Malacañang Press Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said yesterday that the government is taking all possible measures to prevent the entry of Ebola into the Philippines, with the Department of Health (DOH) spearheading the task of monitoring the virus.
Coloma said that the DOH is working with other government agencies to enact a “multi-sectoral response plan” in line with national efforts to keep Ebola out of the Philippine territory.
Recently, the country held its first National Ebola Virus Disease Summit in Quezon City to take up matters such as: provisional guidelines to be applied in disease surveillance; procedure for notification and reporting of suspected Ebola cases; clinical management of these suspected cases, including laboratory testing of specimens and infection control.
Enrique Ona, DOH Health Secretary, has also appointed the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) as the “national referral center for emerging and reemerging infectious diseases.”
Ona noted that they are on the lookout for more advanced machinery to detect and prevent the entry of Ebola, and that the DOH would upgrade their existing thermal scanner, if need be.
Despite the entry into the country of 18 people who may have come into contact with Ebola-infected persons in Western Africa, the Philippines remains free of the virus.