On February 5, 2020, the Department of Health (DOH) announced the third case of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the Philippines. The patient is a 60-year-old Chinese woman who “originated from Wuhan and traveled to Cebu via a flight from Hong Kong on January 20.”
Because of the coronavirus, health officials around the country have suggested ways on how citizens can protect themselves from the disease.
Dr. Edsel Salvana, director of the Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), stated that face masks made out of cloth will not protect individuals from the 2019-nCoV. “Ang cloth mask hindi gumagana dahil walang filter,” he told members of the press, “akala niyo protektado kayo, hindi pala.”
Instead, he reminded the public to wear surgical masks if they exhibit any flu-like symptoms, such as colds, cough, and fever. This is to help “prevent the spread of germs and viruses.” As stated by the World Health Organization (WHO) the proper way of wearing surgical face masks is by having the colored side of the mask facing out because it is the water-repellant side. The white side, on the other hand, absorbs your bodily fluids.
Aside from this, Dr. Salvana asked the public not to hoard N95 masks as these should be reserved for health workers who are working with tuberculosis patients. “Kapag binili niyo lahat ng N95 sa merkado, wala na magagamit ang doktor para tumingin ng pasyente,” he said.
According to the DOH, they have are currently around 113 Patients Under Investigations (PUIs) in the Philippines.
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