A post on social media have sparked fears that a patient from Thailand with Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has arrived in Davao City.
Reacting on the rumors, the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) the report is false and assured the public that there has been no reported case of the dreaded nCoV in Davao City.
SPMC chief of hospital Dr. Leopoldo “Bong” Vega denied the report that a patient from Thailand with nCoV has been admitted to SPMC.
A Facebook post from Pedia North/Central FB account is currently circulating online creating fear among Dabawenyos. The post read: “Just today one suspected for corona virus arrived in Davao today from Thailand. Ang patient naa sa SPMC”.
“Nope. We don’t have confirmed case of coronavirus and no patient admitted for isolation,” Vega told Edge Davao.
Vega reassured that they have implemented measures to ensure patients’ safety at SPMC amid nCoV threat by setting up an isolation facility for emerging infections.
He added that they have a team specific for emerging infections and responsible for triage and evaluation of all suspected cases.
Meanwhile, the city government is stepping up its preparation against nCoV which has already caused a number of deaths and afflicted close to 5,000 people in Wuhan, Hubei Province in China.
Although there is no reported case of nCoV in Davao City, the City Health Office (CHO) is not taking chances. Authorities have taken tight biosecurity measures.
In a statement released by the City Information Office (CIO), city health officer Dr. Josephine Villafuerte said the city government is closely coordinating with the Bureau of Quarantine to step up screening of people at all points coming to the city, especially at Davao International Airport which receives daily domestic flights and international flights from Hong Kong, Singapore, Manado and Quanzhou.
Villafuerte said the CHO also has a team at the airport to assist the quarantine personnel in fetching those who will arrive at the airport with symptoms of flu.
Villafuerte also called on the people to immediately seek the advice of a doctor if they show flu symptoms like fever and cough.
Department of Health (DOH) 11 assistant regional director Dr. Lenny Joy Rivera said the airport is equipped with a thermal scanner that detects the temperature of all arriving passengers at the airport.
The coronavirus was discovered in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. Since its discovery in December, more than 100 people died due to the disease. A number of those affected by the virus in the area were workers of a seafood market in Wuhan, prompting Chinese authorities to clean the area.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that Coronaviruses are a large family of respiratory viruses that can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to the Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
WHO said the clinical signs and symptoms of the patients reported in this cluster are mainly fever, with a few patients having difficulty in breathing, and chest radiographs showing bilateral lung infiltrates.
News reports said coronavirus cases have been reported in South Korea, Singapore, the United States, Japan, and Thailand.