Tuesday, August 5, 2014


MANILA-Vice President Jejomar C. Binay is urging the Department of Health to institute measures to minimize the risk of the Ebola virus spreading in the country.

“We need to provide adequate isolation and hydration facilities and protective wear for our health workers. At the same time, we need to roll out an intensive information campaign that will educate the people on this issue, to eliminate both panic and complacency,” he said.

“We will also require adequate screening and tracking at our ports of entry, especially for our overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) coming from Africa,” he added.

Binay, the Presidential Adviser on OFW Concerns, noted that as one of the world's leading labor-exporting countries, the Philippines will be more vulnerable than most to a massive outbreak of the Ebola virus.

“We need to anticipate any eventuality with regard to this virus reaching our own shores,” he said.

“I also call on our embassies in areas abroad already affected by the virus to take the proper steps in ensuring the safety of our fellow Filipinos, he added.”

The Vice President noted that Doctors without Borders has already warned that the crisis is out of control and that there is no strategy existing to handle the disease.

“Given the disease's 60 percent death rate and the extreme ease with which one can get infected with it, this is, if anything, a time to err on the side of caution. If it continues to spread, no other disease we have faced before would be as dangerous as this,” he said.

Health authorities have confirmed that seven of 15 OFWs who returned last month from Sierra Leone, one of four African countries severely affected by the outbreak, have tested negative for the virus.

The ongoing 2014 West African Ebola outbreak is the worst in the recorded history of the virus, with 729 reported fatalities in 909 confirmed cases as of July 31.

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