Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano is urging the Department of Health (DOH) to coordinate with local government heads and congressional representatives to help disseminate timely and comprehensible information regarding the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
In a statement on Sunday, Cayetano pointed out that local officials, including congressmen, can help dispel confusion on the 2019-nCoV-ARD [acute respiratory disease] and provide the public with correct information on how to prevent contract of the virus.
“We have social media to help inform us, but the information we are sometimes getting are confusing because they are unverified and do not come from official channels. Kung tutulungan natin ang DOH na maipalaganap ang tamang impormasyon tungkol sa novel coronavirus, maiiwasan ang panic at health scare,” he said.
“Magkakaroon ng tamang guidance ang ating mga kababayan patungkol sa 2019-nCoV-ARD dahil reliable ang makukuha nilang impormasyon tungkol sa sakit na ito,” he added.
Cayetano believes that through local government units, the DOH will be able to inform the public about the virus in a simpler, easy-to-understand language down to the grassroots level.
“The best way to control the spread of nCov is through prevention. If our countrymen have the correct information, then they can take the necessary measure to avoid contracting the virus and stay healthy,” he said.
On Sunday, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III announced that a second case of 2019-nCoV in the country has been confirmed —a 44-year-old Chinese male from Wuhan who died on Saturday after being admitted to the hospital for pneumonia.
His companion, a 38-year-old Chinese woman, was the first confirmed case of 2019-nCoV in the country. She is already in a stable condition, the DOH said.
President Rodrigo Duterte has already ordered a temporary travel ban on all travelers coming from mainland China and its special administrative regions Hong Kong, and Macau amid the threat of the new virus strain. —Erwin Colcol/LBG, GMA News