TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan, Jan. 28 (PIA) - The Department of Health - Cagayan Valley Center for Health and Development (DOH - CV CHD) said that there is no existing case of novel coronavirus detected in the region following the spread of a false information over the social media of the presence of a novel coronavirus patient in the province particularly in a hospital in Santa Ana town.
In a two-page statement issued by the department today, Regional Director Rio Magpantay said the issue has been confirmed and investigated by the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU) upon receiving the information that a Chinese national is allegedly positive for the virus and confined at St. Anthony Hospital in Santa Ana town.
"The alleged patient is no longer a person under investigation and therefore, no case of the 2019 nCov exist in our jurisdiction," Magpantay said.
Magpantay urged the public not to spread false and unverified information about nCov especially information that confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus are being kept under wraps in some hospitals in the country.
The department said that the circulating SMS is mere speculations. Instead of spreading false information, Magpantay urged the public to focus on helping each other boost our defenses against the virus and to practice preventive measures against it.
In view of this, Magpantay called for an emergency and response meeting yesterday attended by the regional heads and representatives from the Bureau of Quarantine, Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), Aviation Security Unit of the Philippine National Police, Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) and the Cagayan North International Airport (CNIA). All these concerned agencies are now in close coordination with the department's RESU, Disaster Risk Reduction Management for Health, Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases Cluster and the Infectious Disease Cluster as well as its Health Education and Promotion Unit.
The meeting centered on the situationer and statistics of the virus and possible interventions to guard possible entry points of people who might have acquired the virus as well as other areas of preparedness activities to include the deployment of teams of technical personnel to monitor and focus on screening passengers in all possible points of entry in the region.
Earlier today, DOH team visited and coordinated with CAAP - Tuguegarao, CNIA and as of this writing, the team is on its way to Santa Ana town for further monitoring and surveillance.
Meanwhile, Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba through the Provincial Health Office here has already alerted all Municipal Health Officers to conduct precautionary measures and information drive to prevent possible acquisition of the disease.
While Region 2 is free of the virus, we still need to be vigilant, the health office said.
On the other hand, the Department of Tourism (DOT) does not have any advisory yet for the cancellation of travel tours involving Chinese nationals coming in the region according to Romeo Caranguian. Should there be any advisory, Caranguian said they will post it on their official Facebook page for the public to know. (MDCT/GVB/PIA 2-Cagayan)