MANILA — The Department of Health (DOH) Epidemiology Bureau has recorded a total of 25 fireworks-related injuries (FWRI) as of 6 a.m. of Christmas Day on Friday.

The number was 17 cases more than the eight injuries in the previous four days since Dec. 21, 2015, but 47 percent lower than the same period last year.

Most of the cases were recorded from Region 5 (Bicol) with nine injuries, two of them occurring in San Fernando town, Camarines Sur.

Region 11 (Davao) and the National Capital Region (NCR) have six cases each.

Regions 1 (Ilocos), IV-A (Calabarzon), VI (Western Visayas) and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) have one case each.

Twenty-four cases involved males aged six to 44 years.

Majority of the cases or about 92 percent were hand injuries.

Most of the injured, comprising 96 percent, were active igniters, meaning those who had been igniting firecrackers in the past.

There were two cases that led to eye injuries. One of the igniters was hit in the face.

Still, the top culprit was the “piccolo,” an illegal firecracker that was pinpointed also as the main cause for the injuries recorded in the past years.

Anti-tetanus shot (ATS) or toxoid was provided to the victims in the hospitals which submitted reports to the DOH-Epidemiology Bureau in Manila.

The DOH, through Secretary Janette L. Garin, had earlier reminded the people that in case they will be wounded due to firecrackers, the best protective means to avoid serious complications or even death is to have ATS.

It also reminded on the importance of having the portion of the body hit by the firecracker washed thoroughly and cleaned with continuously running water and soap.

As of Christmas morning, there was no injury or death reported due to stray bullet.

It can be recalled that Secretary Garin has repeatedly called on gun owners to be responsible in using their guns so that no child can be injured or even die due to indiscriminate firing incidents during the Christmas and New Year celebrations.

“Hindi dapat na may bata na natatamaan at may buhay na nawawala… Itago po ito (baril) at gamitin lang kung kailangan, di po kailangang magpaputok ng baril dahil sa pagdiriwang ng kapaskuhan at New Year na darating,” she said.

The DOH started its official countdown and surveillance on firecracker and stray bullet-related injuries last Dec. 21.

The official countdown is conducted annually from Dec. 21 of the current year until Jan. 5 of the succeeding year. PNA/