CEBU CITY— Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial on Saturday said there’s nothing more to fear about the bird flu virus as the 34 persons suspected to have been infected all turned out negative.
“We have no more fear, but we’re still on heightened surveillance and monitoring,” Ubial said. “Sentinel birds were also positioned in farms where fowls have been culled. Should these birds get infected, then we will review again whether bird flu is still around.”
Ubial also said that although no human transmission has been reported yet, Pampanga, Nueva Ecija, and their neighboring provinces have been placed on heightened alert status as part of precautionary measures to avert any possible transmission of the virus.
“I also ordered the pre-emptive positioning of necessary commodities to protect humans from bird flu infection, such as personal protective equipment and anti-viral drugs, in Region 3 where Pampanga and Nueva Ecija belong,” Ubial further said.
The Department of Health (DOH) is likewise working closely together with the Department of Agriculture (DA) to ensure that poultry and its by-products are safe for human consumption, Ubial added.
Ubial was in Cebu on Saturday to spearhead the groundbreaking ceremony of the DOH Regional Office Complex, Sub-National Blood Center, and the DOH-7 Warehouse at the South Road Properties here. Health Assistant Secretary Leonita Gorgolon also arrived for the affair together with DOH-7 Regional Director Jaime Bernadas.
Also present were Rep. Raul del Mar of Cebu City’s North District and City Councilor Mary Ann delos Santos, who
attended the occasion on behalf of Mayor Tomas Osmeña.