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Solons ask gov't to step up preparedness vs MERS-CoV.

Lawmakers asked yesterday the government to step up efforts and heighten public awareness on the dreaded Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) to ensure public safety.

Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez, who heads the House Independent Bloc urged the country's health authorities to ensure that the dreaded disease will not spread in the country.

"We commend them for their work, but our health officials should continue to be vigilant and double their efforts in ensuring that there will be no spread of MERS-CoV in the country," he said after the Department of Health (DoH) confirmed the death of a 63-year-old Saudi national last Sept. 29 due to the dreaded disease.

"We would like to know our preparedness when it comes to responding to possible cases of MERS-CoV or those who show signs of the disease especially passengers arriving from international flights," Romualdez said, lamenting the government's insufficient funding for health care system, including government's allocation for emergency response situation.

Health Secretary Janette Garin earlier disclosed that the foreigner who arrived in the country on September 17, 2015 was brought to hospital on Sept. 28 after showing symptoms and died the following day.

Quezon City Reps. Winston "Winnie" Castelo, chairman of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development, said the health authorities should always be on lookout on the possible spread of the MERS-CoV.

"The government should exercise greater vigilance when it comes to MERS. That disease has assumed national security dimensions. Hence, the entire country and government machinery should be on lookout on its possible spread," he said.

Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas also called for constant vigilance against the dreaded disease.

"This is a simple isolated incident that if taken lightly and no necessary precautions are made could turnout to be a very disastrous epidemic. I believe in Sec. Garin's leadership. So far, she has handled such cases very carefully and has been able to prevent the same from spreading. What we need now is constant vigilance in our ports of entries. An effective information campaign for the public would also be a good preventive solution to this," he said.


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Title Annotation:Metro
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Oct 5, 2015
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