The regional office of the Department of Health (DOH) in Davao Region assured it has ramped up preparedness measures against the potential spread of 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the region.
In a press briefing on Monday, DOH-11 Director Annabelle Yumang said they are closely coordinating with local authorities to intensify surveillance and monitoring on potential Covid-2019 cases.
Yumang also asked the public to “keep calm and be vigilant,” and to refrain from sharing unverified and unofficial information that may only cause unnecessary panic.
“We urge the public to avoid crowded places. Continue to practice proper hygiene by frequently washing their hands with soap and water very frequently and practice proper coughing and sneezing etiquette as well as proper disposal of tissue,” she said.
She also assured transparency from DOH, saying the agency will provide regular updates on the dreaded viral disease.
Meanwhile, DOH officials also assured the region’s preparedness in terms of handling confirmed Covid-19 cases.
Dr. Leopoldo Vega, medical center chief of Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), said the government-run hospital is well-equipped to respond to positive Covid-19 cases.
“SPMC is well equipped and can facilitate if there were positive cases reported in the city. We have the necessary doctors and infectious disease consultants. We have trained our personnel in terms of preparedness,” Vega said.
Vega said necessary contingency measures such as procurement of disinfectants have already been in place.
“As to the preparedness of our facility, we have a depressurized isolation facility equipped for emerging and re-emerging infections. It can accommodate about eight to 10 patients who are under investigation of Covid-19,” he added.
He said SPMC will soon deploy a real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machine that can detect Covid-19 cases, adding they are only waiting for the reagent kits from the DOH central office.
DOH-11 has already cleared 23 of the 24 patients categorized as patients under investigation (PUI) since January.
Vega said that they are waiting for the result of the laboratory test for the PUI who is currently admitted at the SPMC isolation facility.
“Rest assured that the patient is okay and we have no case of Covid-19 in the city,” he added.
He also advised Dabawenyos not to spread false information regarding the disease.
“If you cannot provide solutions, don’t be a part of the problem,” Vega added. (PNA)