By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Malacañang assured the public that the Department of Health (DOH) has measures in place to prevent the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the Philippines.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo made the statement as the virus continued to affect people even outside Wuhan, China, the reported origin of the disease, and raising the death toll to 56 while infecting nearly 2,000 people.
In a radio interview Sunday, Panlelo said that the DOH was prepared in case the virus reaches the country.
“Ang sabi ni Secretary [Francisco] Duque ‘pag nagkaroon ng pagkakataon na manganib na, na mag-spread ‘yan sa ating bansa, ay meron silang gagawing protocols para hindi maging malaganap ang ganoong virus sa atin (Secretary Duque said that if the virus reaches the country, they have protocols so it won’t affect many people),” he said.
“Hindi ko lang alam ang (I do not know the) specific steps. But definitely we will be undertaking measures to prevent the spread, as well as to secure the health and safety of our country,” he added.
The Palace official, meanwhile, said they understand if Filipinos in affected countries would decide to stay despite the threat of the deadly virus. The 2019-nCoV has spread to at least 11 other countries.
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“If they feel that they are safe, hindi mo mapapaalis yun doon kasi livelihood nila yun. Tsaka siyempre yung lugar na pinagtatrabahuhan nila meron ding mga ginagawa ang mga authorities doon para hindi kumalat (We can’t ask them to come home because of their livelihood. I’m sure the authorities, wherever they are, are doing something to prevent the spread of the virus),” Panelo said.
He, however, advised Filipinos in countries with confirmed cases of the 2019-nCoV to follow the measures being implemented by the host government.
“Kung ano yung mga precautions na binibigay ng mga local authorities gagawin nila para hindi sila magkasakit (They should follow whatever the local authorities are telling them so they won’t get sick),” Panelo said.
“At the same time, siyempre yung personal na gagawin ng isang tao sa isang lugar kung kailan merong kumakalat na disease, eh dapat siya na mismo sa sarili niya ang gagawa (they should also take care of their health),” he added.