DOH calls for sobriety amid Mers-Cov fears

AMID the first recorded case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome – Corona Virus (Mers-Cov) on Philippine soil, the Department of Health (DOH) called Thursday for sobriety.

Health Secretary Janette Garin, in an interview, said there is no reason for the people to panic since the government is on top of the situation.

"There is no reason to panic. The patient is being taken care of," he said.

She said the DOH is constantly coordinating with other government agencies as part of the inter-agency committee on emerging diseases.

"We will be meeting twice a day for purposes of coordinating kung sino yung may mga tasks, kanya-kanyang trabaho, and kung ano yung kinakahantungan at ano yung mga points of coordination," said Garin.

The health chief said it is important for the public to maintain vigilance and observe the proper safety measures, especially those that are traveling to countries affected by Mers-Cov.

"Nandoon dapat ang pagbabantay, pagiingat sa sarili na kung ikaw ay nakakaramdam na ng ubo, panghihina ng katawan, lagnat, hirap huminga, importante po na magpa-konsulta,” said Garin.

On Wednesday, the DOH reported the first confirmed case of Mers-Cov in the country after a Filipina nurse from Kingdom of Saudi Arabia arrived in Manila last February 1.

Garin said the 32-year-old woman has been found to be about four to five weeks pregnant.

"Dahil buntis siya, pumapasok siya sa category na immuno-compromised dahil mas mahina ang kanyang resistensya kumpara sa pangkaraniwang pasyente at yan po ang binabantayan natin," said Garin.

Because of her pregnancy, the health chief said they expect the patient to stay longer in the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Muntinlupa City.

"Kung mas mababa ang resistensya, mas malakas umatake ang virus o mas may posibidad na tumagal siya ng konti, it depends sa kanyang response," said Garin.

For the moment, though, the patient already has no fever and is in stable condition but remains positive of Mers-Cov, said Garin.

She said doctors and nurses are closely monitoring the patient while the baby is under supervision of an obstetrician.

The patient's husband and mother-in-law, meanwhile, Garin said, are already isolated also at the RITM while awaiting results of their laboratory tests.

Garin said they have also tested 50 other individuals, whom have had encounters with the patient such as those in the clinic she first went to and her other relatives.

"Eto yung mga nakasalamuha niya. Wala pang results and they are now closely being observed. But so far wala naman problema," said Garin.

On the other hand, the health chief said they were already able to contact 63 of the 224 co-passengers of the nurse on board Saudi Airlines Flight 860.

However, Garin said no one has yet to undergo laboratory testing.

"Nalaman na namin kung nasaan sila at ang panawagan namin ay magpatest sila," said Garin. (HDT/Sunnex)
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