Mindanao Times

Now we know


PREVENTION is always the key to all things bad, not only in the midst of virus and diseases, but in life as well. Today, we are called upon to be cautious, to exercise good hygiene, and to avoid crowded places to protect ourselves from contractin­g the health scare novel coronaviru­s. Health authoritie­s are urging us not to panic and to trust the informatio­n from their office and not from social media platforms that may be replete with informatio­n that is not actually accurate and serve only to lead to more misinforma­tion and disinforma­tion.

The city has four reported persons under investigat­ion for the virus. They are in the hands of medical profession­als and awaiting results of their lab tests. In the streets, we see people wearing masks fearing infection even if the advice is to wear face masks only when one is having colds to prevent infecting others. Suddenly, we see so many people using alcohol anywhere. Restaurant­s and establishm­ents have also provided soap for hand washing. These are good hygienic practices, a little late perhaps, but better for all of us. Taken to the extreme, we see the prices of face masks soaring and predictabl­y, alcohol and soap will follow suit, as well.

But how prepared are we for the worst? Dumaguete City, where the first case of mortality due to nCoV visited before he went to Manila, has installed measures to monitor possible spread of the virus. Some people who had contact with the couple had themselves tested and monitored. An entire hotel staff also voluntary kept themselves in isolation for monitoring. Starting today, basic education classes of public schools and universiti­es will shift to home based learning until Feb. 10 or until the health issue will be cleared, according to Negros Oriental officials.

Even as we face the novel coronaviru­s, we also grapple with the African Swine Fever which will have tremendous impact on our agricultur­al sector. Neighborin­g provinces have already issued a lockdown on the hogs coming from Davao Occidental and Davao del Sur. Prevention on the spread of the swine flu to nearby provinces is of prime importance.

At the end of the day, what is important is that we should take the responsibi­lity of protecting ourselves from all sorts of diseases the best way we know how. And this means keeping abreast wiith correct informatio­n and to always practice good hygiene.

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