Majority of the firecracker-related injuries during the New Year revelry were recorded in Metro Manila, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Wednesday.
Data from the DOH show that there are now 599 firecracker-related injuries—589 from actual firecracker injuries, mostly from piccolo, one firecracker ingestion and nine casualties from stray bullets.
Of the 599 cases, 138 were recorded in Manila, 64 in Quezon City and 26 in Las Pinas City.
Assistant Health Secretary Eric Tayag said that 161 individuals sustained firecracker-related injuries in a time frame of 12 hours—6 a.m. Dec. 31 to 6 a.m. Jan 1.
The DOH obtained its reports of casualties in Metro Manila mostly from three government hospitals—Tondo Medical Center, East Avenue Medical Center and Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center.
So far, the number of casualties in 2013 was 43 percent higher compared to casualties in the same period the previous year. However, the 2013 injuries were “milder,” the DOH noted.
The DOH said that despite the increase in casualties, their anti-firecracker drive has been effective to an extent, as a number of Filipinos have decided to use alternatives to firecrackers such as air horns.
In 2012, firecracker-related injuries at the same period stood at 419—409 from actual firecrackers, one firecracker ingestion and nine from stray bullets, the agency added.
The DOH started recording casualties last Dec. 21 and will continue to make the compilation until January 5.
Health Secretary Enrique Ona has expressed his desire to spearhead the move for a total ban on firecrackers after the holidays. PNA