Solon asks DOH to enforce protocol on ‘Black Death’
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – A legislator here has called on health officials to install measures to ensure a deadly disease from China would not find its way to the country.
Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, of this city’s second district, has issued such call following reports that two people infected by the bubonic plague died in China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region recently.
Rodriguez said the Department of Health (DOH) and port authorities must put in place necessary mechanisms to prevent the possible entry of the dreaded disease in the country, considering the number of Chinese nationals arriving in the Philippines daily.
“We have to tighten our quarantine (measures) against Chinese coming from the affected region of China,” Rodriguez said.
He said the Duterte administration must request the Chinese government to enforce their own quarantine in the communities where the disease – known to have caused the so-called Black Death, which killed 50 million people in Europe in the 14th century – was discovered and they should be isolated by imposing a protocol to prevent the spread of the disease.
“We should keep a close watch,” Rodriguez said.
The Bureau of Immigration said a total of 3.12 million Chinese citizens entered the country from January 2016 to May 2018.
Further, Rodriguez said the Chinese government must also request the World Health Organization to send its experts to China to help them contain the plague.
Based on historical accounts, while the bubonic plague, then known to have caused Black Death, wiped out 50 million people in Europe, small number of cases have been reported in the United States, some parts of Asia, South America, and Africa in modern times, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A Forbes article quoting Dr. James Shepherd, an associate professor of internal medicine at the Yale School of Medicine, said chances of the plague reaching global pandemic proportions like what happened in the Middle Ages had been “close to nil.” Authorities say the plague can be transmitted through flea bites from infected animals, primarily wild rodents like rats, prairie dogs, squirrels and rabbits, and possibly human pets like cats and dogs.
Edited by KGA
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