By Genalyn Kabiling
There is no cause for alarm as the government is prepared to deal with the outbreak of the coronavirus in the country, Malacañang told the public Friday.
After two more coronavirus cases have been reported in the county, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the government has readied health protocols to contain the spread of the virus in the country.
“There will be measures, which are already established protocols. In other words, there is no need for alarm or worry because we are ready. From the very start, we already said that,” he said in an interview with reporters at the Palace.
Panelo likewise guaranteed that the government has been transparent in giving updates about the coronavirus situation in the country. He made the comment after Taiwan and Australia first reported about their virus-hit nationals after traveling from the Philippines.
“We should all be transparent because it affects all of us,” he said. “We can’t please all people all the time but the government is doing its job.”
The country has two new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total of cases to five.
The Department of Health reported that the latest case involved a 48-year-old male Filipino with travel history to Japan. Another case involved a 62-year-old male Filipino with hypertension and diabetes but had no recent travel history.
Health authorities have initiated contact tracing for the two cases.
According to Panelo, the Palace trusts the competence of Health Secretary Francisco Duque in dealing with the latest health situation. He noted that Duque, who served as Health Secretary during the Arroyo administration, is a “very efficient” public servant.
Panelo also said health authorities have managed to keep the virus at bay for a long time while other nations were grappling with the rise of cases of the coronavirus.
“’Yung local transmission ngayon lang. Ang tagal din, ah. Samantalang ‘yung iba, ilang daan, libo na nga (The local transmission is only now. We had none for so long while other countries had hundreds, thousands of cases).
“Sinabi ng experts hot temperature tayo tapos malinis pa ang Pilipino. Mahilig maligo, mag-wash ng hands, magtakip ng ilong kahit walang sakit (Experts said the country has a hot temperature and Filipinos are known to be cleanly, take frequent baths, wash their hands, and cover their noses even if they are not ill),” he said.
He also said the World Health Organization has commended the Philippines’ effort to prevent the coronavirus from further spreading.
On any new travel restrictions on coronavirus-hit places, Panelo said this will depend on the decision of the government’s inter-agency task force overseeing efforts to address the health emergency.