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DOH prepares for typhoon-related diseases while handling COVID-19 crisis

The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday said it is preparing for typhoon-related diseases such as dengue as early as now while the country grapples with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

"Mayroon tayong dalawang pathway—ang isa  'yung COVID pathway at non-COVID pathway. Ating ine-educate ang ating local governments na dapat mayroon din silang pathway for the non-COVID services," Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a virtual conference.

"Ito 'yung mga sakit o ibang mga services na dapat i-offer pa rin ng ating healthcare in spite of us having this crisis with COVID at kasama na diyan 'yung dengue," she added.

The DOH's public health services team is in charge of ensuring that diseases during the upcoming typhoon season would not add to the burden already being carried by the country's health care system, Vergeire said.

"That's the very objective of having referral hospitals for COVID so that all our patients would just go to these hospitals at kapag doon na sila pumupunta, yung ibang ospital naman magagawa na 'yung non-COVID," she added.

Stakeholders in the health sector are still in the transition phase to smoothly implement these two pathways, according to Vergeire.

COVID-19 quarantine facilities and referral hospitals have been designated by the government to effectively manage the growing number of infected cases in the country which has reached over 6,000 this month. — Dona Magsino/RSJ, GMA News