The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday disclosed that the number of firecracker injuries recorded from Dec. 21 last year to Jan. 5 totaled 630 cases.
"This is 319 cases or 34 percent less than the five-year average (2011-2015) and 292 cases or 32 percent less compared to the same time period last year," health department Undersecretary Gerardo Bayugo said during a press briefing held at the DOH media relations unit in Tayuman, Sta. Cruz, Manila.
Of the 630 cases, 627 were from lighting firecrackers while three were cases of firecracker ingestion.
Most of the fireworks-related injuries came from the National Capital Region (NCR) with 340 cases; followed by Western Visayas with 78, and Central Luzon with 47, Bayugo said, noting that in the NCR, Manila led the cities with 112 cases, followed by Quezon City with 76, and Marikina City with 27.
The only city in Metro Manila with a zero casualty is Muntinlupa. "We're happy to say that Muntinlupa did a good job," he said.
Bayuga expressed alarm that more than half or 351 of the total were children less than 15 years old. "This is similar to what we have seen in the past. The distribution is almost the same -- 54 percent last year. I think it's now 56 percent," he said.
He further attributed most of the injuries to the banned 'piccolo', which accounted for about 192 or 31 percent of the total number of cases, followed by the 'kwitis', 'luces' and 'five star'.
The department recorded 513 blast injuries that did not require amputation (compared to 775 last year), 115 eye injuries (126 last year), and 19 blast injuries that required amputation (33 last year).
Bayugo reported that 81 percent of those who lighted firecrackers and were injured were male, and most of the cases occurred on the street, and a third at home.
"That is why we're still pushing for a community fireworks display," he said.
The monitoring, led by the DOH's Epidemiology Bureau, was done by 50 sentinel hospitals, with help from other national government agencies, local government units, non-governmental organizations and advocates.
Source: Philippines News Agency