• DOH readies medical preparations for APEC; declares ‘code white’ alert

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    The Department of Health (DOH) has laid down its preparations for the upcoming Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting on Nov. 18-19.

    “As the lead agency for the APEC Sub-Task Group on Medical Emergency Management, the DOH oversees the entire preparation and actual implementation of all activities in relation to medical needs and concerns of all APEC participants,” DOH Sec. Janette Garin said.

    As part of preparations for the meet, Garin said a total of 103 medical teams, with 510 health personnel, will be deployed at airports, the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), Mall of Asia, and areas where delegates and participants will converge.

    Each medical team is composed of a doctor, two nurses, and one driver, she added.

    The medical teams are augmented by medical professionals from the Philippine National Police (PNP), local government units of Metro Manila, Bureau of Fire Protection, Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.

    “Specifically, six medical response teams will be assigned at the airports, equipped with three thermal scanners and an ambulance for any emergency situations that might occur,” Garin said.

    She added that all DOH hospitals and regional offices nationwide will be on “code white” alert in preparation for health-related incidents that may occur during the high-level event.

    A code white alert is declared when there is a mass gathering or national event and there is a possibility of emergency conditions that may need immediate medical attention.

    With this code alert, medical teams are on standby mode and should be ready to report for immediate mobilization.

    Aside from health concerns of the APEC delegates and participants, the DOH is also committed to look after the welfare of the public.

    “We are not only looking on the health of our APEC delegates. Everyone’s health is our primary concern. Let us help one another to make this event a success,” Garin said.

    To date, 86 medical response teams from selected DOH regional offices have already been deployed nationwide.PNA

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