By Chito Chavez
Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte will lead a team that will regularly make the rounds of the state-run hospitals in the city to ensure their readiness to deal with possible cases of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
In making the move, Belmonte has implored city health officials to be on their toes even if there are no confirmed nCov cases in the city.
Initially, Belmonte will visit the Quezon City Medical Center, Rosario Maclang Bautista General Hospital and the Novaliches District Hospital.
“We have to be ready for any eventuality. Hindi tayo puwedeng mag-relax dahil kalusugan ng ating mga residente ang pinag-uusapan dito (We should not be complacent since public health is the major concern here),” Belmonte said.
Belmonte has already equipped the three hospitals with the needed safety equipment, including an isolation tent and other paraphernalia, to handle possible nCoV patients.
City health officials also met with private hospitals in the city to discuss the protocols in handling suspected nCoV cases, she added.
Belmonte also bared that the 80 frontline responders and logistics personnel of the QC Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (QCDRRMO), headed by Mike Marasigan, recently underwent preparedness training on the proper use of personal protective equipment, proper handling of patients, and proper disposal and disinfection of equipment.
Recently, Belmonte formed a task force that will monitor and address possible cases of 2019-nCoV which already claimed the lives of more than 300 people in China and one in the Philippines.
Belmonte noted that the task force is composed of the QC Health Department (QCHD), QCDRRMO, Public Affairs and Information Services Department (PAISD), Barangay and Community Relations Department (BCRD) and the Solid Waste Management Department (SWMD), among others.
The three local hospitals are also included in the task force as they play a crucial role in the campaign against nCoV.
Residents can also get more information about the dreaded disease from the city’s Hotline 122 anytime, Belmonte pointed out.
“We are leaving nothing to chance and we have all bases covered so we can deal with the nCoV properly and decisively,” said Belmonte.
Belmonte also reiterated her call to residents to practice proper hygiene by washing their hands often with soap and water and by using hand sanitizer as much as possible.
She also called on the public to wear masks if they experience symptoms of respiratory illness and stay at home if there are no pressing engagements outside.
Local residents should seek immediate medical attention if they have flu-like symptoms specifically those who have travelled to China in the last 14 days.
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