GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 28 Jan) – The city government advised residents, especially those with history of recent travel to China, to take the necessary precautionary measures in line with the global threat on the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus (nCoV).
Dr. Rochelle Oco, acting city health officer, said they are currently monitoring residents and visitors who had travelled in the last two weeks to countries that reported outbreaks of nCoV, which already resulted to 82 deaths in China and infected nearly 3,000 people worldwide.
She specifically cited those who travelled to Wuhan, China, where the new coronavirus strain was reported to have originated.
Citing their monitoring, she said suspected cases were being monitored in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam and South Korea, which are among the countries frequented by tourists from the area.
The Department of Health reported on Monday that it was monitoring at least 11 suspected cases in parts of the country.
“As of today, there are no confirmed cases of 2019 nCoV in General Santos City. However, as part of our city’s preparedness, we enjoin the public to (take precautionary measures),” she said in an advisory released on Monday afternoon.
For residents who have history of travel abroad, Oco said they should watch out for symptoms such as fever, weakness, cough, respiratory distress and shortness of breath.
If they identify any cases with such manifestations or traveled in the last two weeks and are having similar symptoms, she said they should “seek medical care immediately but wear a mask at all times.”
Oco said those who specifically traveled to Wuhan should stay home, get enough rest and avoid contact with others except for seeking treatment.
“Seek medical care right away. Before you go to a doctor’s clinic or hospital, call or inform them of your travel history,” she said.
As additional precaution, she said they should cover their mouth with a tissue or sleeve of their clothing when coughing or sneezing.
Oco said residents who are traveling abroad should always protect themselves by avoiding alive or dead animals, products that come from animals like uncooked meat, contact with sick people and going to crowded places.
She advised them to wear masks if they are having cough and colds, wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
“We will continue to monitor the situation and develop mechanisms to contain the threat of 2019-nCoV,” she added. (MindaNews)