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No Deaths, Lower Injuries Recorded from New Year Revelry

MANILA, Philippines—There were no deaths in the New Year revelry, but 413 injuries were recorded from the period of December 21, 2012 to January 1, 2013, according to the latest statement issued by the Department of Health (DOH).

Of the total injuries, 404 were fireworks-related, eight were from stray bullets, and one from firework ingestion.

Of the fireworks-related injuries, 219 (54 percent) used prohibited firecrackers. Most of the recorded injuries this year came from using Piccolo (148, 37 percent), Kwitis (57,14 percent), and an unknown firework (50, 12 percent).

Most injuries recorded also came from the National Capital Region (241, 58 percent) with Manila recording 97 injuries or 40 percent, Quezon City with 50 or 21 percent, and Valenzuela with 18 or 7 percent.

According to these results, more males (324 or 80 percent) were injured than females. Half of those who sustained injuries from stray bullets were females whose age range from 20 to 60 years old.

The most affected age bracket is 6-10 years old (116, 29 percent). More injuries (237 or 68 percent) were recorded to have occurred in the streets, while 204 of 50 percent were said to be active users.

As for injured adults 20 years old and above, 39 (or 20 percent) had previous history of drinking alcohol while using fireworks.

Those who sustained blast/burn injuries without amputation were 344 (85 percent), from eye injuries were 51 (13 percent), and from blast/burn injuries with amputations were 15 (4 percent).

According to DOH, this year’s figure is 17 percent or 85 injuries lower than last year’s statistics, which recorded 498 injuries then. Of these, 476 were fireworks-related, 18 were from stray bullets, and four from firework ingestion. This year’s figure is likewise said to be 12 percent or 54 injuries lower than the previous five-year average.

Daily tally is said to continue till January 5.

While DOH secretary Enrique T. Ona has expressed his “optimism that the final tally will be significantly lower than last year based on early observations of less crowded hospitals in the past 24 hours, shorter duration of fireworks use across Metro Manila, simultaneous offerings of firework display and musical concerts playing to huge crowds and thinner veil of post-New Year smog,” he also underscored, “It is too early to conclude that we had a better campaign this year based on this report alone.”

Nevertheless, he said, “We thank everyone for their efforts, however, small, to make this year’s campaign a seeming success. We share this success with the local governments, other government agencies, civil societies, church groups, and the media.”

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