Iloilo City activates cluster in response to nCoV scare

ACTIVATED. Dr. Annabelle Tang, officer-in-charge at the Iloilo City Health Office, meets with the Bureau of Quarantine, Bureau of Customs, Philippine Ports Authority, Philippine Coast Guard and the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office to tackle initiatives amid the novel coronavirus (nCoV) scare on Tuesday (Jan. 28, 2020). The City Health Office is the lead office for the health and sanitation cluster of the CDRRM Council that was activated by the city government in preparation for the nCoV. (PNA photo courtesy of the CDRRMO)

The health and sanitation cluster of the Iloilo City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (DRRMC) has been activated to spearhead efforts in raising public awareness on the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

The cluster was in charge of health monitoring in times of disasters, said Dr. Roland Jay Fortuna, the designated focal person for the nCoV in an interview Wednesday.

Fortuna said they already met with the Department of Health (DOH), Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ), Bureau of Customs (BOC), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to know of their plans.

“We will be closely coordinating with the provincial government strict monitoring and advocacies with regard to the novel coronavirus,” he said.

In a previous interview, Mayor Jerry P. Treñas said there is a need for a focal person because the city government “wants to know as much as we can if what the coronavirus is all about”.

“If we know what coronavirus is, then we can issue the necessary warning for our population. Once we know what coronavirus is and how we can manage it, then we will know what are the resources necessary to ensure that our city is safe,” the mayor said.

Fortuna said the local health board also met with hospitals to determine their readiness.

“Both private and government hospitals, they are ready to receive in case there are cases of novel coronavirus,” Fortuna added.

However, since there are no confirmed cases in the country, he said that it is important to always observe hygienic practices. (PNA)