• Davao City preparing to deal with Ebola

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    DAVAO CITY: This city is rolling out mechanisms to prepare and prevent the possible entry and spread of the dreaded Ebola virus disease.

    A rapid response team was convened on Tuesday afternoon following a multisectoral consultation requested by Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

    Duterte said the best thing to do now is to be prepared.

    “We need to know the dimensions of our capacity as a local government—whether we are prepared or not and what we can do to possibly stop the spread should the disease enters the country or the city,” Duterte said.

    Only two hospitals in Davao Region are equipped with facilities to handle emerging and reemerging diseases like Middle East respiratory syndrome coronaries (Mers-Cov) or Ebola.

    Admitting lack of facilities, including isolation rooms, Duterte said he is looking at the possibility of containing possible cases in a boat.

    “We only need one soul to come in with Ebola and we are done,” said Duterte.

    Duterte is leading the creation of a plan to deal with Ebola virus. The local government will be funding the implementation of the plan, including the purchase of personal protective equipment, isolation and detection of cases, and the entire operations of the rapid response team.

    City Health Director Josephine Villafuerte said their objective is to come up with effective ways to respond and stop the spread.

    “Fearing it might enter the country and it might enter Davao City, the local government is facilitating a government preparedness and response measures on Ebola,” Villafuerte said.

    The national government, through the Department of Health, has only allocated P5 million or only a little over $111,000 for Southern Mindanao Region’s Ebola preparedness. The region covers Davao and two other cities and three provinces.

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