Thu, 02 Apr 2020

Regular handwashing, key to avoid COVID-19 ' DOH 10

Philippine Information Agency
28 Feb 2020, 10:38 GMT+10

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Feb. 27 (PIA) - Dr. Ian Christian Gonzales, head of the Infectious Disease Cluster of Department of Health (DOH)-10 cited handwashing regularly is the most appropriate means to avoid contracting Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

During the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC)-10 full council meeting in Cagayan de Oro City, he recommended HANDS: H-andwashing regularly; A-void crowds and wild animals; N-ever cough without a handkerchief or tissue; D-o wear mask only if sick or in health care settings; and S-eek early consultation.

Worldwide, COVID-19 cases reached to 81,109 with 2, 761 deaths. As of 26 February 2020, case fatality rate is at 2-4 percent.

Philippines has only three confirmed COVID-19 cases, all contracting the disease in China and one died due to some complications.

In the region, all persons under investigation (PUIs) tested negative for the COVID-19.

The Philippines is also spending for the repatriation of OFWs.

Dr. Gonzales said, "We already have repatriated 32 OFWs coming from Wuhan City, China and Thailand. They are quarantined in a village in New Clark city. They have completed quarantine and none of them were positive."

As of Feb. 25, DOH has repatriated around 445 Filipinos. Dr. Gonzales said the government handled all the expenses during quarantine period.

The DOH-DILG-DOT came up with a joint statement on public gathering, which says "It is safe to organize and attend public gatherings, meetings and festivals as long as all precautionary measures are observed."

Dr. Gonzales explained it is still safe to conduct public events as long as precautionary measures such as environment sanitation like provision of hand sanitizers are given.

The pushing for or cancellation of activities lies in the discretion of the local government unit (LGU).

The DOH also issued guidelines of the prevention and control of the disease at hotels, schools and workplaces.

He added that guests and workers in hotels should be screened on symptoms and travel history.

The Department of Education (DepED), on the other hand, shall decide when to suspend classes, he said, adding

"each government agency has the capacity to contribute."

He reiterated, the response for this outbreak is not only a health concern but it requires the whole of government or whole of nation approach.

He also urged the body to get information on COVID-19 and other health concerns from the DOH and World Health Organization (WHO) only. (JMORucat/PIA10)

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