PGMA lauds DOH-7 officials for keeping watch against H1N1 virus

May 14, 2009 3:21 am 

CEBU CITY, May 13 – President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has lauded officials of the Department of Health (DOH) 7 for keeping Cebu and the rest of the country’s tourism hub protected from the influenza A (H1N1) virus.

In a one-on-one interview with GMA Channel 7 Cebu anchor and Sun.Star Cebu columnist broadcaster Bobby Nalzaro, the President said that so far, the DOH is doing well in protecting Cebu from the virus.

”So far, so good. Let me say we were the only one who did not have the SARS epidemic, we did not have the bird flu, so we hope today we will be among the ones that will not have the swine flu,” the President said.

She said the DOH surveillance and inspection is important because many tourists are coming to Central Philippines.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque confirmed that the country remains A H1N1 virus free, and assured the public the DOH is capable of detecting and confirming such cases.

In a press briefing, Duque also announced that the DOH now has the test kits needed for confirming A H1N1 cases.

He is confident of the department’s capability in running tests to confirm cases and monitor cases under observation.

But he said they will still be sending test results to three laboratories abroad for further confirmation, “just to build up our confidence level in detecting and confirming the virus,” said Duque.

The three collaborating laboratories for the A H1N1 virus are the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Georgia, USA and those in Japan and Australia.

The DOH has so far recorded 38 cases under observation and has conducted laboratory tests on all of them. There is still no confirmed cases of the flu in the country, Duque said.

Of the 38, 35 were already discharged from the hospitals where they were quarantined, while three more are awaiting.

Duque said that a three-year-old boy and a one-year-old girl remain under observation at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) in Cebu City, while a four-year-old girl is at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Alabang. (PNA) LAP/EB/ad

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