DOH ensures gov’t readiness for coronavirus pandemic declaration from WHO

Maris Federez

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) has ensured the public that the government is ready any time the World Health Organization (WHO) declares a coronavirus pandemic.

This is besides the fact that the WHO has reported that the Philippines is among the nine countries that did not register to have new cases of COVID-19 in the past two weeks.

The WHO, however, said the government should not be complacent in this kind of situation.

“I don’t think the threshold has been reached to say that a pandemic is merely happening because I don’t think it should be entertained at this point.  We have a decreasing PUIs, only 30 and an increasing number of negatives and hopefully, that trend continues. So far, the way it is, our preparedness readiness is adequate,” DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III said.

The DOH chief further said that the Inter-Agency Task Force (IAFT) is not discounting the possibility of a local or community transmission of the virus.

The health official added that the country is following an international protocol in case of any declaration of a pandemic which is classified to different levels.

This includes incident planning and the right response or action or management in the event that cases of COVID -19 increase.

Duque also said that, to date, public hospitals are still in code blue alert, assuring the public that there is enough number of medical workers who are capable to conduct prompt response to possible COVID-19 cases.

He further assured that all medical workers are ready in case code red alert is raised due to local transmission or pandemic declaration.

Duque said that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) gave the assurance that enough supply of medical masks will be delivered weekly to the public hospitals.

“We have the commitment by the DTI that the manufacturing company in Bataan Export Processing Zone has committed 200,000 weekly for the DOH,” Duque said. — (from the report of Aiko Miguel) /mbmf

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