The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has directed local government units (LGU) to enforce measures to prevent the spread of monkeypox in the country.
“With the first confirmed case of monkeypox in the country, the DILG urged LGUs to undertake proactive measures to assist in the prevention of its transmission and spread in their respective areas of jurisdictions,” the department said in a statement Friday.
DILG Secretary Benhur Abalos said LGUs should be prepared for any eventualities even if health authorities are already monitoring inbound and outbound travelers for possible monkeypox cases.
Abalos advised LGUs to prepare their health offices and response teams to implement the guidelines of the Department of Health (DOH) on the surveillance, screening, management, and infection control of monkeypox.
LGUs should closely monitor travelers from countries with monkeypox cases who are experiencing signs and symptoms, he said.
Local authorities should also check with private healthcare facilities to ensure that suspected and confirmed monkeypox cases are reported to the DOH within 24 hours, Abalos added. On July 29, the DOH reported the first case of monkeypox in the country who arrived from abroad on July 19.
Despite this, DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire on August 1 said there is no need to close the country’s borders.
The DOH meanwhile said that they do not see the need to declare a national dengue outbreak despite 10 of the 17 regions exceeding their epidemic threshold.
Dr. Alethea De Guzman, director of the DOH Epidemiology Bureau, explained that exceeding the epidemic threshold is not the only metric being monitored to determine if an outbreak is already happening.
“When that involves the province, regional office. After 2 or three regions SOH will declare. So far there is no need to declare an outbreak for dengue. We need the cooperation of our countrymen),” De Guzman said.
Dengue cases have reached more than 82,000 from January 1 to July 16 according to data from the Department of Health. This is more than 100 percent higher compared to the same period in 2021.
Most of the cases were logged in Central Luzon, Central Visayas, and the National Capital Region. A total of 319 people have succumbed to the illness this year.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority said it is also working with communities to curb the proliferation of dengue-carrying mosquitoes.