DOH intensifies ops in areas badly hit by Taal’s ashfall
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) has augmented the medical supplies in its regional offices in Metro Manila and Calabarzon to be distributed to residents affected by the phreatic or steam-driven eruption of the Taal Volcano.
“We have sent drugs, medicines such as eye drops and asthma medication, medical supplies including N95 and surgical face masks, collapsible water containers and jerry cans, water purification tablets, and hygiene kits to Calabarzon and the National Capital Region [NCR],” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a statement on Tuesday.
He added that additional logistical support will also be delivered today.
According to Duque, the DOH Central Office was placed on Code White Alert to maintain its coordination with the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, and DOH Centers for Health Development (CHD) in Calabarzon and Metro Manila.
All health personnel were also placed on standby for possible deployment.
The DOH had already deployed personnel to 139 evacuation centers in affected areas and will continue to conduct rapid health assessment in different municipalities in the region, said Duque.
Meanwhile, Code Blue Alert, which requires half of all hospital personnel to report for duty to provide medical assistance and services, has been raised in DOH CHD in Calabarzon, including all its hospitals.
Duque said the center is also closely coordinating with member agencies of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management. He added it has also activated the health response cluster, conducted disease surveillance, and procured N95 face masks and medicines for respiratory ailments.
“We are continuously monitoring the developments of the eruption and will respond to the health needs of the people. We advise people with asthma to wear the N95 mask, while those not suffering from respiratory ailments may use dust or surgical masks,” said Duque.
“Those who experience eye irritations or difficulty in breathing should seek immediate consultation at the nearest health facility for proper treatment,” he added.
Edited by JPV
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