By Chito Chavez
Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte on Thursday reminded the public and barangay officials anew to be wary of fake news pertaining to the novel coronavirus (nCoV).
She issued the statement amid claims that nCoV has reached the locality with false reports that the city’s hospitals are now filled with nCoV infected patients.
For the nth time, Belmonte clarified there are no confirmed nCoV cases in the city, but said the city is ready in case of any eventuality.
She also urged the public not to spread rumors or fake news about nCoV so as not to cause undue distress, chaos, and panic.
In the admitting section of the East Avenue Medical Center (EAMC), Cesar Santos opted to transfer his 85-year-old mother to a hospital in Plaridel, Bulacan, instead of having her operated on for a fractured leg at EAMC.
Santos said that despite assurances that EAMC has no nCoV cases at present, he decided not to take the risk, noting that “his family wants to have peace of mind.”
“Maybe the nCoV scare in Quezon City might be untrue, but we want to make sure that my elderly mother gets full medical attention without fear of contracting the nCoV disease. Transferring her to another hospital with no reported nCoV disease would give us peace of mind rather than having to worry if indeed the news is fake or not,” Santos said.
Santos stood firm on his decision despite assurances that Quezon City has remained nCoV free contrary to false reports, as attested by Belmonte.
With this, Belmonte asked barangay officials and the public to report persons sharing fake news about nCoV as this causes unnecessary and baseless panic.
Belmonte also ordered barangay officials to report immediately if any individual in their areas shows signs of nCov symptoms by calling the 122 hotline so that the proper disposition of the case can be made.
She also said the city government has closely coordinated with the Department of Health (DOH) and standard protocols are strictly adhered to by the city.
Aside from having close coordination with state-run hospitals in the city, Belmonte said city health officials have regularly met with private hospital owners to discuss salient matters and be prepared in case nCoV reaches the city.
Belmonte also noted the city’s 80 frontline responders and logistics personnel of the QC Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office are on alert after undergoing preparedness training in the proper use of personal protective equipment, proper handling of patients, and proper disposal and disinfection of equipment.