DOH: Hospitals in CALABARZON on code blue alert due to Taal eruption

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 13, 2020   •   202

Hospitals in CALABARZON region are in code blue alert due to the Taal volcano eruption, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

“Aside from those na naka-duty (Aside from those [health personnel] on duty) 50% of those who are not on duty are now deployed and are working,” according to Health Department Spokesperson Usec. Eric Domingo.

The health department already distributed N95 masks, eye drops, water disinfectants, and medicines in the CALABARZON region.

They also advised the public to remain in their homes and stay updated with the latest health advisories about the Taal eruption.

Domingo said they will remain on high alert for a possible increase in lung and eye disease cases caused by the exposure to volcanic ash.

One of the possible lung diseases include silicosis which cannot be easily detected by doctors. Domingo said inhalation of ashfall can cause inflammation and scarring of the lungs.

“Iyong kasing ibang ash particles mayroong silicon kapag na-inhale mo siya papunta sa lungs mo pwede siyang mag-deposit doon at pwedeng mag- accumulate (Some ash particles contains silicon. When inhaled, can accumulate in the lungs),” he said.

He also reminded the public to wear N95 masks, for those in severely affected areas, and surgical masks for those in Metro Manila. —AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

DILG to affected LGUs, residents: Be prepared for any eventuality

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 28, 2020

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) reminds residents and local government units (LGUs) of areas affected by the Taal eruption to remain vigilant despite the lowering of alert level from 4 to 3.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said that even the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said that residents in the Taal area should still be on guard.

“The crisis is not over. It’s over when there is no longer any alert level,” he said. “Maging handa at listo pa rin tayo sa ano mang puwedeng mangyari para masiguro ang kaligtasan ng ating mga kababayan, (Let us remain alert and vigilant on what might happen to ensure the safety of our fellowmen)

Año also said residents outside of the 7-km danger zone may return to their respective residences and places of work subject to clearance from their respective Local Government Units.

“Based on your sound discretion, you may advise residents, communities, and owners of business establishments, particularly those outside the 7-km Danger Zone, that they have the option to return, but must be prepared for a quick and organized evacuation at such time that the alert level will again be raised,” he said to the various LGUs.

Meanwhile, the DILG Secretary said entry into the Taal Volcano Island’s Permanent Danger Zone is strictly prohibited.

Based on reports from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), a total of 102,443 families were affected by the Taal eruption in the provinces of Batangas, Quezon, Laguna and Cavite and a total of P3.352-billion worth of damage to infrastructure and agriculture was incurred in Batangas, Laguna, and Cavite.—AAC

DOH: 11 patients under investigation for suspected novel coronavirus

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 27, 2020

The Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed that 11 patients are under investigation for suspected novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the Philippines.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the 11 patients under investigation have a history of travel to Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the virus.

Based on the DOH, two of the 11 patients are in Metro Manila, one in MIMAROPA, three in Western Visayas, one in Eastern Visayas, three in Central Visayas and one in Northern Mindanao.

Duque said all the patients under investigation are being closely monitored. He also reiterated that there are still zero confirmed nCoV cases in the Philippines.

“There shouldn’t be any cause for alarm. Just because we flashed the areas where the PUIs come from, it doesn’t mean those areas are infected with the novel coronavirus, because there’s none. We keep harping the fact that there is none—still zero as of today,” he said.

DOH Epidemiology Bureau officer-in-charge Chito Avelino said the five-year-old patient in Cebu has already been discharged, while the others are already in the process of being released.

The DOH also reminds the public to practice good hygiene to prevent the risk of infection from any virus.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

PH Navy donates relief goods to Taal victims

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 27, 2020

The Philippine Navy (PN) donated P700,000 worth of relief goods to the municipality of San Luis in Batangas on Sunday (January 26).

According to the Philippine Navy, three evacuation sites where identified for the distribution of the relief goods: San Isidro Labrador Parish Church in Brgy. Poblacion, Taliba Evacuation Center in BrgyTaliba and San Luis Academy in Calumpang West.

Around 4,000 relief goods were given to the evacuees in the three said areas which include a pail, 1 kilo of rice, assorted canned goods, food packs, bottled waters and personal hygiene kits.

Other relief goods from various organizations were also distributed.

“150 mattress foamS from Uratex Company and dozens of various relief items from other PN stakeholders were also distributed in this activity,” according to the Philippine Navy.

Philippine Navy Flag Officer In Command Vice Admiral Robert A. Empedrad said he wants to ensure proper assistance is provided by the Philippine Navy before he retires. Empedrad will be retiring from office by next week.

“We are always willing to assist our stakeholders as we assure everyone that your Navy is always ready to serve in every situation and that you can always count on us,” he said.—AAC

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