Davao City is stepping up its preparation against Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that has already caused deaths and sickened close to a thousand people in Wuhan, Hubei Province of the People’s Republic of China.
Although Davao City has no reported case, the Davao City government through the City Health Office (CHO) is not taking chances and that tight measures are taking place against the infection.
Coronavirus cases had been reported in South Korea, the United States, Japan, and Thailand.
CHO head 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 has also a team at the airport to assist the Quarantine personnel in ferrying those who will arrive at the airport with symptoms of flu.
“Our role is to ferry those who will show symptoms of flu. Our team is on stand by and we also have an ambulance there,” she said.
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 symptoms of Coronavirus is like ordinary flu it’s just that it is a new strain. All those who will be tested with high fever using our thermal scanner will be quarantined,” she said.
The coronavirus was discovered in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. Since its discovery in December, at least 9 were recorded deaths 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.
While transmission potential and modes of transmission remain unclear, WHO advised travellers to be prudent to reduce the general risk of acute respiratory infections while traveling in or from affected areas by avoiding close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections; frequent hand-washing, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment; avoiding close contact with live or dead farm or wild animals; travelers with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and wash hands).
It is also advised that a traveller on board an aircraft or ship has signs and symptoms indicative of respiratory infections, the model of Maritime declaration of health (Annex 8 of IHR) or the health part of the aircraft general declaration can be used to register the health information onboard and submit to health authorities when required by a State Party.
A passenger locator form can be used in the event of a sick traveller detected on board a plane. This form is useful for collecting contact information for passengers and can be used for follow-up if necessary. Travellers should also be encouraged to self-report if they feel ill. The cabin crew should follow the operational procedures recommended by International Air Transport Association (IATA) with regard to managing suspected communicable disease on board an aircraft. CIO