Gatchalian says DOH remiss in handling nCov problem

Published February 7, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Noreen Jazul

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said the Department of Health should have been “prudent” in handling the 2019 novel coronavirus situation.

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)
Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian
(Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)

In an interview with CNN on Thursday, Gatchalian said the health department should have advised President Duterte to curb flights from Hubei province when news of the virus started “coming out.”

“The President is not a doctor, he will rely on experts to advise him in this particular case, this is very technical and medical in nature, the DOH should have been prudent,” the senator said.

Gatchalian said the DOH has also been “slow” in its “prevention” and “response” to the virus.

“You have two million Chinese nationals going into the country, these should have been a red flag already within the DOH system,” the senator said.

“The first instance [that we had detection, there] should be immediate travel ban, to curb the influx of potential carries into our country,” he added.

The senator reiterated that it was the DOH’s “responsibility” to advise the President on matters concerning the virus.

Gatchalian said the nCoV situation showed that the country’s capability to address “potential national crisis” needs to be “strengthened.”

“This should have not happened, we should have taken precautionary measures by reducing the flight or banning flights from China,” he said.