Press Release
January 27, 2020


In line with his call for a preparedness plan to be put in place as the novel coronavirus (2019-nCOV) or the Wuhan virus spreads to various parts of the world, Senator Richard J. Gordon, chairman and CEO of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), stressed the need for teamwork and knowing what role each one has to play in order to combat the spread of the disease in the country.

Gordon also called for a timely implementation of a preparedness plan during the outbreak preparedness briefing, conducted by the PRC and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in partnership with the Department of Health (DOH) and the World Health Organization (WHO), which aimed to present updates, convene health partners and draw out early plans to collaborate and respond if the need arises.

"In the Red Cross, we always assume the worst that could happen and prepare for the best, work for the best. Teamwork is undertaken here. In our country, lagi na lang malayo pa yan, malayo pa yan. Pag dumating na, natataranta lahat. It is really important, when disasters strike like this one and we're really not new to this - I remember we had SARS before, to gather our team together and determine what role everyone has to play. The important thing also is to know where we are going," he said.

The briefing, conducted over the weekend at the PRC National Headquarters, was attended by the WHO, Philippine General Hospital; and professional medical associations and organizations such as the Philippine Medical Association, Philippine College of Surgeons, Philippine Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society, Philippine Pediatric Society, Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Disease, Philippine College of Emergency Medicine, and Philippine Hospital Association, Philippine Nurses Association, Ang Nars, Inc., and Nutritionist Dietician and Association of the Philippines. Academic partners, like Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, Far Eastern University, and Our Lady of Fatima and health partners, which included Chinese General Hospital and Adventist Hospital, also attended.

Authorities reported Sunday that the death toll from the nCOV has risen to 56 and the number of people infected across China is nearing 2,000. The virus has spread nationwide in China and cases have been reported in several other countries as far away as the United States, France, Australia and Canada.

The PRC earlier conducted a preparedness orientation with its National Capital Region chapters and advised its chapters which has airports with flights from Wuhan or increased flight to China such as in Panay Island, Ilocos and Cebu.

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