Firecracker-related injuries drop in Central Visayas

CEBU, Philippines —   That there were fewer victims of firecracker blasts this year compared to last year means that the public may have finally learned their lesson, the Department of Health said.

DOH-7 reported that there were only 36 cases of firecracker-related incidents this year compared to 50 in 2018. Two cases of stray bullet injuries were also recorded.

The data were taken from December 21, 2019 to noontime of January 1, 2020, according to DOH-7’s injury surveillance report.

Topping the list with most number of firecracker-related injuries is Cebu City (12), followed by Mandaue City (6), Lapu-Lapu City (3), Talisay City (3), and Minglanilla (2).

In Cebu, the cases are broken down as follows: blast/burn without amputations, 24 cases; blast/burn with amputation, one case; and eye injury, two cases.

Bohol recorded four cases of firecracker-related injuries while Negros Oriental had three and Siquior two.

Of the 36 total cases in Central Visayas, 11 were active participants, meaning those who used the firecrackers themselves, while 25 were passive participants, those who did not directly use them.

Most of the injuries, or 21 cases, occurred on the streets while 15 were at home.

Also, two cases of stray bullets injuries came from the cities of Mandaue and Talisay.

According to Dr. Nelner Omus, Medical Officer IV of DOH-7, most of the firecracker victims are not the ones who used the products.

Data showed that a one-year-old child is the youngest victim while a 51-year-old is the oldest victim.

Kwitis is the top cause of the injuries, followed by Piccolo, Lantaka, Whistle Bomb, and Binggala.

Omus said that one of the reasons why the number of firecracker injuries is fewer this year as compared to the 2018 data is their consistent public reminder to avoid the use of firecrackers in greeting the New Year.

Omus added that this year’s two reported cases of stray bullets are still subject to further verification.

Indiscriminate Firing

Meanwhile, the Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO) arrested a security guard for indiscriminate firing that left one person wounded.

The arrest of Percy Cancio was in line with the PNP’s monitoring and intensified security measures for the New Year’s celebration, police said.

“The time when he was on duty, drunk yung security guard, mukhang wala sa hulog yung kanyang pagiging security guard that time,” Police Brigadier General Ildibrande Usana, deputy regional director for administration at Police Regional Office-7, told reporters at a press conference Thursday morning.

“So yung  ini-release niya yung firearm niya, nagpaputok. Natamaan tuloy yung isang inosenteng individual habang naglalaro,” Usana said.

The incident happened a few minutes after midnight of January 1.

Usana said Cancio fired his gun and the bullet ricocheted and hit the victim’s foot. The victim is now undergoing treatment.

Usana said that based on the latest report they received, no more than 10 untoward incidents were reported from December 16 until January 2 in the entire region.

Among these incidents, the Mandaue City case was the only report that involved indiscriminate firing. The rest were believed to be firecracker-related injuries.

With this, Usana said that he commends the effort of the PNP personnel in ensuring security over the holiday season.

“We are still waiting for other reports of the local police but we are so fortunate na wala masyadong insidente, violent man o hindi… In other words, naging tahimik generally ang ating lugar here in Central Visayas  sa celebration ng Bagong Taon,” he said. JMD (FREEMAN)



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