Jan 30, 2020

The first case of the nCov or the novel coronavirus has now been confirmed in the Philippines. The patient who tested positive for #nCoV is 38-year-old Chinese woman. 

In an Inquirer report, Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque II said in a press briefing that “Today the DOH is confirming that a Chinese female student is positive for novel coronavirus 2019 after her lab results arrived from The Victorian Infectious Disease Reference Laboratory in Melbourne, Australia.”

He also noted that the Chinese national, who was “asymptomatic” or showed no signs of fever, was admitted to a government hospital last Jan. 25 due to a cough. 

Furthermore, according to DOH Epidemiology Bureau Chief Dr Chito Avelino, the woman is here in the Philippines as a tourist and visited Cebu and Dumaguete. He also added that contact tracing is ongoing to determine the airlines and places the patient has visited

On Friday Jan. 31, The World Health Organization  declared the outbreak as a global emergency indicating that the virus has already spread to more than a dozen countries  and is in need of a coordinated international response.

While there is still no known cure or vaccine for the virus, here’s what we can do to prepare and protect ourselves. 

Don’t panic

What came with this report is the reassurance from DOH that all necessary precautionary measures are being taken to halt the spread of the virus. Furthermore, panic and hysteria surrounding this can make us feel helpless in these times when we can still do something.

Practice good hygiene

The virus can reportedly be transmitted through coughing, sneezing, and through close contact with an infected person or an object carrying the virus. So, we must constantly ensure that our hygiene is in check. World Health Organization (WHO) advises that we frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water, constantly sanitize the things we use, keep a distance from people who have a cough or fever and to cook raw meat thoroughly. 

Wear facemasks properly 

Because the coronavirus can be transmitted from person to person, it’s advised that the public wear anti-infection masks such as the N95 if you’re going to an area with a confirmed infected case. With this, proper use of these masks can also make or break how effective they can be in protecting you from the virus. To err on the side of safety, if you’re going to wear a mask there are tutorials advising on proper usage

Stay vigilant but don’t use this as an excuse for further violence and racism.

While we do need to always be on the lookout, we can do this by researching actual facts and studies on the subject matter. Even though we know that the virus originated from China, stereotyping and making fun of the Chinese culture won’t help us deal with the problem in a logical manner. 

 

 

Header photo courtesy of Inquirer.net

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