Respiratory problems threaten PDLs inside Bilibid

Marje Pelayo   •   December 10, 2019   •   272

MANILA, Philippines – The maximum compound of the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) has been a home to around 500 persons deprived of liberty (PDL) who are now suffering from symptoms of tuberculosis.

Thus, the International Committee of the Red Cross held a medical mission to check on their conditions.

According to NBP Chief Doctor Henry Fabro, most PDLs are showing signs of tuberculosis and pneumonia which need immediate attention.

“Marami ang may sakit sa baga, TB at pneumonia (Many are contracting respiratory problems like TB and pneumonia),” Fabro said.

“Sinusundan iyan ng sakit sa puso, high blood pressure, sakit sa bato na dina-dialysis natin (Some have heart ailments, high blood pressure, kidney problems who are undergoing dialysis procedure),” he added.

There are around 28,000 PDL inside the NBP and 18,000 of them are inside the maximum compound.

Jail administrators said it is inevitable for them to contract such diseases because of their number inside the facility.

“With that population and with the limited space siempre nagkakahawahan iyan (it’s inevitable for them to be infected as well),” explained NBP Chief PIO Col. Gabriel Chaklag.

“May mga infectious diseases and at the same time some of our PDL are senior citizens so just imagine ang susceptibility nila sa other diseases (Many have infectious diseases and, at the same time, some of our PDLs are senior citizens so imagine their susceptibility to other diseases),” he added.

At present, there are over 160 patients confined inside the NBP hospital suffering from respiratory problems.

The inmates expressed gratitude to the management of the NBP and the assistance of non-government organizations in addressing their medical needs.

“Nagagamot naman din nila. Pero sobrang dami talaga dito ang nagkakasakit (They are able to treat them. But a lot had been really sickly),” said one of the inmates.

“Kaya nagpapasalamat po kami na mayroong mga ganyang x-ray (We’re thankful that, at least, we can avail of x-ray services),” he added.

However, the NBP management still lacks physicians to attend to all the medical conditions of the inmates.

At present, the facility only has six doctors in rotation.

The facility also needs additional equipment like x-rays and ECG machines. – MNP (with inputs from Sherwin Culubong)

Another patient suspected of nCoV in PH dies of pneumonia – DOH

Robie de Guzman   •   February 7, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – One of the individuals tagged as persons under investigation (PUI) for possible novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection died on Thursday, the Department of Health (DOH) said Friday.

In a press briefing, the DOH said the patient died after he succumbed to pneumonia and not of the 2019-nCoV.

“The second PUI death, which was confirmed yesterday (February 6) is a case of pneumonia in a patient with underlying restrictive lung disease,” Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo said.

The first PUI death was an immunocompromised 29-year old Chinese from Yunnan who also succumbed to pneumonia and later on tested negative for the deadly novel coronavirus.

As of Friday noon, the health department said it is monitoring a total of 215 PUIs.

Of this number, 184 are currently admitted and isolated, nine have refused admission, 57 have tested negative for nCoV, 17 have been discharged under strict monitoring, while 155 others are still awaiting laboratory results. 

“We are urging everyone, especially the PUIs who refused admission, to cooperate with the DOH, their local government units and the Philippine National Police (PNP),” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.

“It is our duty as citizens of this nation to assist in protecting the health of our fellowmen. We owe it to the Filipino people to do our part in preventing the spread of this disease and put everyone’s minds at ease,” he added.

The DOH said its Centers for Health Development is coordinating with local Government Units and the PNP, as well as the Department of Foreign Affairs, to assist PUIs who are refusing hospitalization.

As of February 7, China’s National Health Commission said the novel coronavirus has claimed the lives of 636 individuals in China, with 31,161 confirmed infections.

Around 387 patients have recovered and were released from hospitals on February 6, while 26,762 people who had close contact with infected patients from freed from medical observation.

PH Labor chief apologizes to Dubai gov’t over report on OFW death due to coronavirus

Robie de Guzman   •   February 7, 2020

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III

MANILA, Philippines – Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Friday issued an apology to the government of Dubai for his earlier statement that a Filipino worker there recently died of coronavirus.

In a statement, DOLE clarified that the death of Filipino worker, identified as Amalia Collado Daproza, was not a case of novel coronavirus.

“Based on a belated report received by the office of Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III from the Philippine Labor Office in Dubai, results of confirmatory tests conducted by the Pathology and Genetics Department of the Dubai Health Authority on Daproza’s specimen yielded negative of the novel coronavirus,” DOLE said.

“Secretary Bello nonetheless wishes to apologize to the government of Dubai for the confusion and whatever anxiety that the announcement may have caused,” it added.

Bello on Thursday told media that a Filipino in Dubai had died of “coronavirus” based on earlier information provided to his office.

He, however, did not say if the worker was infected with the novel coronavirus strain which caused the outbreak in China.

The Dubai Government Media Office in a Facebook post denied Bello’s claim, saying tests conducted on the deceased person showed she did not contract the virus.

“The Dubai government media office denied the validity of the statements by the Philippine minister of labor regarding the death of a Filipino woman in Dubai due to the new coronavirus,” the post stated.

“The deceased was suffering from a respiratory infection and laboratory tests showed she did not have the virus,” it added.

Medical teams across China rush to Wuhan for viral pneumonia control

UNTV News   •   January 29, 2020

Many more medical teams from across China have been dispatched to Wuhan City, central China’s Hubei Province, to fight against the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak.

The first team of northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, consisting of 135 medical staff members from eight hospitals, left for Wuhan on Tuesday.

The first medical team of northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is composed of 142 medical workers. As many of them have participated in the prevention and control of the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndromes) and earthquake relief, this team is rich in emergency rescue experience.

North China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region dispatched a total of 139 medical workers to Wuhan. They left by air on Tuesday afternoon.

“All of us volunteered to go for the fight, as epidemic control is an order. In particular, the severe patients need medical personnel most, so it is incumbent upon us to do so,” said Gong Mei, a chief physician of the Critical Care Medicine Department of the Inner Mongolia People’s Hospital.

Many provincial level regions sent their second batch of medical teams to Wuhan on Tuesday, including east China’s Shanghai Municipality and Shandong Province, southwest China’s Sichuan Province and south China’s Guangdong Province.

The second medical team from Shanghai consists of 146 members, and they left Shanghai for Wuhan by charted plane on Tuesday afternoon.

“I will tell my family the exciting news after I come back. I have not dared to tell them now for fear that they would be worried about me,” said Xiao Wuqiang, a doctor of the Emergency Department in the Shanghai Tongji Hospital.

For the sake of transport security, the China Eastern Airlines has set up seven special counters to transport medical materials onto the plane in an efficient and fast way.

A total of 150 medical workers from Guangyuan City, Zigong City and Suining City gathered at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport on Tuesday. They are the second medical team of Sichuan to Wuhan.

In addition to personal luggage, the team also carried medical supplies including masks, gloves, isolation suits and medicines.

When they arrive in Wuhan, they will be deployed according to the local government to combat the epidemic.

Shandong sent 138 medical workers in its second medical team to Wuhan.

“After all, I have been doing this for more than 20 years and I have some clinical experience. I’m aware of the risks, but it is time for us to consider for others,” said Han Weihua, head nurse of the Respiratory Severe Treatment Department in the Taian City Central Hospital.

The second team from Guangdong consists of 147 members, and they received training before leaving for Wuhan, so as to keep them safe on the front line.

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