ILOILO CITY — Ilonggo Senate President Franklin M. Drilon had come to the rescue of acting Health Secretary Janette L. Garin and underscored the urgent need to address the growing misinformation and misunderstanding about the dreaded Ebola.
Drilon said the flak received by acting Health Secretary Garin when she went to Caballo Island last week highlights the need to step up information campaigns about Ebola.
Drilon admitted that a growing misunderstanding about the disease created unnecessary panic and fear among the people.
Many Filipinos were unaware of the nature and symptoms of Ebola, he said.
Garin, former congresswoman of the first district of Iloilo, went to visit the quarantined Filipino UN Peacekeepers, accompanied by Gen. Gregorio Catapang of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
In a radio interview here, Drilon said the government must immediately intensify its information dissemination campaign to allay fears and prevent the spread of speculations and rumors which only confused the public.
The Senate leader also said he believed that Garin, as the chairperson of the Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases in the Philippines, was only performing her duties when she went to Caballo Island to ensure that the Filipino UN Peacekeepers are accorded the proper medical care.
Garin earlier maintained that the wearing of personal protective equipment (PPEs) was only required when in close contact with a person who has displayed the symptoms of Ebola. PPEs are also in limited supply around the world and the DOH is ensuring that PPEs are used properly only when needed.