MANILA — A number of Philippine hospitals can handle monkeypox cases, the Department of Health (DOH) said Monday.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire made the statement when asked if the government needed to put up referral hospitals for monkeypox, similar to the creation of COVID-10 referral centers.
“Meron na ho tayong mga infectious disease hospitals na specialized, specialty po nila ito, katulad po ng Research Institute for Tropical Medicine. We also have our San Lazaro Hospital, at yung mga Level 3 facilities natin sa buong bansa are all capable of doing and managing this kind of cases,” she told TeleRadyo.
(We have infectious diseases hospitals specialized for this, like the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine. We also have our San Lazaro Hospital, and Level 3 hospitals all over the country are all capable of doing and managing this kind of cases.)
“So hindi naman ho kailangan na special referral hospital center for this,” she added.
(So we don't need a special referral hospital for this.)
The Philippines announced its first case of monkeypox on Friday, nearly a week after the World Health Organization declared the infectious disease a global health emergency.
The case was detected in a 31-year-old Filipino who arrived from abroad last July 19.
The DOH said that the country was prepared to handle a global health emergency like monkeypox, with protocols that included symptom checks and quarantine.
Meanwhile, Dr. Joseph Adrian Buensalido of the Asian Hospital and Medical Center said steps taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 may also be done to prevent monkeypox infections.
“I-apply lang natin yung ating natutunan sa (let's just apply what we learned from) COVID, in terms of infection control, so, washing hands before you touch your eyes, nose, mouth kasi doon din papasok yung monkeypox the same way that COVID can pass through,” he said in a separate TeleRadyo interview.
“Kaya lang yun na nga, baka ang additional lang natin, dahil ito ay close contact, pwede sa beddings ito, etc. Kung meron tayong public utility areas na gagamitin, baka maganda, mag-wipe lang muna ng alcohol…spray ng konti,” he said.
(But, as an additional step, since this is transmitted through close contact like beddings, if there are public utility areas we need to use, maybe we can wipe the surface first with alcohol.)