Palace: Measures vs Ebola virus in place

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Saturday, August 2, 2014

MANILA -- Malacanang assured Saturday that the Department of Health (DOH) has the capability to monitor possible carriers of Ebola virus that may enter the country.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the government has a standard procedure, especially in monitoring airports to track people who may have the disease.

She said the DOH is on high alert to make sure that that Ebola virus could not enter the country.

The DOH has gained experience and capability from it's preparations on previous threats like the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), Valte said.

"At siguro dahil na rin doon sa mga naunang experience natin with other contagious viruses that we have dealt with, mas naging matibay ang mga procedure natin and of course, I’m referring to the MERS-CoV," she said.

"Nagkaroon ulit ng pagsasanay. Kumbaga ang mga procedure na nasa manual lang natin dati, naisabuhay na ng DOH. In short, the DOH has had practice with it."

Right now the DOH is strictly monitoring migrant workers arriving in the country, assessing their origin, and always ready to carry out quarantine measures, especially those coming from countries with reported Ebola infections.

Asked if President Benigno Aquino III still has confidence with the DOH to handle the issue, Valte said the President trusts health officials in tackling the Ebola virus having worked with them when the threat of MERS-CoV was high.

"Alam naman po ng Pangulo na ginagawa lahat ng mga taga-DOH ang mga tamang procedures para maabatan ang pagpasok nito," she said.

Health officials have also issued advisories on the importation of exotic animals from Africa, which could carry the virus, she added.

The DOH has also issued an advisory to the armed forces because some of its personnel serve as peacekeepers in Liberia where Ebola infection has been reported. (SDR/Sunnex)

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