“Don’t spread fake news about coronavirus,”
This was the appeal of Pasay Mayor Emi Calixto-Rubiano to ‘netizens,’ or people using any of internet’s social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter who shared or spread unverified and misleading information commonly referred to as ‘fake news,’ about the coronavirus issue.
“It is very important for all of us, especially amid the heightened concern about the coronavirus cases in China, to be very careful in posting unverified information about this, more so, in sharing such information especially those that could mislead the public,” Mayor Emi said.
She particularly noted a few posts on social media claiming that the virus has already reached Pasay City and that the Pasay City General Hospital (PCGH) has been quarantined because of this.
PCGH Head Dra. Lou Ocampo, in her report to Mayor Calixto-Rubiano, said “Those posts are not true. We have our own Infection Control Committee with adult and pedia specialists as members that continuously monitors this situation as well as all other infections that might reach Pasay,” quoting PCGH Nurse Supervisor Evangeline Nueva.
For its part, Pasay City Health Office headed by Dr. Cesar Encinares has assured the public that it is ready to respond to the coronavirus disease should it turn up in the city.
Dr. Encinares said that per instructions of Mayor Calixto-Rubiano, the City Health Office has already alerted medical personnel of Pasay City General Hospital, the Philippine Air Force General Hospital, the San Juan de Dios Hospital, and the Adventist Medical Center Manila as well as those in the city’s 13 health centers to take care of patients suspected of contracting the disease.
Dr. Encinares also said the city health office has provided personal protective equipment such as face masks and gloves to protect health workers.
According to latest reports, the Wuhan coronavirus referred to as Novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV by the World Health Organization or WHO, has already killed 17 people in China and was reported to have spread to Taiwan, Japan, Thailand and South Korea.
WHO Philippines bureau, however, earlier announced that “there is no confirmed case of the 2019 novel coronavirus in the Philippines to date.”
The Department of Health (DoH) likewise cautioned the public against spreading misinformation about the new strain of coronavirus stressing that “There is no case of the new coronavirus in the country.”