Skip to main content

DOH: Still no reason to panic despite rise in A(H1N1) cases

(Updated 9:25 a.m.) MANILA, Philippines - The rise in confirmed Influenza A(H1N1) cases to 21 as of Monday is still no cause for the public to panic, health authorities maintained Tuesday.

National Epidemiology Center head Dr. Eric Tayag said there is still no community-level outbreak in the Philippines, adding a four-level warning system is in place to deal with the problem.

"Wala tayong community-level outbreak [We have no community outbreak yet]. Pero may nilabas na gabay [but have issued guidelines] for Department of Health, Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education at Technical and Educational Skills Development Authority – a response system in a scale of 1 to 4]," Tayag said in an interview on dzXL radio.

He also said that as of Tuesday morning, there is no case of A(H1N1) in schools.

Tayag said the only time schools would shut down is if there is a wide community-level outbreak.

"Kung malawak ang community-level outbreak, maraming iskwelahan [ang] maaring magsara [It is only when community-level outbreak is widespread that schools can close]," he said.

21 cases

On Monday, the Department of Health confirmed five more cases of A(H1N1) virus infection – bringing to 21 the number of people who have contracted the disease.

The DOH identified the new cases as a 40-year-old female and a 51-year-old male who got the virus after attending the wedding in Zambales where an infected Taiwanese mother and daughter were present.

The remaining three new confirmed cases were Filipinos who had come from the United States: a 19-year-old male, a 45-year-old male, and a 39-year-old female. [See table.]

The DOH added that it had recorded a total of 315 cases since it started monitoring possible virus infection on May 1. At least 262 patients in these cases had been cleared already and discharged while 32 others remain quarantined pending laboratory results.

In a related development on Monday night, the department said that 29 students in Nueva Ecija province are being monitored by health and school officials.

A report aired on QTV’s “News on Q" said the students came in close contact with a 19-year old female who just came from the United States with flu-like symptoms.

Alert system

The four-level warning system Tayag was talking about is the new alert system set up by the DOH and the DepEd.

The two government agencies said they hope the alert system would serve as a guideline on when schools can send students home in case the virus reaches their respective vicinities.

Like in regular Storm Signal warnings, the A(H1N1) alert levels start from Level 1 and peak at Level 4. When a Level 3 is declared in a specific school, the school superintendent is given the authority to suspend classes.

When the alert level goes up further by a notch to Level 4, the situation is elevated to the regional DepEd office and only a regional director is given the power to send students home. - with reports from Sophia Dedace, GMANews.TV


More Philippine Defense News

AFP Modernization 2017: Highlights and Review

The modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines was on a roll this year, as we've seen a few big ticket items having completely delivered this year. Game changers as they say, these new assets have proven their capabilities both in combat and humanitarian missions.

Here's a brief on everything what we know about the AFP modernization this 2017.

Philippine Air Force  FA-50PH

The final batch of the FA-50PH Lead-In Fighter Trainers have been successfully delivered by the Korean Aerospace Industries last May. The last batch of 2 arrived on May 31st at Clark Air Base. The contract consist of 12 FA-50's at the price of Php 18.9 billion. AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla mentioned on a March 23 article in Inquirer that there are plans to purchase 6 more additional FA-50's if the funding allows it and if the performance is good.

FA-50PH Weapons - AIM-9 Air-to-air Missiles
Aside from the aircraft itself the Department of National Defense also ordered AIM-9

DND wants frigate with 'surface-to-air' missile power

MANILA, Philippines - Defense spokesperson Peter Paul Galvez announced on Friday that one of the frigates to be acquired by the Philippines will have "surface-to-air" capabilities. That is, the ship will have the capability to fire missiles, guided by radar or heat sensors, at airborne targets.
"Aside from this, our latest frigate will have heavier gun armament and other equipment that will make it very effective in patrolling and securing the country's waters," Galvez said in Filipino.
He declined to state the particular country the Philippines will acquire this ship but stressed that acquisition will be done through a government-to-government transaction.
The Philippines has taken on a new sense of urgency to upgrade its naval capabilities as tensions continue to rise around the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). US President Barack Obama's announced "pivot" for America towards the Pacific has stirred greater naval activity on the p…

Special Forces Assault Boat and the Philippine Aerospace Development Corporation

Special Forces assault boats to beef up patrols in Davao Gulf
Special Forces assault boats will soon patrol Davao Gulf to detect and deter piracy and terrorist threats in southern waters.

Two of these boats were formally turned over by Special Forces Regiment commander Brig. Gen. Ramiro Manuel Rey to Eastern Mindanao Command chief Lt. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal in Davao City on Tuesday, the EastMinCom said in a statement.

Madrigal said the boats will be “an additional capability in securing the municipal waters in the area of responsibility, particularly Davao Gulf, to preempt terrorists, piracy and other security threats from using the sea lanes in their terrorist and criminal acts. It can also be used for water search and rescue operations.”

The boats have counter/anti-terrorist capability and will be manned by Special Forces Riverine troopers.

The boats will be initially deployed with Joint Task Force Haribon which has the jurisdiction of Mega Davao, the Eastern Mindanao Command said.