The Provincial Health Office (PHO) based here has directed the 14 governmentrun hospitals of the province to monitor patients who have flulike symptoms amid the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019nCoV) outbreak in neighboring countries.
We have reminded them of the protocols that needed to be implemented just like when there was outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome and Middle East respiratory syndrome viruses. Patients are monitored starting at the emergency room. They should also trace the patient's history of travel, said PHO chief, Dr. Anna Ma. Teresa de Guzman in a forum Tuesday.
The Dasol Community Hospital, Bolinao Community Hospital, and the Western Pangasinan District Hospital are being strictly monitored as these are health facilities catering to coastal areas of the province, she said.
Although China has already ordered lock down, we anticipate that some Chinese fishermen will still sail in the West Philippine Sea, where they may encounter fishermen from the coastal areas of western Pangasinan. So we asked health officials there to orient the fishermen on how to avoid possible acquisition of the virus, she added.
De Guzman said frequent and proper hand washing is still among the best ways to prevent spread of any virus.
We should always practice hand washing and to do it properly. We should sing 'happy birthday song' as we wash our hands, washing should be that long. Use soap and clean water, and wash even the inbetween of the fingers, she said.
When coughing, she added, a person should cover his mouth with a handkerchief or towel. But if a person used his or her hand to cover his or her mouth while coughing, hand washing is again advised.
Let us refrain from besobeso (cheek to cheek greeting) or even handshakes (especially if a person is already sick) so as not to spread the bacteria or virus, de Guzman said.
She added that avoiding contact with exotic animals, such as bats and snakes, is also advisable.
Drink a lot of water since with a dry throat, a person could easily be infected by bacteria or viruses. If flulike symptoms appear, go immediately to the nearest health center or hospital, de Guzman said.
According to the Department of Health, as of Tuesday noon, there are a total of 27 patients under investigation and no confirmed case of the 2019nCoV in the country so far.
Source: Philippines News agency