Makati, Pasig, Quezon City take precautions vs novel coronavirus
As of Monday afternoon, March 9, the Philippines has 20 confirmed cases of the virus.
Public events and gatherings in Pasig City are canceled, and all permit requests for large private events are on hold, Mayor Vico Sotto said on Monday.
On Monday morning, the Department of Health (DOH) said one of the new cases of infection is an 86-year-old American male confined at The Medical City in Pasig. A resident of Marikina City, this patient has preexisting hypertension, and had earlier traveled to the United States and South Korea. His symptoms started on March 1.
Another confirmed case of infection – a Pasig resident – is confined in a private hospital outside Pasig, Sotto said in a post on his official Facebook and Twitter accounts.
It is unclear whether this patient is among those earlier reported by the DOH as being confined in different private hospitals in Metro Manila.
"The [local government] is closely coordinating with the DOH. The hospitals are secure," Sotto said. He enumerated the city's main precautionary measures:
- Contact tracing (identifying people who had contact with the patients)
- Dedicated response teams observing proper protocol in handling suspected coronavirus cases
- Disinfection of public spaces
- Cancelation of all public events and gatherings
- Applications for permits for large private events on hold
Pasig has not suspended classes. "Our approach should be strategic and targeted, following proper health protocols," Sotto told Rappler in a message.
"We must make decisions based on set protocol and guidance from experts in the field, not public opinion or pressure," the mayor said in an earlier social media post.
Mayor Abby Binay confirmed that a Taiwanese man who tested positive for the coronavirus had visited Makati City. She said she immediately instructed the Makati City Health Department to trace all individuals with whom this patient made contact, after the DOH informed her on Friday, March 6, that he tested positive.
Binay already ordered Makati's COVID-19 Task Force to make sure all residents follow the precautionary measures set by the DOH and the World Health Organization. The city government has also been disinfecting schools since February.
"The city's COVID-19 protocols are in place. Should the need arise, we have established an isolation area and placed on alert all response teams. All city agencies under the task force are currently promoting awareness on the virus, with emphasis on proper hygiene," Binay said.
"Meetings have been held with building administrators and the management of establishments, and our health personnel have undergone training on how to handle COVID-19 cases," she added.
COVID-19 is the name of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
Among the coronavirus patients is a 57-year-old male from Quezon City's 1st District. Mayor Joy Belmonte said the patient has had visitors from China, the US, and Davao since December 2019.
This is Quezon City's first confirmed case of infection.
Belmonte has instructed the city's Health Department to conduct contact tracing and containment measures.
Members of the patient's household will be interviewed by the Quezon City Health Department. They will also be put on self-quarantine for 14 days.
The Quezon City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office will also conduct a "refresher course" for Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams in the 1st District. The course will include the proper use of personal protective equipment, and ways to monitor suspected cases of infection. Personal protective equipment will be distributed to barangay first responders. (READ: QC trains health workers, volunteers vs coronavirus)
Careful what you share
In a video posted on Sunday, March 8, Sotto urged people to be very careful about information they share on social media regarding the novel coronavirus.
"Mag-ingat po tayo bago tayo mag-share. Bago tayo magkalat ng mga balita or tsismis, siguraduhin muna natin. Suriin natin nang mabuti 'yung mga impormasyon o datos na nakikita natin kasi baka tsismis lang 'yun. Baka kasinungalingan lang 'yun. Mag-ingat tayo kasi 'pag nagkalat tayo ng hindi totoo, delikado 'yan para sa ating lahat. Magkalat tayo ng katotohanan lang. So tingnan natin sa balita, i-verify natin sa ibang sources," he said.
(Let's be cautious before we share. Before we spread news or rumors, we should verify them first. Let's carefully examine the information or data that we see because they might be mere rumors. They might be lies. Let's be careful because if we spread falsehoods, that's dangerous for all of us. Let's only spread what's true. So let's look it up in the news, verify with other sources.)
Sotto urged those with flu-like symptoms, or anyone who suspects they might have been infected, to immediately notify their local health centers, and have themselves checked. – Rappler.com