DOH after first confirmed 2019-nCoV case: Stay calm and remain vigilant

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 31, 2020   •   480

The Department of Health (DOH) reminded the public to stay calm and remain vigilant after the department confirmed the first case of the 2019 novel coronavirus in the country.

In a press briefing on Thursday (January 30) Secretary Francisco Duque III assured the public that the Health Department is on top of the situation.

“I urge the public to stay calm and remain vigilant at all times,” he said. “Let us continue to practice good personal hygiene and adopt healthy lifestyles.”

Duque also said he will strongly recommend to the Inter-agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease a temporary restriction on travelers from the entire Hubei Province in China.

Five patients have already been discharged, while 23 are still under investigation.

Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, meanwhile, advised the public to remain calm, assuring that “the relevant health, research, and law enforcement agencies are working together to prevent the disease from spreading.”

“We have also intensified our containment measures and the necessary precautionary measures are being taken to address this health concern,” he said in a statement. —AAC

Apple to re-close more stores in seven states, bringing total to 77

UNTV News   •   July 2, 2020

REUTERS – Apple Inc said on Wednesday (July 1) that it would re-close more than two dozen stores in seven states, including its home state of California, bringing the total closures to 77 as coronavirus cases continue to rise.

Starting Thursday (July 2), stores will close in Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, and Oklahoma.

As of Wednesday, additional stores had already closed in Florida, Mississippi, Texas, and Utah.

Apple has taken an city-by-city approach to opening and closing stores, evaluating data for each community.

In cities where stores remain open, Apple requires face coverings for employees and customers while also performing temperature checks and frequent cleaning, the company said.

Apple has said its retail employees will continue to be paid through the closures. (Production: Angela Moore)

Deployment of Barrio Doctors to Cebu City now voluntary – DOH

Marje Pelayo   •   June 30, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) has changed its decision of mandatory deployment of barrio doctors to Cebu City, the new epicenter of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), following opposition to its planned augmentation of healthcare workers to the city.

On Monday (June 30), the DOH Region 6 in Western Visayas issued an order temporarily suspending the deployment of 40 rural doctors to the virus-stricken city.

 The Regional Office maintained it will not lift the suspension unless concerns and issues raised by the healthcare workers and stakeholders are settled.

The DOH confirmed the action of its Regional Office in Western Visayas thus it decided to commission barrio doctors who will be sent to private hospitals in Cebu City on a voluntary basis after discussions with other DOH Regional Offices and hospital management in Western and Central Visayas. 

“Meron naman tayong ipapadala kaya lang hindi na iyong nailista namin na pangalan. Voluntary na iyong magiging proseso [We will be deploying a team but not those who we previously listed. The process will now be voluntary],” confirmed DOH Undersecretary and Spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire.

“So among all of these DTTBs (Doctors to the Barrios) who are willing and amenable to these types of arrangements they are the ones who are going to be deployed to Region 7,” she added.

The DOH clarified that the main tasks of the augmentation force do not include surgery and other critical care functions that are assigned to resident doctors in Cebu.

Hindi sila ilalagay sa mga areas na like operating rooms. Iyong mga may specialization na kailangan [They will not be assigned in areas like operating rooms but only those who have the needed specialization],” Vergeire explained.

“They would be supplemental to the Triage area. Sa mga outpatient units doon sila ilalagay [They will be assigned in the outpatient units],” she added.

Deployment of rural doctors or those under the ‘Doctor of the Barrios’ will be every two weeks.

They will be given two week rest every time they return to their localities to complete the required quarantine period. MNP (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

Manual disinfection still more effective than UV light devices—DOH

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 26, 2020

The Department of Health (DOH) cautions the public against using ultraviolet light devices to disinfect against coronavirus.

DOH Spokesperson Usec. Rosario Vergeire said the World Health Organization (WHO) only recommended the use of UV light devices as a disinfectant for healthcare facilities.

Ang mga devices na gumagamit ng ultraviolet ay angkop sa health care settings. Ibig sabihin ay ginagamit lamang po ito sa loob ng mga ospital and clinics (The devices that use ultraviolet light are appropriate for healthcare settings. Meaning it can only be used in hospitals and clinics),” she said.

She added that there are no sufficient research or evidence that prove UV light devices are more efficient in disinfecting surfaces against viruses. The DOH reiterated that manual disinfection is still more effective.

Hindi po ito replacement sa manual na paglilinis at pagpupunas at pagtatanggal ng mga contaminants mula sa mga environmental surfaces, (This is not a replacement for manually cleaning and removing contaminants from environmental surfaces), Vergeire said.

The Health Department also warned that misuse of UV lights might cause skin or eye irritation, and increased risk of cancer. The department also reminded the public to use sufficient amount of alcohol or bleach to disinfect surfaces. AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)


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