MANILA–The Department of Health (DOH) has raised “Code White Alert” in the observance of Holy Week.
“We would also like to Inform that DOH nationwide is on code white alert starting yesterday, Palm Sunday (April 9) and it will be in effect until Easter Sunday in preparation for the festivities and activities of the observance of Semana Santa or holy week,” said DOH Secretary Dr. Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial.
Code “White Alert” refers to the readiness of hospital manpower like general and orthopedic surgeons, anesthesiologists, internists, operating room nurses, ophthalmologists and otorhinolaryngologists to respond to any emergency situation.
Also during code “White Alert,” emergency service, nursing and administrative personnel residing at the hospital dormitory are placed on an on-call status for immediate mobilization.
This code also ensures that Health Emergency Management Staff Operations Centers will be on 24-hour duty on the said dates to monitor any health-related events that may need immediate health intervention.
Aside from raising code “White Alert,” she added that all DOH regional offices were alerted to be prepared to any health emergencies and eventualities like earthquake, by pre-positioning medicines and supplies and preparation of stand-by response teams.
Holy week observance is included as one of the events where code white is being raised because it is when many people are going/travelling or gathering together to provinces and places to observe it and so there are instances that their health conditions are also compromised and can be put at risk.
The excessive heat of the sun may cause heat stroke, dehydration and contamination of foods which then lead to intestinal problems.
Incidence of accidental drowning also happens because some are taking this time of the year as their family-get-away or time to take a vacation.
Likewise, road accidents are also prone to happen because some drivers may get drunk or the car is not in good condition, among others.
Some experience other illnesses and need to be brought to hospitals’ emergency unit for immediate response and need to be taken cared of by the responsive health system.
The assurance was also made as the Health Chief also assured the readiness of the agency in providing any augmentation aside from initial response provided, to Batangas that experienced 6.0 magnitude earthquake on the afternoon of Saturday (April 8).
Dr. Gloria Balboa of DOH Health Emergency Management Bureau added that they continue to closely coordinate with other regional health offices and government agencies to monitor further the scope and intensify response needed as they continue to discuss and assess further the aftermath of the recent quake.