Firecracker blasts, stray bullets hurt 207 persons – DoH

January 1, 2012 2:51 am 

MANILA, Dec. 31 – Illegal firecrackers blasts and stray bullets have already injured 207 people during the past seven days (Dec. 21-30), the Department of Health (DoH) said Saturday.

Health Assistant Secretary Enrique Tayag said of the 207 injuries, eight were caused by stray bullets and two by ingestion of “watusi.”

Tayag said they expect the number of injuries to rise as superstitious Filipinos bid goodbye to a year of natural disasters and economic uncertainties.

"Doctors are waiting with surgical saws, bone cutters and drills in case your fingers need to be amputated," Tayag said.

Many government and private hospitals nationwide, including East Avenue Medical Center (EAMC), Armed Forces Medical Center (AFPMC) Zamboanga City General Hospital (ZCGMC) and St. Lukes Medical Center in Quezon City were on full alert, their emergency rooms staffed with trauma doctors for the expected influx of injured revelers.

Tayag said they have gone to extremes to discourage dangerous celebrations. The health department has shown gory pictures of mangled hands and eyes in posters in the past but the violent tradition has continued.

Instead of lighting up dangerous firecrackers, Tayag urged Filipinos to troop to public squares to watch colorful fireworks. (PNA) RMA/JCA

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