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RDRRMC creates Task Force NCoV

LEGAZPI CITY --- The Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) in Bicol region has approved the creation of a task force that would formulate contingency plans and implement programs that would address any public health issues that might arise in relation to the Novel Coronavirus (nCoV).

Claudio Yucot, RDRRMC chair, said in an emergency meeting of the council on Tuesday, Feb. 4, that the Task Force nCoV, would also draw up a worst case scenario action plan to contain nCoV once it enters the region.

He said this would call for an interagency effort, where manpower, facilities and funds would be utilized in an integrated manner, focused on fighting the spread of the disease.

“In a unified manner, we can facilitate and help arrest this serious health concern that we might encounter. Let’s hope that the worst case scenario would not happen,” he said.

The plans of the task force on worst case scenario include: provide medical assistance; setting up of quarantine; lock-down of areas affected by the virus; and massive monitoring of travelers that arrive from other regions in airports, bus terminal and seaports.

Monitoring of places of convergence would also be done, including conduct of information drives in the villages.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health (DOH) Bicol has identified three hospitals in the region as referral centers to admit and examine people suspected of being infected with nCoV.

Dr. Ernie Vera, DOH Bicol director, identified the hospitals as: Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital (BRTTH) in Daraga, Albay; Bicol Medical Center (BMC) in Naga City; and Bicol Sanitarium in Cabusao town, also in Camarines Sur.

He said these hospitals would accept patients after undergoing medical examination by the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU).

He said the BRTTH would admit persons under investigation (PUI) from the provinces of Albay, Sorsogon, and the island provinces of Masbate and Catanduanes; while those from Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte can go to the BMC.

The Bicol Sanitarium would receive patients with serious cases and would also serve as alternative when the two referral hospitals become congested.

Vera said that as of now, the problem was managing a quarantine facility since there was only one quarantine officer in the region.

He requested the various local government units to send their designated quarantine officers and personnel for orientation and training.

In Albay, Gov. Al Francis Bichara, said the province would purchase four units of thermal scanners worth P616,000, as preventive measure against the spread of the deadly virus.

The instruments would be placed at the Legazpi City Domestic Airport and Legazpi Grand Bus terminal; while the other two would be used as a mobile thermal scanner in places with big crowds.#

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