CDRRMC - FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

FAQ: 

What is the novel coronavirus

The novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. The 2019-nCoV has caused severe pneumonia in several cases in China and has been exported to a range of countries and cities.

Last January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization recommended that the interim name of the disease causing the current outbreak should be changed to “2019 novel coronavirus Acute Respiratory Disease” or 2019-nCoV ARD.

Where did the 2019-nCoV ARD originated

Last 31 December 2019, a clustering of pneumonia cases of unknown etiology was reported in Wuhan, China. The outbreak was later determined to be caused by a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), a new coronavirus strain that has not been previously identified in humans.

What are the symptoms and possible complications of a coronavirus infection?

Common signs of coronavirus infection include flu-like and respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties. In severe cases, it can cause pneumonia, acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.

How is the 2019-nCoV ARD transmitted

On January 24, 2020, the World Health Organization has confirmed human-to-human transmission largely in Wuhan City, China. However, there is not enough information yet to draw a definitive conclusion about the intensity of human-to-human transmission, full clinical features, and the original source of the outbreak.

Health experts are accelerating research to study the origins of the virus and how it is spreading. The virus has been differentiated from SARS and MERS, but its contagiousness and virulence is still being studied.

Is there a treatment and vaccine for the 2019-nCoV ARD?

There is no specific treatment for the 2019-nCoV ARD. However, many of the symptoms can be treated based on the patient’s clinical conditions. Supportive care for infected persons can also be highly effective.

What can the public do to prevent the spread of 2019-nCoV ARD?

DOH advises the public to:

a. Practice frequent and proper handwashing - wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

b. Practice proper cough etiquette.

i. Cover mouth and nose using handkerchief/tissue (sleeves or crook of the elbow may also be used to cover the mouth when coughing or sneezing).

ii. Move away from people when coughing.)

iii. Do not spit.

iv. Throw away used tissues properly.

v. Always wash your hands after sneezing or coughing.

vi. Use alcohol/sanitizer.

c. Maintain distance at least one meter away from individual/s manifesting with flu-like symptoms.

d. Avoid unprotected contact with farm or wild animals (alive or dead), animal markets, and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat).

e. Ensure that food is well-cooked.

f. Maintain a healthy lifestyle.

What should hospitals with 2019-nCoV ARD patient/s under investigation (PUI) do?

The designated infection control committee (ICC) of the hospital shall be responsible for the preliminary investigation of cases. Once the case is classified as a person under investigation (PUI), he/she should be quarantined. The ICC should then notify the DOH Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Units (RESU), who shall then report to the DOH Epidemiology Bureau.

Hospitals with PUIs will also send the collected specimens (oropharyngeal and nasal swabs) to Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM) for screening.

The DOH also encourages health workers to be vigilant and take extra precautionary measures when in contact with patients with acute respiratory infection, especially those with travel history to China.

Finally, all health facilities must enhance their standard infection prevention and control practices, especially in their emergency departments.

Who should be immediately investigated and tested for the 2019-nCoV ARD infection?

The following should be immediately investigated and tested for 2019-nCoV ARD:

1) A person with severe acute respiratory infection (SARI), fever and cough, and with at least one of the following:

a) A history of travel to or lived in Wuhan in the 10-14 days prior to symptom onset; and

b) A health worker who has been working in an environment where patients with severe acute respiratory infections are being cared for, without regard to place of residence or history of travel.)

2). A person with acute respiratory infection (ARI) and fulfilling at least one of the following criteria within 14 days prior to onset of illness:

a) Close contact with a confirmed or probable case;

b) visit/work in a live animal market in Wuhan; and

c) Work/attend a health facility where patients with HAI-associated 2019-nCoV are reported.

What should you do if you traveled recently to Wuhan, China and is experiencing symptoms of the 2019-nCoV ARD?

Patients, particularly travelers from China, who show symptoms of fever and cough should seek medical attention in a hospital immediately.

What should you do if you are experiencing mild flu-like symptoms, but have not traveled to China recently or have not been in close contact with anyone who traveled to China?

In this case, there is no need to be tested for 2019-nCoV ARD. Please consult at your nearest health facility as deemed necessary.

Are there any travel restrictions to be observed?

Yes. As of February 2, 2020, President Rodrigo R. Duterte approved the temporary ban of entry for any person (except Filipinos and those holding PR resident visas issued by the PH) directly coming from China and its Special Administrative Regions, i.e. Hongkong, Macau.

Outgoing travelers are also advised to avoid traveling in places with known novel coronavirus cases. Travelers are advised to follow advisories and public health plans of the country they are going to visit or stay in; know the health facility/ies nearest to their location; and keep themselves updated with the latest information about the disease

Are Overseas Filipinos from countries with confirmed 2019-nCoV ARD cases allowed to return home?

Yes, they are. DOH will take care of them if they return home. Upon arrival, they will be taken care of in a health facility for monitoring and further medical management upon arrival for 14 days. If you have fever and/or cough upon arrival, immediately inform the quarantine medical officer/s on duty at the airport or seaport.

Where can the public get information about the 2019-nCoV ARD?

The public can get information about the 2019-nCoV from the DOH’s official press releases, website, and official social media platforms. Please be wary of fake news and reports circulating online, and always verify the sources of your information.

What are the DOH and other concerned agencies doing to contain the situation?

DOH is closely monitoring individuals who manifested signs of respiratory infection and had a history of travel to China, and is coordinating with WHO and China Center for Disease Control for updates.

DOH is also enhancing its coronavirus laboratory testing capacity, hospital preparedness, rapid response, and its risk communication and information dissemination. Personal Protective Equipment are made available at the Bureau of Quarantine, Centers for Health Development, and DOH Hospitals.

The Bureau of Quarantine, meanwhile, is working with airlines and airport authorities to strengthen border surveillance, while the Epidemiology Bureau is heightening its community surveillance.

What Should I Do Before, During, and After an Earthquake?

What to Do Before an Earthquake

Make sure you have a fire extinguisher, first aid kit, a battery-powered radio, a flashlight, and extra batteries at home.
Learn first aid.
Learn how to turn off the gas, water, and electricity.
Make up a plan of where to meet your family after an earthquake.
Don't leave heavy objects on shelves (they'll fall during a quake).
Anchor heavy furniture, cupboards, and appliances to the walls or floor.
Learn the earthquake plan at your school or workplace.

What to Do During an Earthquake

Stay calm! If you're indoors, stay inside. If you're outside, stay outside.
If you're indoors, stand against a wall near the center of the building, stand in a doorway, or crawl under heavy furniture (a desk or table). Stay away from windows and outside doors.
If you're outdoors, stay in the open away from power lines or anything that might fall. Stay away from buildings (stuff might fall off the building or the building could fall on you).
Don't use matches, candles, or any flame. Broken gas lines and fire don't mix.
If you're in a car, stop the car and stay inside the car until the earthquake stops.
Don't use elevators (they'll probably get stuck anyway).

What to Do After an Earthquake

Check yourself and others for injuries. Provide first aid for anyone who needs it.
Check water, gas, and electric lines for damage. If any are damaged, shut off the valves. Check for the smell of gas. If you smell it, open all the windows and doors, leave immediately, and report it to the authorities (use someone else's phone).
Turn on the radio. Don't use the phone unless it's an emergency.
Stay out of damaged buildings.
Be careful around broken glass and debris. Wear boots or sturdy shoes to keep from cutting your feet.
Be careful of chimneys (they may fall on you).
Stay away from beaches. Tsunamis and seiches sometimes hit after the ground has stopped shaking.
Stay away from damaged areas.
If you're at school or work, follow the emergency plan or the instructions of the person in charge.
Expect aftershocks.

What are Corona Viruses?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses causing a range of illnesses, from the common cold to more serious infections such as those caused by Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-related Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-related Coronavirus (SARS-CoV). Coronavirus can also cause a variety of diseases in farm animals and domesticated pets.

What are the guidelines for the suspension of classes during inclement weather?

Executive Order No. 66, s. 2012: Automatic Cancellation or Suspension of Classes and Work in Government Offices, The following guidelines shall be followed for the automatic cancellation or suspension of classes in all public and private elementary, secondary and tertiary schools, as well as work in all government offices:

a. When Signal No. 1 is raised by PAGASA, classes at the pre-school level, in the affected area, shall be automatically cancelled or suspended.

b. When Signal No. 2 is raised by PAGASA, classes at the pre-school, elementary and secondary levels, in the affected area, shall be automatically cancelled or suspended,

c. When Signal No. 3 or higher is raised by PAGASA, classes at pre-school, elementary, secondary, and tertiary levels, in the affected area, including graduate school, as well as work in all government offices, shall be automatically cancelled or suspended.

Localized Cancellation or Suspension of Classes and Work in Government Offices. In the absence of typhoon signal warnings from PAGASA, localized cancellation or suspension of classes and work in government offices may be implemented by local chief executives, as chairmen of the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (LDRRMC) concerned, in coordination with PAGASA and the NDRRMC, specifically in flood-prone or high risk areas.

Announcements will be made not later than 4:30 AM of the day of the intended cancellation of classes and work, or not later than 11:00 AM for suspension of work and classes in the afternoon session, through diverse mass media, particularly radio and television, landline communications and other technologies for communication within the community or locality.

Cancellation or Suspension of Classes and Work in the Government During Other Calamities. Classes in all levels in both public and private schools as well as work in the government offices may be cancelled or suspended in areas affected by disasters or calamities other than typhoons, such as but not limited to floods, earthquakes, tsunami and conflagration, upon the declaration by the President of a State of Calamity based on the recommendation of the NDRRMC.

The concerned Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (LDRRMO) headed by the local chief executive shall be responsible for announcing the suspension of classes and work in the government offices in the affected areas in coordination with the NDRRMC, through all forms of mass media available under the circumstances.