MANILA, Philippines – A 36-year-old male patient in Tacloban City is now under observation for potential signs of novel coronavirus, the Department of Health (DOH) revealed Friday (January 24).
The patient, who traveled from Wuhan, China, showed symptoms of nCov upon his arrival in the Philippines on January 17.
Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo, however, clarified that it is still too early to conclude that the man is infected with novel coronavirus.
The DOH is keeping a list of all individuals from China who sought medical tests relative to the outbreak of novel coronavirus.
Among them is a two-year-old toddler from Aklan.
The DOH clarified, however, that the toddler showed symptoms not worse than an ordinary flu.
Meanwhile, the DOH said they are expecting the release of the confirmatory test on the patients’ blood samples by next week.
The samples are now being tested at the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory in Melbourne, Australia, including that of the 6-year-old Chinese boy in Cebu who was first to be observed for nCoV infection.
At present, the World Health Organization (WHO) is not yet considering the situation a global health emergency.
Also, the Philippines is still technically free of novel coronavirus pending the confirmatory tests from Australia.
Nonetheless, Health offices across the country remain on alert against possible entry of the nCoV given the Philippines’ proximity to China.
Authorities are warning the public to refrain from travelling to China and always wear masks especially airport personnel as they are the first to have contact with arriving passengers from other countries. MNP (with details from Aiko Miguel)
Tacloban City LGU preparing for the expected landfall of Tropical Depression Usman
TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines – The local government of Tacloban City will open 71 evacuation centers prior to the expected landfall of tropical depression ‘Usman’ on Friday (December 28).
Aside from this, Brando Bernadas of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (CDRRMO) confirmed that the LGU has prepared at least 5,000 food packs for families who will be affected by the cyclone as part of the LGU’s preparedness efforts.
“Nag-target tayo based on historical profile ng 5,000 families na ma-affected ng emergency evacuation operation natin. Hindi malakas ang bagyong ito pero ano’t ano pa man naghahanda tayo para sa displacement ng 5,000 families,” the Tacloban CDRRMO head said.
Bernadas added that the city’s emergency operation center has already been activated.
All emergency response equipment is in position while emergency responders are already on standby and will be on duty until ‘Usman’ departs from the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR).
“Ina-anticipate natin kasi kung Eastern Samar ang target matatamaan din ang Tacloban ng buntot ng bagyo at minsan mas malakas pa dito kaysa sa sentro,” Bernadas said.
Residents, meanwhile, preferred to pack their things ahead of the notice from the local government.
They said they will leave right away once the evacuation centers open especially if strong winds and high waves begin to manifest.
“Kapag lumakas na ang hangin lilikas na kami doon sa paaralan tapos hinahakot na namin ang aming mga gamit,” Anibong resident Susan Bituin said.
“Natatakot ako siempre baka magaya noong (bagyong) Yolanda. Ang mga gamit namin wala na rito, naka-safety na. May mga damit na lang kami na isusuot pero iyong iba safety na,” resident Purisa Dela Peña.
The local government constantly reminds residents to be alert and heed to authorities’ call so as not to be harmed by the upcoming cyclone. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Archyl Egano)
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