Davao Region up Vs Novel Coronavirus

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Everyone enjoyed Christmas holidays but not until the eve of the Chinese New Year when news broke off about the deadly 2019 Novel Coronavirus or nCoV.

The virus which originated in Wuhan-China has claimed 160 lives with about 6,000 people infected according to the World Health Organization (WHO). It  continuously spread and is now considered a public health international emergency.

Todate, 17 countries such as Thailand, Australian, France, US, South Korea, Germany, Nepal, Canada, Cambodia, Singapore, UAE, Ski Lanka, Malaysia and the Philippines have been affected.

The country was even scared when Health Secretary Francisco Duque on Sunday confirmed the death of a 44-year-old Chinese national earlier tested positive of nCov.

The death of the Chinese national is the first recorded casualty outside China.

On Saturday , President Rodrigo Duterte  has expanded the Philippine government’s ban on travelers to cover any person coming directly from China, Hong Kong, and Macau within the last two weeks.

Salvador Panelo made the announcement on Sunday, February 2, saying the ban exempts Filipino citizens, but will cover any person regardless of nationality and would take effect immediately.

The DOH assures us that every measure is being undertaken to contain the spread of the dreadful virus as well as monitoring and placing in quarantine those showing of symptoms of having nCov.

The virus does not only claim lives, hence its impact on the tourism industry because countries have locked their doors off for tourists from China. The red flag is also up in Davao region as  the Bureau of Quarantine Davao Head Dr. William Dar confirmed the arrival of a commercial airline Xiamen Air at the  Davao International Airport on last Wednesday afternoon, carrying at least 79 Chinese nationals from Jinjian, China.

Lim said the aircraft landed in the city around 12:30 noon and his personnel immediately went outside the aircraft to check the passengers. He said they individually checked the passengers through thermometer to see if these people indicate the symptoms of the 2019 Novel Corona virus.

“So far, wala po kaming na-intercept na mga pasaherong may lagnat o flu like symptoms (So far, none among passengers was intercepted for fever or flu-like symptoms),”  he said. 

Lim said all passengers were tested negative from the symptoms of the said virus. However, despite being negative from the first check-up, those Chinese nationals still went through the thermal scanner at the arrival area and were considered for continuous monitoring. 

The cities/provinces:

Due to the scare, Mayor Al David Uy of  Island Garden City of Samal (IGACoS) has implemented a temporary ban of Chinese and other Asian nationals to tour around the island.

On Friday afternoon, January 31, Uy  convened the local health board to prepare their constituents against the virus. Uy immediately issued the ban because his city is among the favorite destinations of tourists given its proximity from Davao and the lure for sea, sand and serenity at the island’s beaches and resorts.

In issuing the order, Uy emphasized that his city is not ready for such eventuality like the infectious nCoV. “We are not anti-tourist, but we need to exercise caution, because we are not ready for this. We need to adopt a measure to protect our people, and, this is not about race but the health of our local constituent,”  Uy stressed.

It can be noted that IGACoS still lack the facility and its local hospitals are not  equipped with personnel  to handle quarantine and isolation of such fatal virus. However, given the ban, the city government is closely monitoring five Chinese nationals who are still staying in one of the resorts in the island.

Uy also rationalized with the Department of Tourism on the said temporary ban.

Davao  de Oro:

Davao de Oro Governor Tyronne Uy in a statement urged his constituents to be vigilant. “We ask people to avoid crowds and close contact anyone with cold flu-like symptoms. Please do not hesitate to go to your nearest barangay health stations, rural health units, and hospitals if symptoms of the virus persist. Finally, we ask everyone to stay calm but alert. Amping mo sa kanunay!”

Uy immediately  convened the Provincial Local Health Board for a special meeting to tackle the nCoV epidemic in the country.  Governor Tyron directed the Provincial Health Office, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, the hospital chiefs and other concerned offices to be on top of the situation.

In light of the incident, we strongly urge the people of Davao de Oro to observe vigilance. We ask people to avoid crowds and close contact anyone with cold flu-like symptoms. – Governor Tyrone Uy. -photo courtesy: Tyrone Uy

Davao City:

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte in a statement said the city has been closely coordinating with the Department of Health and other national government agencies on what measures to take to prevent and control the spread of the virus. 

Duterte stressed, “We have placed health standards to avert the feared spread of the virus. People showing symptoms and have been suspected as possible cases were closely and properly monitored by our health professionals trained to handle these cases. We call for sobriety and ask the public to stop spreading misinformation, which could only aggravate the situation.”

Davao del Norte:

Although there is no reported case yet, health authorities convened on Friday to layout plans as part of aprovincial contingency measure. A coordination meeting was held with  Dr. Mitzie Lou C. Osabel, head of the Infectious Disease Specialist and  Head of Infection Prevention Control Unit/Head of Surveillance Unit/Head of Emerging Infectious Disease Team of  Davao Regional Medical Center (DRMC), Tagum CHO Monitoring Head Dr. Arnel Florendo and Dr. Joel Padoran,  SP Committee on Health Chairperson.

Davao Oriental

The Provincial Government of Davao Oriental is set to form an inter-agency task force on the novel coronavirus amidst the health crisis that has recently rung an international alarm.

The task force is a response to the directive of the Department of the Interior and Local Government advising all local government units to form a task force “to implement Department of Health protocols and guidelines and extend full cooperation to the DOH and other government agencies to meet the world health emergency.”

Governor Nelson Dayanghirang is set to call a meeting of all concerned agencies to discuss preparedness and proactive measures to stop the spread of the disease. “Our top priority is to ensure the health and safety of our constituents. We will do everything we can to minimize the risk of spreading the virus.”

Dayanghirang called on his constituents to stay calm but vigilant. He appealed to the public not to panic as he urged them to get information only from credible sources. He emphasized that false information will only cause unnecessary panic.

The DepEd

The Department of Education XI has issued a memorandum which encouraged teachers, learners and parents to take precautionary measures to protect them from the virus and that includes the wearing of face masks.

Jenielito Atillo, DepEd spokesperson said the agency does not impose the wearing of face mask but it can be considered one of the precautionary measures.

“We advised all concerned to make hand washing a habit, to always cover one’s mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, to avoid close contact with people who show signs of respiratory illness, drink plenty of water and ensure that food are cooked properly, and, to consult a health facility or authority if symptoms of coughs and cold persist,” Atillo elaborated.

Given all these alerts and preparation, one has to have its own preventive measure, says Duque. The virus is airborne and it is asymptomatic. Though confirmed cases revealed fever, cough and colds, dizziness among their first complaint, it is still not known how to best prevent it. Worse, the medical world has yet to find a cure to the problem.

The World Health Organization, however, has advised everyone to take all necessary precautionary measures. Winter travel is hazardous enough with cold and flu season and the persistent threat of weather woes, and this year’s travelers have an added worry: a coronavirus outbreak in China.

Be informed
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