Palace mum on clamor to compel Garin to wear protective gear | Inquirer News

Palace mum on clamor to compel Garin to wear protective gear

/ 04:26 PM November 19, 2014
Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Following a much-criticized visit of military and health officials led by acting Health Secretary Janette Garin and Armed Forces chief General Gregorio Catapang Jr. to the quarantined peacekeepers on Caballo Island, Malacañang on Wednesday declined to comment on a suggestion of a senator to let Garin wear protective gear when the Senate tackles the budget of the Department of Health next week.

Senate acting Minority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III said that Garin should wear protective gear when she appears before the Senate for the plenary debates on the health department’s budget.

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“Hindi na po kami magbibigay ng komento doon sa proposal nila. (We will not further comment on their [Sotto’s] proposal). What we are stating here, as a matter of fact, would be the protocols that are followed not just by us but also by other countries that are in the process of preparing their countries or at least the countries that already have Ebola cases,” Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a press briefing.

Valte cited views of health experts saying that wearing a protective gear is only necessary when dealing with a patient who have exhibited symptoms of the deadly Ebola virus.

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“Ang akin pong pagkakaalam ay kailangan kapag a health worker is already dealing with a patient who is already infective or infectious meaning nag… meron na pong sintomas ng Ebola.”

“Ngunit kung wala pa daw po, ang aking pagkakaintindi, at hindi ho dahil ako ‘yung nagsasabi at dahil ho doon sa mga ekspertong nakakausap din po natin, hindi daw po kailangan ‘yung PPE (personal protective equipment),” Valte reiterated.

(As far as I know, a health worker needs to wear protective gear if he is dealing with a patient who has already contracted Ebola or has shown symptoms of the virus. But according to health experts we have consulted, wearing PPE (personal protective equipment) is not necessary when talking to a patient who is not exhibiting symptoms.)

In a statement, Garin said that she visited the peacekeepers last November 16 to show to the public that the troops should be feared and to ensure that their medical needs are met.

“It is also my duty to allay the fears of our Peacekeepers and help address their medical concerns. We held a discussion with our soldiers and answered the questions they raised,” Garin said.

RELATED STORIES
Senators uncertain how to face Garin 

Palace defends Garin, Catapang visit to quarantined peacekeepers

Garin’s Caballo visit called ‘careless misjudgment’

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TAGS: Ebola, Gregorio Catapang Jr., Janette Garin, peacekeepers, Vicente Sotto III
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