The Department of Health Center for Health Development (DOH CHD)-MIMAROPA tagged the circulating rumor regarding the alleged case of 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Coron, Palawan as “unverified.”
Health workers from the said municipality were alarmed yesterday by a circulating social media post of a private doctor with a caption, “Just saw two young women… a Russian and a young oriental who I thought was Filipina. The young Russian came in for a sore throat. Upon further questioning… I found out they were from WUHAN, CHINA.”
Following this, the Local Government Unit of Coron immediately made its move to validate the report and invited the doctor and the two foreigners who sought consultation, for a thorough case investigation in close coordination with the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU).
DOH CHD-MIMAROPA Regional Director Mario Baquilod assures the public that there is still no confirmed case of 2019-nCoV in the region and there is no reason for panic, but encouraged the public to empower themselves with correct and timely information.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses ranging from the common cold to more serious infections such as MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV. It can be transmitted from animal to person or infected human to others through air and or close contact.
Common signs of coronavirus infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In severe cases, it can cause pneumonia, acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.
Director Baquilod encouraged the public to keep their immune system strong against the new strain of coronavirus and practice basic healthy behavior like hand washing and proper cough
He also made an appeal to those travelers who are experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness to go to the nearest hospital to seek consultation especially those who came from places with reported case of 2019-nCoV.
Director Baquilod also added that they will release memorandum to all health facilities in the region to ensure its preparedness in terms of human resource, isolation facilities, laboratory supplies, and reporting system.
Moreover, the DOH CHD-MIMAROPA coordinated with all the airports and seaports for the posting of health advisories and other Information Education and Communication materials to provide correct information to travelers coming in and out of the region.
“Although there are currently no vaccines available against human coronavirus, there are ways to prevent the risk of infection by regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, keeping the immune system strong, and avoiding close contact with people showing cold or flu-like symptoms,” Dir. Baquilod concluded.