Davao health office ready for MERS-CoV

THE Department of Health (DOH) in Davao said it is fully equipped to prevent the spread of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) although no single case was reported in the region yet.

"Unang-una, meron tayong direct order from DOH Secretary Janette Loreto Garin to conduct intensified trainings and orientations for our partner agencies," said DOH-Davao Director Abdullah B. Dumama Jr.

He said representatives from their partner agencies will undergo retraining and reorientation on handling MERS-CoV and even the Ebola virus.

The Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), which has been tasked to handle MERS-CoV and Ebola cases, is also on the process of expanding its building for additional isolation rooms and quarantine rooms.

Dumama also said that they requested some 1,000 personal protective equipment (PPE) from DOH-Manila for health workers to use while attending to these contagious diseases.

"The PPEs will arrive within two weeks. This is to protect our medical personnel from direct contact with patients who may have been infected. I hope, walang magkaroon ng MERS-CoV dito though we are very prepared," Dumama said.

The DOH-Manila earlier confirmed the first documented MERS-CoV case in the country, a Filipina nurse who was about five weeks pregnant from Saudi Arabia.

The Filipina nurse has been confined in a negative pressure room at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM). She is in a stable condition and under observation by the DOH.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that as of June 15, the Republic of Korea has reported 150 laboratory-confirmed cases and 15 deaths.

"The outbreak, which started with the introduction of MERS-CoV infection into the country by a single infected traveler, was amplified by infection in hospitals and movement of cases within and among hospitals," the report said.
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