The city government of Zamboanga has alerted the concerned agencies of the measures to be implemented to prevent the spread of deadly novel coronavirus (nCoV) in the city.
Acting City Mayor Rommel Agan, together with City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer Dr. Elmeir Apolinario, convened Friday, January 24, the members of the health sector and other stakeholders to discuss measures as well as formulate mechanisms amid the reported spread of nCoV abroad.
Agan urged those present in the meeting to revisit existing protocols for responding to SARS/MERS – also of the coronavirus family – cases so that all stakeholders would know their role, responsibilities and tasks.
“When we know our roles and responsibilities based on existing protocols, madali na lang,” he said.
Present in the meeting were Department of Health-IX Assistant Regional Director Dr. Joshua Brillantes, City Health Officer Dr. Dulce Miravite, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines Area Manager Antonio Alfonso, representatives from public medical facilities, military and police forces, airline companies, and the Philippine Ports Authority, among others.
Among the points discussed were the mechanism to identify suspect patients as they enter the city, the provision of isolation rooms to segregate those manifesting any flu-like symptoms, and the timely dissemination of information to allay public worry.
Miravite urged those who traveled to countries with confirmed cases of coronavirus infections and suffer from fever, cough or colds to submit themselves for testing.
She also reminded the public to always observe hygienic practices such as hand washing, drinking enough water, resting and avoiding overexertion, and disinfecting their surroundings, to prevent infection.
The new strain of coronavirus, with epicenter in Wuhan, China, has caused the death of 81 people already.