Pampanga hospital ready to handle coronavirus

An official of the Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital here (JBLMRH), one of the government hospitals in Central Luzon, said they are prepared in case the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) reaches the province.

JBLMRH Medical Center chief, Dr. Monserrat Chichioco II, during the 2019-nCoV preparedness orientation held Thursday, said the hospital has medical personnel who underwent training in handling any virus outbreak.

They are not just the emergency medical team, they are Chemical, Biological, Nuclear, Radiologic (CBRN) trained personnel, Chichioco said.

She also said more hospital staff are scheduled to undergo training to create a workforce that can efficiently handle patients who exhibit flu-like symptoms.

She said persons who are suspected to have 2019-nCoV must be referred by their respective municipal health officers to JBLMRH to be further observed in the isolation area or single well-ventilated room.

She said they will be transferred to JBLMRH via ambulance with trained CBRN personnel wearing complete personal protective equipment (PPE) such as N95 mask, fluid-resistant gown, goggles, and gloves.

When asked if they have personnel deployed at the Clark International Airport (CRK), Chichioco said they have this fever detector. Once fever is detected from an arriving passenger, the quarantine personnel will hold that person for further examination.

She said the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) personnel were trained on how to handle patients suspected to contract the virus.

Meanwhile, Dr. Walter Rivera, pediatrician and medical specialist, advised the public to practice proper hygiene to reduce their risk of infection.

Sa public, h'wag po tayong magpa-panic. As of now, wala pa naman tayong confirmed cases ng coronavirus sa Pilipinas. Kailangan lang nating pangalagaan ang kalusugan natin (To the public, please do not panic. As of now, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Philippines. What we need is to take care of our health), he said.

Meanwhile, the provincial government is now working in coordination with the JBLMRH to strengthen measures against the new virus.

Angelina Blanco, special assistant to the governor, assured that the provincial government of Pampanga, led by Governor Dennis Pineda, will be cooperating with JBLMRH in case there is a suspected case of coronavirus.

The 2019-nCoV is a temporary name for the new virus that originated in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China.

It is a coronavirus, which is a family of viruses that also include the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

As of Thursday, Jan. 23, the World Health Organization (WHO) has recorded a total of 581 confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV-- 574 in China, four in Thailand, and one each in Japan, South Korea, and the United States of America.

Source: Philippines News Agency