Fighting MERSCoV, other emerging infectious diseases a shared responsibility — DOH

By Leilani S. Junio

MANILA, Feb. 17 (PNA) — Battling against emerging infectious diseases like MERSCoV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus (MERSCoV) requires active involvement not only of the healthcare sector but the general public as well.

Dr. Lyndon Lee-Suy, Department of Health (DOH) spokesperson, said that while the government is doing its best to enhance the health system, it will help a lot if the public will actively participate in responding to emerging diseases like the threat of MERSCoV and Ebola virus disease.

“Our government can not do this alone, that is why we have partners (health community). But remember our effort should also be complemented also with active involvement and vigilance of the public,” Dr. Lee-Suy emphasized during the DOH’ update on MERSCoV.

In a health forum conducted by Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) at Annabel’s Restaurant in Tomas Morato, Quezon City, Lee-Suy cited the measures being undertaken by the agency like conducting inter-agency meeting with concerned agencies and continuous information so the public can be aware of the infectious diseases and how they can help control its spread or local transmission.

“If the public will not do their role, definitely it will be a very difficult task, therefore it should be something like a shared-responsibility,” Lee-Suy added.

He said the general public can help a lot by knowing what to do or how they can prevent themselves from getting infected with the virus. The public may also spread proper information in order not to sow panic and unnecessary misinformation that may aggravate any situation.

Protocols like advising relatives coming home from other countries where infectious diseases are present to submit to the requirement of filling up properly and honestly the health checklist declaration at entry points so that contract tracing will be easier and faster if needed.

He also said that it will be a good decision if returning OFWs submit for voluntary medical test or consultation upon arrival particularly if they are not feeling well or exhibiting symptoms indicative of an infectious disease.

Covering one’s mouth while coughing or sneezing will also help prevent the spread of communicable diseases.

Contacting the DOH hotline to be given the correct advice on what to do or be monitored at the soonest possible time is also a sound advice.

He said the DOH is always advising the public on the importance of maintaining proper hygiene and strengthening one’s immune system to fight any disease.

“In doing that, they are not only protecting themselves, but their family as well,” he said.

He said the DOH also has ready facilities to address possible case tests and ensuring that adequate logistics and supplies like personal protective equipment (PPEs) protect trained health workers.

In addition, he added the agency under the current leadership of Secretary Janette L. Garin continues its thrust in the formulation of other measures which they always enhance to control and prevent the spread of infectious diseases.(PNA)