Photo by Christine Gapulao.

The Department of Health (DOH) advised the public not to panic with the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) following the report of a suspected patient in Coron and some information spread online.

DOH Assistant Regional Director, Dr. Ma. Vilma Diez said that this month is a season for the flu and some people may have respiratory infections, common colds, and cough, but unnecessary to insist they are infected with the novel coronavirus.

She said that coronaviruses are a large family of viruses with seven different kinds—four of them are common cold and cough while another are the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) SARS, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV) and the new coronavirus from China classified as “deadly” coronaviruses

“Uso kasi ang ubo at sipon ngayon pero ang coronavirus kasi may anim na klase pang pito ‘yong bago. ‘Yong apat d’yan sa pito ay ‘yan na ang common flu, cold and cough pero thre rest ‘yan na ang SARS, MERS-CoV na matatawag natin na deadly coronavirus kasama itong bago na wala pang pangalan,” she said.

Diez said that there is no reason for the public to panic as authorities are already on alert since the first report of the virus in Wuhan, China.

“Wag silang mag-panic at baka ma-stress sila, kapag stressed sila baka bumaba ang immune system nila kasi wala naman tayong confirm cases. DOH is on alert, as well as ‘yong ibang mga agencies para hindi makapasok itong virus sa Pilipinas. Kung nagpapanic ang publiko ay ‘wag po ganoon. Nagawa at nalampasan na natin ang SARS at MERS-CoV kaya imposible na hindi natin ito malalampasan,” she said.

She also advised the public to keep their immune system strong and observe hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene.
Alcohol, cigarette and illegal drugs also make immune system lower.

“Ang mga namatay [sa coronavirus] ay mababa ang immune system nila. Kaya dapat bantayan din natin ang ating immune system, dapat malakas tayo. I-observe natin ang proper handwashing, 20 minutes dapat then ang ating respiratory hygiene or ‘yong kapag babahing ka o uubo ay takpan ang bibig. Ang alak, sigarilyo at illegal drugs ay dapat alam din natin na nagpapababa ng ating immune system. Although walang kaso sa atin ay dapat malakas tayo para iwas sa ano mang sakit,” Diez said.


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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.