QUEZON CITY, Philippines, Jan 24 (PIA) -- The Department of Health (DOH) - Mimaropa on Thursday, January 23, assures the public that the Mimaropa Region remains free of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), this was after a rumor regarding the alleged case in Coron, Palawan circulated in the internet.
On a press release, the Department of Health Center for Health Development (DOH CHD)-Mimaropa tagged the rumor as "unverified".
Health workers from Coron were alarmed on January 22 by a post from a private doctor circulating on social media saying, "Just saw two young women... a Russian and a young oriental who I thought was Filipina. The young Russian came in for a sore throat. Upon further questioning... I found out they were from WUHAN, CHINA."
Following this, the local government of Coron immediately validated the report and invited the Doctor and the two foreigners who sought for the doctor's consultation, for a thorough case investigation in close coordination with the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU).
DOH CHD-Mimaropa Regional Director Mario Baquilod said that there is no reason for panic, but encouraged the public to empower themselves with correct and timely information.
The 2019-nCoV is a respiratory illness that was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China which continues to spread outside the said country. It can be transmitted from animal to person or infected human to others through air and/or close contact.
According to DOH CHD-Mimaropa, common signs of coronavirus infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In severe cases, it can cause pneumonia, acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.
Director Baquilod encourages the public to keep their immune system strong against 2019-nCoV and practice basic healthy behavior like hand washing and proper cough etiquette.
Baquilod also made an appeal to travelers who are experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness to go to the nearest hospital to seek consultation especially those who came from places with reported case of 2019-nCoV.
Director Baquilod also added that they will release memorandum to all health facilities in the region to ensure its preparedness in terms of human resource, isolation facilities, laboratory supplies, and reporting system.
They will also coordinate with all the airports and seaports for the posting of health advisories and other Information, Education and Communication materials to provide correct information to travelers coming in and out of the region.
"Although there are currently no vaccines available against human coronavirus, there are ways to prevent the risk of infection by regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, keeping the immune system strong, and avoiding close contact with people showing cold or flu-like symptoms," Dir. Baquilod said. (PJF/PIA-Mimaropa)