With local government units in charge of the promotion of health and safety within their jurisdictions, Valenzuela City is leading the prevention and control of the 2019 novel coronavirus all the way to the community level to amplify its continuous information campaign efforts.
Following its City Development Council meeting, the city government under Mayor Rex Gatchalian heightened its city-wide information drive on the preparedness and response to the disease.
It emphasized that round-the-clock monitoring in all barangays must be sustained as mandated by the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
The Preparedness and Response to the 2019 nCoV as presented by City Health Office Head Dr. Jaime Exconde Jr. was brought down to barangay officials and local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), aiming to create awareness on the proper handling and reporting of a suspected case.
Dr. Exconde also reminded the attendees to be equipped with the “basic knowledge” on how to identify a possible nCoV case through the nCoV decision tool.
This decision tool includes an assessment of the four indicators of the disease—1) fever of more than 38 degrees Celsius, 2) respiratory infection, 3) travel history in China, Hong Kong and Macau for the past 14 days, and 4) history of exposure.
“This is the basic knowledge that you must know because you will report to us [CESU] if you have possible cases [in your community]. If you have constituents or even neighbors who you know have travelled to Hong Kong, Macau or China for the past 14 days even if they do not exhibit flu and cough, you need to report to us because we will conduct a case investigation and this is where the referral system shall be observed… Your role here is very important,” Dr. Exconde stressed.
Possible nCoV cases to be reported by barangay officials shall be directed to the Valenzuela City ALERT Hotline (8352-5000) for the City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit to conduct the proper handling of the patient.
The CESU shall then report to the Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit of DOH to be able to undertake the best action on the case which can be either 1) patient will be under investigation (PUI) and shall be referred to a DOH-accredited hospital, or 2) person will be under monitoring and may possibly undergo self-quarantine.
“The bottom line is to refer all cases to us, do not try to handle it. Do not use your ambulance, your staff, your barangay health worker... We will be the one to assess if the patient must be retrieved and if we need to bring the patient to a hospital,” Gatchalian further explained.
Other preventive measures by Valenzuela City include running an information campaign through disseminating posters on proper hygiene, coughing and hand washing etiquette.
Infrared forehead thermometers were also distributed in public high schools in the City and the same will be distributed to day care centers, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Valenzuela (PLV) and Valenzuela City Polytechnic College (VALPOLY). Public installation of alcohol dispensers will also be mandated at the Valenzuela City Hall.
For suspected cases of nCoV, please call the Valenzuela City nCoV Hotline at 8352-5000.