 14 eye and head injuries through the firecrackers.
A total of 107 injuries were caused by piccolo, a banned firecracker which is attractive to children. This kind of firecracker, which looks like a match, is sold by pieces in sari-sari stores.
Other firecrackers used by igniters included “kwitis,” Five Star, and other less-known types.
By area, the National Capital Region (NCR) is the topnotcher so far with 67 cases. It is followed by Region V (Bicol) with 27 cases; Region XI (Davao) with 15; Region IV-A (CALABARZON), nine cases; Region XII (SOCCSKSARGEN), seven; Region I (Ilocos Region) and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), six cases each; Region VI (Western Visayas), fives cases; Region III (Central Luzon), three cases; and Regions II (Cagayan Valley), VII (Central Visayas) and VIII (Eastern Visayas).
In the NCR, the most number of cases was recorded in Manila with 22 cases. It is followed by Quezon City with 16 cases; Mandaluyong, nine cases; Las Pinas, five cases; and Paranaque, four cases.
The comparative firecracker-related injuries surveillance started since Dec. 21 which coincided with the declaration by the DOH that all its retained hospitals and facilities are placed under Code White Alert status.
Under Code White, the hospitals and its personnel are ordered to be ready in receiving patients and the equipment as well as logistics are also prepared to provide immediate response to any health eventualities.
The DOH has been continuously calling on the public to refrain from using illegal firecrackers and instead choose to celebrate through safer alternatives such as other noise-making materials, parlor games, street parties, videoke singing and watching fireworks displays initiated by the local government units.