GenSan readies ward for New Year revelry victims

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/31 Dec.) — Health authorities have prepared a special ward at the city hospital in preparation for the possible influx of victims of firecracker explosions and other related incidents during and after the New Year’s Eve revelries.

Dr. Edgardo Sandig, city health officer, said they have set aside eight beds at the hospital’s emergency section and assigned four doctors for the treatment of firecracker victims who will be brought to the facility.

“This is to ensure the immediate and proper treatment of firecracker victims and those of other related emergency cases,” he said.

Sandig said that as part of the observance of the code white alert ordered by the Department of Health (DOH), other local health units and personnel are also on standby and ready to respond to emergency cases that might arise in connection with the New Year celebration.

He said they have linked up with the city fire and police offices to ensure the proper monitoring of the selling and distribution of firecrackers and fireworks within the city as well as the possible occurrence of incidents related to their use.

They have set up mechanisms for the prompt and proper reporting of possible firecracker-related incidents within the city’s 26 barangays, he said.

The DOH placed all health units and facilities in the country on code white alert from December 21 to January 6 in connection with the Christmas and New Year celebrations.

The alert, which complements with the reporting period set by the DOH for firecracker-related incidents, covers health facilities or stations operated by the DOH, local government units and private entities.

In a briefer, the DOH said the code white alert is usually adopted for national events with potential for mass casualty incidents.

Under a code white alert, medicines and supplies in the operating rooms should be reviewed and increased to meet sudden requirements and other needs such as x-ray plates, laboratory requirements and other necessities should be made available and not required to be purchased by victims, the agency noted.

Sandig urged anew local residents to refrain from using firecrackers and fireworks during the New Year revelries to avoid possible injuries.

The city health office recorded a total of five firecracker-related injuries during and after the recent Christmas Eve revelries in the city.

All five cases involved minors and two of them were caused by the banned firecracker piccolo.

Sandig advised vehicle owners or drivers, especially of motorcycles, to avoid driving or using them while drunk.

Since Christmas Eve, the city police’s traffic section has already recorded six deaths in the area due to vehicular accidents mostly involving motorcycles. (MindaNews)