Spike in dengue cases places Isabela town under state of calamity
MANILA, Philippines – The town of Echague in Isabela province has been placed under a state of calamity as dengue cases increased dramatically, Mayor Francis Faustino Dy said on Friday.
“As of last week no’ng nagdeclare po kami ng state of calamity, umaabot na po kami ng mahigit 300 plus, tapos ‘yong mga namatay namin na kababayan ay dalawa po,” Dy said in a radio interview with Radyo Inquirer.
“Actually 64 barangays po ang bayan ng Echague, isa lang po ang barangay na bukod tangi na walang dengue outbreak, ‘yong farthest barangay po namin ‘yong Barangay San Miguel,” he added.
According to Dy, the decision to declare a state of calamity has been decided upon during an emergency meeting, practically because the Department of Health (DOH) had set certain parameters before a dengue outbreak can be declared in a city or municipality.
Dy claimed they decided not to wait for these parameters before taking action.
“Kailangan bago daw po mag-declare ng outbreak mayroon silang tinatawag na threshold, hindi pa po namin abot ito, kaya nagdeklara na lang kami ng state of calamity dahil hindi ko rin kaya na […] mag-antay pa ng threshold para lang mag-declare ng dengue outbreak,” Dy said.
“Kasi nga po no’ng mga past few weeks po halos araw-araw na po kaming dinadayo ng aming mga kababayan na nangangailangan ng pang-ospital, lalo na ng dugo,” he added.
In July, a national alert due to dengue was declared by the DOH, due to a rapid increase in regional cases. Then recently, on August 6, the whole country was placed under a national epidemic due to the massive increase in cases and deaths caused by dengue.
Dy said that they have already used P5.5 million of the calamity funds to purchase medicines for the dengue patients. But aside from the funds, he also assured that local officials including those from the barangays are conducting clean-up and spraying operations to eliminate dengue-carrying mosquitoes.
“Ang pinupuntahan po ng aming mga kababayan ay ang district hospital po located sa bayan ng Echague, at ganun rin po ‘yong sa may Santiago City, dyan po napupuno ang mga dengue cases ngayon,” he said. /jpv
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