• Roxas says government ready for Ebola outbreak

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    THE government is ready to deal with an outbreak of Ebola, a disease that has killed thousands in West Africa, Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd said on Sunday.

    Roxas assured in a statement his department and the Philippine National Police (PNP) are ready to cope with the virus once it reaches the country.

    He said the same formula used in dealing with the MERS- Corona Virus threat will be applied to an Ebola outbreak.

    The PNP will be in charge of locating the passengers that test positive for Ebola who did not exhibit the disease’s symptoms when they arrived in the country.

    Speaking at the 97th anniversary of the Philippine Nurses Association (PNA), Roxas said the government cannot be complacent about the disease, considering the huge number of Filipinos who work abroad.

    “We do have 12 million Filipinos abroad. And who knows if someone among them may have at some point in coming home encountered a carrier?” Roxas said.

    The 18-year-old, who arrived in Australia 11 days ago with eight other family members, had been in home quarantine in Brisbane before she developed a “raised temperature” overnight, Queensland state chief health officer Jeannette Young said on Sunday.

    She was now in isolation at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, with the results of the first test for Ebola to be known early Monday.

    President Benigno Aquino 3rd recently signed an executive order forming an interagency task force to manage emerging infectious diseases in the country.

    Roxas said the government has learned many lessons in dealing with different infectious diseases like MERS-COV, SARS, and Avian Flu.

    He lauded the country’s nurses, saying “they are often called upon not just for technical competence, not just for intelligence, but more importantly, often times, called upon because of their compassion.”

    Roxas thanked the PNA for its contribution to the enactment of the Cheaper Medicines law when he was a senator.

    “It was through the partnership and through working with you at that time that we were able to pass this. So, thank you very much for helping me and helping our people to have accessible quality medicines in our country,” he said.

    Roxas made the assurances as Australian authorities on Sunday tested a teenager for Ebola after she developed a fever following her arrival from Guinea.

    WITH AFP

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