Go pushes for quarantine rooms in gov’t hospitals

February 09, 2020
Bong Go
WAVING flags, staff of the Department of Health and Department of Foreign Affairs rousingly welcome Filipinos repatriated from Wuhan City, China. The repatriates will stay 14 days at Athlete’s Village in Clark City to ensure they are clear of coronavirus. Meanwhile Sen. Bong Go will push in the Senate for quarantine rooms in every government hospital as preparation for future crises similar to the current n-CoV epidemic.

SENATOR Christopher Lawrence ‘Bong’ Go is pushing for the establishment of infectious disease isolation and quarantine rooms in government hospitals.

Go bared his aim in an interview after the Change of Command of BRP Ang Pangulo in Sasa Port, Davao City on Friday evening.

The senator said, with this measure it would be easy for the government to act in containing any kind of infectious disease that might happen in the future.

“Dapat maging handa tayo sa ganitong mga diseases,” he said.

He further emphasized that with the presence of proper quarantine areas, proper protocols must also be established as well.

He said based on the situation nowadays, the health department and other agencies are having a hard time finding isolation areas for the 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) because the country has only few quarantine areas for this kind of diseases.

Go said he would also craft standard protocols in handling cases like the 2019-nCoV to avoid causing panic among the public.

“Kasi in panic mode na sila, kahit ano na lang maiisipan minsan ng mga kababayan natin,” he said.

Go also urged the Department of Health (DOH) to coordinate with other agencies in tracing all those people who are on the flight of the two 2019-nCoV infected patients.

The senator also appealed to the public especially those who came from mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau to follow the strict protocol to ensure their safety.

“Please bear with the government, na talagang ipapatupad muna nila ang mga strict measures para maiwasan muna itong pagkalat,” he said.

Senator Go guarantees that, as chair of the Senate Committee on Health, he is closely monitoring the 2019 Novel Coronavirus Acute Respiratory Disease (2019-nCoV ARD) situation in the country and its threat to the health and lives of Filipinos.

He added, however, that health officials and concerned agencies must focus their time on addressing the global health concern which has now affected several countries worldwide.  

“Sa ngayon po, ako as the Committee on Health chairman sa Senado and as a legislator ay nakatutok ako sa lahat ng health officials. Kinukuha ko po ang bawat update kung ano ang ginagawa nila. Trabaho nila iyan. Nasa executive sila, ako naman po as legislator, kung kakailanganin po na magpapatawag pa ng hearing ay magpapatawag po ako,” Go said.

Meanwhile, at least 30 Filipinos who were staying in Wuhan, China when the novel coronavirus started affecting people arrived in the Philippines yesterday morning.

The Royal Air plane landed before 7 a.m. at Clark in Pampanga and went straight to Haribon Hangar of the Philippine Air Force.

Medical personnel wearing personal protective equipment were seen waiting at the tarmac to meet the plane’s passengers.

The Filipinos were repatriated with the help of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

From an estimated 50 Filipinos expected to take the flight, only 30 Pinoys boarded the mercy flight, with one child among them.

The Filipinos from Wuhan were assisted by an eight-member Health Emergency Response Team (HERT) from the DFA and Department of Health.

According to Health Undersecretary Gerardo Bayugo, at the Athletes Village, one room will be assigned for each repatriate, except for families, especially those with children, who can all stay in one room.

The returning Filipinos will also be given cellphone privileges, so they can contact their relatives once they arrive.

A mental health team is on standby to attend to the mental wellness of the repatriated Filipinos three days into the quarantine period.

The crew manning the flight will be considered as persons under monitoring and will also undergo 14-day quarantine.