Malacañang asks public to remain calm as PH confirms first nCoV case
Robie de Guzman • January 30, 2020 • 688
MANILA, Philippines – In light of the first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the country, a Malacañang official on Thursday urged the public not to panic and to keep calm as necessary precautionary measures are being taken to prevent the disease from spreading.
“We as the public not to panic and to remain calm as the government, especially the Department of Health (DOH), is on top of the situation,” Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said in a statement.
“We would like to assure them that the relevant health, research, and law enforcement agencies are working together to prevent the disease from spreading,” he added.
Andanar also assured that the DOH is in constant coordination and collaboration with health and research authorities in Australia, Japan, and China on implementing necessary undertakings on the matter.
“In fact, with the help of our counterparts in Japan, we are now capable of detecting and diagnosing 2019-nCoV-infected patients on our own,” he said.
He also said that government agencies have intensified their containment measures and that necessary precautionary measures are in place to address this health concern.
“With the continuous inflow of travelers coming from affected areas in China, we will continue to conduct necessary stringent customs, immigration, and quarantine measures to prevent the disease from spreading within the country,” he said.
Andanar also assured that authorities will continue to coordinate with Chinese officials for the repatriation efforts for Filipinos in China.
A coronavirus hotline will also be created to assist the Filipinos there.
He also called on the public to observe all health and preventive advisories issued by the DO, as well as practice proper hygiene and cleanliness in order to prevent the likelihood of contracting the virus.
“Please remain vigilant and coordinate with your local barangay health centers should you observe symptoms associated with the 2019-nCoV,” he said.
The DOH earlier confirmed that a 38-year old Chinese woman is the country’s first confirmed case of 2019-nCoV.
She arrived in the Philippines from China on January 21, and sought treatment for her mild cough on January 25.
MANILA, Philippines — National Task Force Against Covid-19 chairperson and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Sunday (May 24) said that Metro Manila may possibly be placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) in June.
With this, Metro Manila residents may expect more relaxed quarantine restrictions to be implemented next month.
Lorenzana said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has been discussing the readiness of the capital region for it to be transitioned to GCQ from the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).
“More likely mag-gi-GCQ na tayo by June 1,” the defense chief said.
He added that areas that still have novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases will remain under their control.
“Ang pinag-uusapan namin sa IATF, eh mag-GCQ, pero ‘yung mga areas na meron pa ring… mga infection baka ‘yun na lang ang ikontrol ng konti,” Lorenzana said.
The areas that will be placed under GCQ are those that are considered to be at low risk of COVID-19. With this, more industries will be allowed to operate.
Lorenzana insists that although recorded COVID-19 cases has been going down everyday, quarantine measures must remain to prevent the second wave of the infection.
“We would like to impress in our people ‘yung self-discipline, para masanay sila na ito na ‘yung new normal, na social distancing, wearing of face mask, sanitation,” the official said.
Task Force Against Covid-19 Chief Implementer Carlito Galvez, Jr. has earlier mentioned about the planned “zoning concept” or the measure that will limit the implementation of a lockdown in an area based on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases. —(with details from Victor Cosare) /mbmf
Malacañang on Thursday (May 21) clarified that the Philippines is still experiencing the first wave of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), contrary to the statement of Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III.
The Palace apologized for the confusion and worry brought by Duque’s statement and said there were varying interpretations of the data.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque insisted that the country is still in the first wave of the COVID-19 infection.
“Nagpapatuloy po ang first wave. Katunayan, nagpatuloy ito sa buwan ng Pebrero na may kaunti kasi na na-report at lumobo sa buwan ng March. Patuloy pong lumobo iyan hanggang sa buwan ng Mayo, kung saan nakikita natin ngayon na bumababa na (The first wave continues. In fact, it continued from February, with few reports, and ballooned in March. It continues to increase untilMay, where we can see there is a decline),” he said.
Roque also said Duque did not go through the protocol to inform President Rodrigo Duterte regarding the interpretation of the second wave.
However, the Palace official said the varying of opinions is not of importance and the government, including the public, should focus on how to prevent a second wave of COVID-19 infections.
“Ang importante maiwasan po ang pagbalik ng malawakang numero ng magkakasakit sa COVID-19. Nagkakaisa po ang gobyerno na gagawin ang lahat ng hakbang upang maiwasan ang second wave (What’s important is, we prevent another increase in the number of COVID-19 cases. The government is united in doing everything to prevent a second wave),” Roque said. –AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)
The World Health Organization expressed concern on Wednesday (May 20) for the rising number of new coronavirus cases in poor countries, even as many rich nations emerge from lockdown.
The global health body said 106,000 new cases of infections of the novel coronavirus had been recorded in the past 24 hours, the most in a single day since the outbreak began, as the total number of cases world-wide approached five million.
Speaking at a news conference, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that two thirds of those cases had come from just four countries.
The WHO has come under fire from U.S. President Donald Trump, who accuses it of having mishandled the outbreak and favouring China. This week Trump threatened to withdraw from the WHO and permanently withhold funding.
Tedros acknowledged having received a letter from Trump, but declined to comment further.
In comments that could annoy Trump further, the head of the WHO’s emergency programme, Dr. Mike Ryan, told the press conference that people should avoid using the malaria medicine hydroxychloroquine, except for conditions it is proven to treat. Trump has said he is taking hydroxychloroquine to prevent coronavirus infection.
Tedros said he was committed to accountability. The WHO has announced a review into the response to the pandemic, which emerged in China late last year.
“WHO calls for accountability more than anyone. It has to be done and when it’s done it has to be a comprehensive one,” he said of the review, while declining to give a timeline for it starting. (Reuters)
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