Solons want efficient health screening, surveillance amid coronavirus scare
MANILA, Philippines — Bayan Muna representatives on Thursday called on the Duterte administration to implement efficient health screening and surveillance measures amid threat of the new coronavirus strain.
Bayan Muna Representatives Carlos Isagani Zarate and Ferdinand Gaite said individuals and groups from areas infected by novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV should be screened and monitored.
Zarate said the government should ensure that people would not fall into paranoia because of the disease.
“We already dealt with this type of situation before when SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), killed nearly 800 people mostly from mainland China and Hong Kong in 2002-2003 and this was so close to the Philippines but we were able to contain it,” Zarate said.
“We should ensure adequate preparations- supplies, medicines, facilities, adequate personnel and budget like when we dealt with SARS so as to restrict its entry in the country and contain it if it does,” he added.
Meanwhile, Gaite said mechanisms should be in place in the event that the disease manages to enter the country.
“Tulad sa disaster sa Taal (Like the disaster in Taal), we need adequate preparations and effective response and we hope that they are now in place,” he said.
The virus, which originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, has reportedly killed 17 and infected more than 500 people in China alone.
Cases have also been reported in other countries such as the United States, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that the disease could likely spread to other countries as well.
The health department here in the Philippines, meanwhile, is still waiting for the results on the specimen from a five-year-old Chinese boy who arrived from Wuhan in China to Cebu City on January 12.
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