DOH-Northern Mindanao: Focus not on Ebola

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Thursday, August 21, 2014


A DEPARTMENT of Health (DOH) official in Northern Mindanao region said the Ebola virus, which has been claiming lives in some countries in Africa, “should not be given attention because it is far-flung from the Philippines.”

“Dili dapat i-prioritize kay wala pa man nakasulod sa atong nasud. (It should not be prioritized because it has not entered the country yet),” DOH-Northern Mindanao information officer Emiliano Galban Jr. said over the phone Thursday.

He advised the public not to worry about the virus because entry ports are secured by the government already.

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“The country’s entry points are already secured, especially the airports. There are machines already that can monitor the passengers who will set foot in the country. As for the sea, in the Philippines, we do not have international shipping here, only domestic ones,” Galban said.

Recently, the government in Liberia is in clash with the people because of its move on setting quarantine to avoid further infections of the Ebola virus. The country recorded the most new deaths, as fatalities from the world’s worst outbreak rose to 1,229. Liberia has 2,240 cases of people infected.

The epidemic is a hemorrhagic disease that can kill up to 90 percent of those infected.

The virus has spread in the West African states such as Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Nigeria. Its easy proliferation is caused by the virus’ characteristic as being airborne.

The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) is asking help from DOH in the awareness campaign on the Ebola virus.

In a television interview, MIAA general manager Jose Angel Honrado said the awareness campaign is not meant to alarm the public, the passengers or the airport workers.

Honrado sought for frontline personnel who will include the airline and ground handling staff, Customs and immigration officers, doctors, bridge operators, janitorial personnel and public relations staff.

The DOH in Western Visayas has also been securing sea ports where overseas Filipino workers from Ebola-stricken countries enter.

Galban said that the DOH in Northern Mindanao will issue an advisory if the virus has already reached the entry ports.

“We, from the DOH-10 (Northern Mindanao), will only quarantine, that is basically our job. Sa Manila na nang pag-secure,” he said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 22, 2014.

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