Spread awareness on Covid-19, universities, state colleges urged

TO RAISE awareness on the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), universities and state colleges in Cebu Province are encouraged to issue regular updates through their medical-dental departments.

The Provincial Board (PB) passed a resolution on this during its regular session Monday afternoon, Feb. 17, 2020.

The measure was filed by PB Member Thardo Jovito Ouano (Cebu, 6th district), who heads the committee on public safety, peace and order.

“In view of the emergency nature of the outbreak as declared by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Department of Health (DOH), and by placing the entire Province of Cebu under a state of emergency, there is a necessity for all institutions to adopt prevention and monitoring measures, especially educational institutions and other institutions drawing the most number of patrons,” Ouano said.

Under the resolution, the school’s medical-dental department may issue a health bulletin containing “reliable” information and regular updates regarding Covid-19.

The health bulletin must be posted on bulletin boards in every college, department and office in the campus.

College heads and university administrators are also advised to intensify cleaning of high-touch surfaces and restrooms within school premises.

An individual suffering from a common cold, cough or fever may be advised to immediately consult a doctor or the school physician.

They are also advised to practice proper hygiene and coughing etiquette as well as observe all other measures issue by the DOH.

Infected Filipinos abroad

In a press briefing in Malacañang on Monday, Department of Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Eduardo Meñez announced that 16 more Filipinos were found positive for Covid-19 in Japan over the weekend, bringing the total number of infected Filipinos on board mv Diamond Princess cruise ship to 27.

Meñez said all 27 are crew members of the cruise ship, which is currently under quarantine in Yokohama, Japan.

“Everyone has been brought to the hospital for better care,” Meñez said.

He said the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo is coordinating with the relevant Philippine and Japanese government agencies as well as with the WHO, the Princess Cruises and the manning agency to make sure that the needs of the infected Filipinos are met and to facilitate their eventual return to the Philippines.

Meñez said the technical working group (TWG) of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease were set to discuss the situation of the Filipinos on board the ship in a meeting later in the afternoon.

The TWG will present its recommendations to the task force on Tuesday, Feb. 18.

“Of course, nothing will move without the clearances of the Japanese government and I understand that some countries have already repatriated (their citizens),” Meñez said. “But, as you know, most of the people that we have are crew members (of the ship) so we will await the recommendations of the technical working group with regard to the labor and immigration requirements before they can be sent home,” he added.

As of Sunday, Feb. 16, the Japanese government said a total of 355 people on board the ship were found positive for the virus.

The ship is carrying more than 3,700 passengers and crew, of whom 1,219 were tested. The 14-day quarantine period will end on Wednesday, Feb. 19.

Meñez said the Filipinos on board the ship could not be repatriated before Feb. 19. Whether those in the hospital will be cleared to go home is still not known, he added.

Aside from the 27 Filipinos in Japan, one Filipino in the United Arab Emirates has developed symptoms of Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

No Filipino in China has been found positive for the virus.

As of Feb. 16, the WHO reported 51,857 laboratory-confirmed cases of Covid-19: 51,174 in China and 683 in 25 countries.

The death toll as of Sunday was 1,666 in China and three outside China, including one in the Philippines. (RTF / MVI OF SUNSTAR PHILIPPINES)


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