CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- "Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital (JBLMRH) is prepared in case novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) reaches the province."
Medical Center Chief II Dr. Monserrat S. Chichioco bared this during the Novel (New) Corona Virus Preparedness Orientation held at JBLMRH, a government hospital in Central Luzon, last Thursday, January 23.
Chichioco said the JBLMRH has medical personnel who underwent trainings in preparation for any virus outbreaks.
"They are not just the emergency medical team, they are Chemical, Biological, Nuclear, Radiologic (CBRN) trained personnel," Dr. Chichioco said.
She also mentioned that they are still bound to train more staff to create a workforce that can efficiently handle patients who exhibit flu-like symptoms.
Individuals who are suspected of having 2019-nCoV will be referred by their respective municipal health officers to JBLMRH for further observation in the isolation area or in a well-ventilated single room.
They will be transferred to JBLMRH via ambulance with trained CBRN personnel wearing complete protective equipment, such as N95 masks, fluid resistant gowns, goggles, and gloves.
When asked if they have personnel deployed at the Clark International Airport, Chichioco said: "We have this fever detector. Once a fever is detected from an arriving passenger, the quarantine personnel will hold that person for further examination."
She also added that Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) personnel were trained on how to handle suspected patients.
Clark airport is one of the passageways of people coming into the province from areas with confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV.
Aside from this, Dr. Walter Rivera, pediatrician and medical specialist, advised the public to practice good health and proper hygiene to reduce their risk of infection.
"Sa public, h'wag po tayong magpa-panic. As of now, wala pa naman tayong confirmed cases ng coronavirus sa Pilipinas. Kailangan lang nating pangalagaan ang kalusugan natin (Don't panic. As of now, the Philippines has no confirmed novel coronavirus case. We need to protect our health)," he said.
Meanwhile, the Provincial Government is now working in coordination with the JBLMRH to strengthen measures against the new virus.
Angelina Blanco, special assistant to the governor, assured that the Provincial Government of Pampanga, headed by Governor Dennis Pineda, will be cooperating with JBLMRH in case there is a suspected case of novel coronavirus.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Mar Jaochico, Dr. Joy Aiza Sombillo, Anna Rose Mariano, RMT, and other health officers in the region were also present during the orientation.
The 2019-nCoV is a temporary name for the new virus that originated in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. It is a coronavirus, which is a family of viruses, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
As of January 23, the World Health Organization has recorded a total of 581 confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV: 574 in China, four in Thailand, one in Japan, one in the Republic of Korea, and one in the United States of America. (PR)