Press Release
February 14, 2020

Bong Go: "Health authorities doing their best to prevent local transmission of COVID-19"

Senator and Chair of the Senate Committee on Health Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go said during an ambush interview on Thursday, February 13, that the Department of Health (DOH) is doing its best to prevent the local transmission of the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

"Ginagawa naman ang lahat ng ating health officials," Go said in an interview during his visit to fire victims in Jolo, Sulu.

"Sa ngayon, hindi locals ang tinamaan kundi tatlong foreign nationals. Hopefully po, walang locals na mahawa," he added.

Go's statement came after DOH Undersecretary Eric Domingo also said in a press conference that all three confirmed cases in the Philippines are "imported." That said, the Undersecretary also told that preparations are in place in case of a local spread of COVID-19 at the community level.

"Sa ngayon, there is always a possibility (ng local transmission)," Go stated during the interview. "Hindi naman maiiwasan na maaaring kumalat. Let us cross our fingers na hindi kumalat. Ang importante ay maging handa tayo."

Go also urged the public to follow advisories issued by health authorities to deter the spread of any virus.

"Sundin natin ang payo nila. Maghugas tayo ng kamay. Pa-check up tayo agad kung may nararamdaman tayo," he said.

As chair of the Senate health committee, Go added that he is closely monitoring the developments on the said global health concern.

"Ako, bilang legislator at chairman ng Committee on Health, nakatutok ako rito na dapat ginagampanan ng ating health officials ang kanilang trabaho para sugpuin ang pagkalat nito," he said.

He urged the public to remain calm and help the government protect the country and its people from the virus.

"Sundin lang po 'yung tama, 'yung mga payo ng ating mga health authorities. Magtulungan na lang po tayo. Huwag na tayong magsisihan," he said, adding that this is the time when Filipinos should exhibit their "bayanihan" spirit.

To prevent the possible spread of diseases and as preparation for similar situations that may occur in the future, Go is also pushing for the establishment of more quarantine facilities all around the country.

"I'm planning to file a bill na maglalagay tayo ng separate quarantine facilities. Paghahanda ito hindi lang sa posibleng pagkalat ng nCoV. Kung saka-sakaling meron pang dumating ay handa na po tayo at hindi na po tayo magtuturuan sa ibang lugar... at para magkaroon na rin po ng peace of mind ang bawat isang mamamayan natin sa kanya-kanyang lugar," Go added, referring to the difficulty of the government in finding quarantine facilities for the Filipinos from Hubei province in China who decided to return home.

The Filipinos from Hubei are currently staying at the Athletes' Village in New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac for a fourteen-day quarantine. "Ngayon nagagamit pa ang Athletes' Village. Para po 'yun sa mga atleta. Ginagamit natin sa quarantine purposes sa ngayon. Kung meron na tayong separate quarantine area at facilities, ang mga ito ay primarily for that purpose only," Go said.

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