PCOO Sec. Andanar: Gov’t Doing Best To Stop Spread Of 2019-nCoV In PH

President Rodrigo Duterte and his administration are exhausting all efforts to stop the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) from spreading further across the Philippines, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar assured the public.

Andanar gave the assurance the same day when Health Secretary Francisco Duque III confirmed the second case of 2019-nCoV in the country.

“We would again like to ensure the public that the government is doing everything to ensure their safety and contain the spread of the virus, as the whole country deals with the threat posed by 2019-nCoV,” Andanar said in a press statement.

A 44-year-old Chinese man from Wuhan, China is the Philippines’ second confirmed case of the deadly coronavirus. He was the partner of the 38-year-old Chinese woman who became the first confirmed case of the new virus in the Philippines.

Duque, in a press briefing on Sunday morning, said the nCoV-infected Chinese man was also admitted to San Lazaro Hospital in Sta. Cruz, Manila on January 25 due to pneumonia, fever, cough and a sore throat.

The country’s second 2019-nCoV patient died on Saturday, the first reported death due to the deadly virus outside of China.

A new strain of coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China, has killed over 300 people and infected more than 14,000 others in mainland China alone.

The 2019-nCoV has quickly spread to more than a dozen countries, including the Philippines, prompting the World Health Organization to declare the new virus outbreak as a global health emergency.

To curb the spread of 2019-nCoV in the Philippines, Duterte has already imposed a temporary ban on travelers coming from mainland China, as well as its special administrative regions, Hong Kong and Macao.

The President has also temporarily barred Filipinos from traveling to China, Hong Kong, and Macao.

Filipinos from China who want to return home are not covered by the temporary travel ban but are mandated to undergo a 14-day quarantine upon their arrival in the country.

Andanar said the President’s directive was meant to ensure that Filipinos are protected against the deadly novel coronavirus.

“With the safety of the country and all the people being of the first importance, and given that the Department of Health (DOH) has advised that the virus has affected all regions in China, the government is implementing a travel ban and quarantine procedures,” he said.

Andanar said all government agencies, offices, state universities and colleges, government-owned and -controlled corporations, financial institutions, and local government units have also been directed to adopt and implement the guidelines approved by the President until the threat of the disease is over.

He added that law enforcement agencies have been directed to provide additional support to ensure the effective implementation of the President’s directive.

Andanar expressed hope that the public would continue to cooperate, as the government intensifies its fight against the 2019-nCoV.

“We again call for the public to cooperate with the government, follow the procedures put into place, and to remain calm and rational,” he said.

“More importantly, we ask them to do their part in preventing the spread of the virus by following the precautionary measures prescribed by the DOH such as washing their hands regularly and wearing surgical masks in crowded areas,” Andanar added. (PNA)

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