DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The regional head of the Department of Health has asked the public to stay calm as there has been no case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (nCoV) detected on the island so far.
Speaking to media on Thursday, Dr. Annabelle Yumang said that no patient has tested positive for 2019 nCoV despite the entry of individuals from abroad.
He clarified that there are eight Persons Under Investigation (PUI) admitted in the hospital with one person already released and currently under home quarantine in the region.
The authorities have already reactivated the Inter-agency Task Force to ensure active coordination of the local government units and all other agencies of the government in combating the possible spread of the virus.
“Under the inter-agency task force, we have talks on the proper coordination especially on the matter of transportation of patients, locating those who came from abroad and other matters,” said Dr. Yumang.
DOH XI now calls on all individuals who travel abroad and later on, who experience symptoms of the disease, to immediately coordinate with their barangay health centers or in any hospitals for proper tests and medications.
Dr. Yumang explained that the Bureau of Quarantine determined whether a person coming from areas reported having nCoV is sick or with cough and colds upon its arrival at the Davao International Airport. If the person exhibits symptoms, he or she will be considered as a PUI and will immediately place under quarantine in the hospital.
While those individuals who have exposure in areas reported to have nCoV and do not have the manifestation of the virus upon arriving in the airport will surrender their yellow card to the authority. The yellow card contains information about the passenger for monitoring.
Hoarding of masks
On Tuesday, Councilors Pamela Librado- Morata and Jessica Bonguyan have filed separate resolutions on the reportedly hoarding of surgical masks.
In her resolution, Librado-Morata has urged the city government to provide for a monitoring mechanism that would investigate the sudden shortage of surgical masks.
She has also called on the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to monitor and regulate the pricing of masks that reportedly higher than the usual price of P2.00 per piece.
“This is to ensure that health workers and patients, who need it most, including dialysis and cancer patients, have available and affordable masks for their urgent use,” she said.
The resolution also includes the call for big pharmaceutical companies to produce and mass distribute surgical masks to all barangays in the city as part of their corporate responsibility.
Councilor Bonguyan, in her resolution, also raised concerns that many profiteers are taking advantage of the situation as the public demand to purchase more surgical masks increases.
She also requested a report from DTI on their monitoring as she said local pharmacies are regulating the sale of surgical mask due to nCoV and the recent Taal Volcano eruption.
“I believe that the urgency of this matter necessitates that we must act wisely, cautiously and most importantly, quickly. After all, time is of the essence,” Councilor Bonguyan said.
Business as usual
Councilor Nilo Abellera Sr., who heads the committee on trade, commerce and industry, said the city constantly is visited by businessmen especially those coming from Japan and China, despite the nCoV scare.
On Wednesday press conference, Councilor Abellera said many Asian investors inquire on investment opportunities in the city, including thoseinquiring into the city’s capacity to produce tropical fruits for export in Japan and China.
“(There has been) a lot of visits from investors as Davao remains the business haven of Mindanao. They are eager to know if we can facilitate the production of mango and coconuts,” said Abellera.
The councilor said that regardless of the concerns of possible couriers of nCoV arriving in the city, the council will still do its job in facilitating and exploring possible business relationships abroad.(davaotoday.com)