The City Health Office (CHO) here urged Bacolodnons to disclose travel information and report to health authorities if they have signs and symptoms associated with the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
Dr. Grace Tan, spokesperson of the city's inter-agency task force against nCoV, made the call on Monday afternoon as the CHO received a report that two individuals considered as suspected nCoV cases are now isolated at the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital in this city.
The two male patients, who are tagged as persons under investigation or PUIs, include a 43-year-old Canadian expatriate who has traveled to Taiwan, and a 12-year-old with a history of travel to Hong Kong and Macau.
However, the two are not residing in Bacolod, although they are from areas within Negros Occidental.
Tan said that PUIs are those who manifest signs and symptoms, have history of travel to affected countries, and exposure to a confirmed case.
If the person satisfies these criteria, and goes to a hospital, he or she will be considered a PUI for admission. A swab sample will be taken (from the person). It will be sent to the (Research Institute for Tropical Medicine) in Manila for confirmation, she added.
There are no cases in Bacolod, but we appeal to the public not to withhold information if you have history of travel to China, Macau, Hong Kong, Taiwan and any neighboring countries, Tan said.
She also urged those who have signs and symptoms within 14 days after arrival to see a doctor or go to a hospital for check-up.
According to the Department of Health, common signs of coronavirus infection include flu-like and respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, and breathing difficulties.
If you withhold information, health authorities will find it difficult to trace and contain (the situation), Tan said.
We don't have to panic, but we need to be vigilant when it comes to receiving information. There are so many false information coming out that cause people to panic, she said.
In Bacolod, Mayor Evelio Leonardia created last Friday the inter-agency task force against nCoV to properly address the rapidly emerging health threat, create a standard protocol in dealing with the threat of nCoV, and coordinate with the national and local crisis management committees in addressing the epidemic.
Source: Philippines News Agency