ANGELES CITY – Mayor Carmelo ‘Pogi’ Lazatin Jr. has ordered the installation of hand sanitizers at strategic places at the city hall, and the distribution of free face masks to employees, as precautionary measures against the spread of the novel coronavirus (nCoV).
This stemmed from the announcement of the Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday, January 30, of the first case of nCoV in the Philippines, a 38-year-old Chinese woman confined at a government hospital in the country.
According to the Mayor, he immediately instructed Executive Asst. IV Reina Manuel, as well as front line offices, to control safety measures for the prevention and protection of Angeleños from the disease.
“Wala pong nCoV dito sa Angeles. But the safety of our constituents is our topmost priority. We value life. We will conduct close monitoring to assure that the City is guarded against the virus,” he said.
The Mayor already met with the doctors, nurses, and staff of Rafael Lazatin Memorial Medical Center (RLMCC), also known as Ospital Ning Angeles (ONA), to assure that the hospital’s facilities and equipment are readily available in case there is an outbreak of the said disease in the City.
Furthermore, Manuel is urging Angeleños to seek medical assistance right away if they become ill and feel unwell.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.”
Manuel also shared safety tips from WHO such as proper hygiene and avoiding the consumption of raw or under cooked animal products.
“Our City Information Office (CIO) Facebook page,” she added, “would be active to continuously post info graphics on how to protect one selves against the virus, which officially came from WHO.”
The City Government on January 31, 2020 has issued Memorandum Order No. 171, series of 2020, or the measures to prevent the spread of the nCoV. This states the “preventive measures to mitigate the spread of the disease by compliance with the distribution of face masks, where all front liners are required to wear face masks at all times; installation of hand sanitizing stations in strategic areas within the City Hall building; and the constant and timely dissemination of information through the City Information Office Facebook page to spread awareness and disease prevention tips, among others.”
Meanwhile, according to WHO, the nCoV 2019 “is a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans.”
It further said that these are “zoonotic, meaning they are transmitted between animals and people. Detailed investigations found that SARS-CoV was transmitted from civet cats to humans and MERS-CoV from dromedary camels to humans. Several known coronaviruses are circulating in animals that have not yet infected humans.” —Leah Isidro De Fiesta