Chinese docs’ advice to Filipino peers: Diagnose COVID-19 patients ASAP, protect health workers | Inquirer News

Chinese docs’ advice to Filipino peers: Diagnose COVID-19 patients ASAP, protect health workers

/ 07:13 PM March 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A group of Chinese doctors have advised their counterparts from the Philippines to continue testing people for possible COVID-19 infection and to protect people directly contacting confirmed patients.

During a video conferencing between the doctors from the two countries on Tuesday, Filipino doctors asked the Chinese of their best practices to minimize the spread of the latest coronavirus strain, which is believed to have originated in Wuhan, China.


Some parts of the conversation were done in Mandarin as some of the Filipino physicians had Chinese lineage, but the messages in English from the Chinese doctors were clear: possible COVID-19 patients should be diagnosed

“The most important thing is to do all your diagnosis and all your isolations.  That means you do that as soon as possible when you’ve found the patients,” a female Chinese doctor said.


But aside from that, the Chinese health experts also encouraged Philippine officials to protect people who are attending to COVID-19 patients, like doctors and health workers.

“So the strategy is to protect the people who have a high risk (of contracting the disease) such as doctors, and who has very immediate interaction should wear a mask,” she added.

One of the Filipino doctors acknowledged the suggestions, but reasoned out that they cannot detect cases immediately due to limitations.

“Since you mentioned that it is important for us to detect cases early, and it is also important for us to protect ourselves.  But the present problem that we have right now is that we do not have adequate test kits, and number two, we do not have adequate personal protective equipment,” the Filipino doctor noted.

As of now, the entire of Luzon is still under an enhanced community quarantine, which President Rodrigo Duterte placed due to rising COVID-19 cases.  The Department of Health said that there are already 552 confirmed cases in the Philippines, 35 of which have already died while least 20 have recovered.

In China, cases and deaths have appeared to slow down, although experts are still on guard for a possible second wave of infections.

READ: Luzon now under ‘enhanced community quarantine’ – Palace


READ: DOH: Coronavirus cases in PH leap to 501

However, some of the casualties include doctors who are taking care of patients, like the Philippine Heart Center’s Dr. Israel Bactol and Dr. Raul Diaz Jara.

READ: ‘Young trainee with a bright future’: PH Heart Center doctor succumbs to COVID-19

READ: Frontline cardiologist fighting COVID-19 dies–PHA

Worldwide, over 370,000 COVID-19 cases have been recorded, while 16,228 patients have died, and another 97,677 patients have recovered.

Several sectors have called for the protection of healthcare workers as they are heavily exposed to the latest coronavirus strain.  Others meanwhile have asked for mass testing for doctors and nurses, and in communities with reported local COVID-19 transmission.

READ: Set aside part of additional budget for health workers, mass testing – CHR

READ: Zarate: Gov’t COVID-19 response should include whole PH, not just Metro Manila

The COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus that first emerged in China’s city of Wuhan in Hubei province in late 2019.

The International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses named the novel coronavirus as SARS-CoV-2.

Coronavirus is a family of viruses, which surfaces have a crown-like appearance. The viruses are named for the spikes on their surfaces.

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