CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Feb 12 (PIA) -- Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC), a Department of Health (DOH)-managed hospital announced that they are prepared to accommodate patients showing the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms.
In fact, since February of this year, they have handled some persons under investigation.
During Talakayan sa PIA, media forum at SM City Cagayan de Oro, Dr. Jose C. Chan, NMMC chief-of-hospital said the DOH has instructed them to be prepared to handle this very new virus.
This, he added, is in partnership with the Regional Epidemiology Center and their doctors who specialize in infectious diseases.
The 2019 coronavirus is a zoonosis virus, animal to animal which has mutated from animal to human and now can cross through human to human.
This new human to human virus emerged in December 2019 in Wuhan, a province in China.
Dr. Adriano P. Suba-an, DOH-10 regional director admitted that since this is a new virus on humans, studies are still being pursued with regards to its characteristics and how to stop its spread.
He also advised the public not to panic.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the spread is from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. This happens when an infected person coughs or sneezes and other respiratory pathogens spread. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
However, it's currently unclear if a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.
"We are not advising everyone to wear a facemask because if we look at the case we still don't have any reports here in Northern Mindanao, so it is unnecessary to use."
He explained, "we just need to observe proper hand sanitation, cough etiquette, and social distance."
The Department of Health (DOH) is tracking people who have a history of travel from China as well as the special administrative region in Macau and Hong Kong.
Persons who are under investigation are being observed for 14 days; this is called the incubation period and this will determine if they are positive or free from COVID-19.
"As of now we don't have the vaccine yet but I think our scientists globally are working on it because it's a new virus and hopefully we'll have a cure," says Dr. Suba-an.
Since February 3, 2020, DOH has documented 408 cases where 238 recorded Patients Under Investigation, 167 discharged, two deaths (one from HIV and one from China) and two recovered from it.
COVID-19 has been an urgent health concern here in the region and to the whole world. The mortality rate of this virus is at 2% globally. (ELDA G. CONTRATISTA and JACK DANIEL V. CASTILLANO/ PIA-10 INTERN)