Press Release
December 11, 2023

Given the high respiratory cases in PH

Sen. Nancy Binay today said government can use all the lessons it had learned from the Covid-19 pandemic to ensure that "walking pneumonia" and other respiratory illnesses do not escalate into another public health crisis.

According to Binay, Covid-19 pandemic was an eye-opener for everyone, especially those in the public health sector.

"Sana gamitin natin ang mga lessons na napulot natin dito para ma-manage nang mabuti ang mga nakahahawang sakit at hindi na naman maging public health emergency," Binay said.

The Department of Health (DOH) recently reported that there have been four cases of Mycoplasma pneumoniae, also known as "walking pneumonia," from January to November this year.

The DOH clarified that the four cases were not new and had been detected among those who got infected with influenza-like illness (ILI).

"Only 0.08 percent of the ILI cases from January to November 25 were due to M. pneumoniae. More than half of the confirmed ILI cases were due to other well-known and commonly detected pathogens," the DOH said.

There has also been a rise in ILI cases nationwide, with 182,721 cases recorded between Jan. 1 and Nov. 11. The figure was 51 percent higher than the 121,160 cases reported in the same period in 2022.

Binay said that given the high number of respiratory cases and another expected increase in January, the government should put in place the appropriate and necessary measures to ensure the public health system is not pushed to the limit.

"Let's do the necessary things like ensuring the availability of beds, medicine, and personnel, among others. Siguruhin natin na hindi magkaroon ng public health emergency," she said.

Binay also echoed the health department's call for the public to observe minimum public health protocols to avoid being infected with the disease especially as the holiday season approaches.

"Holiday season na at kasagsagan na rin ng mga Christmas party, reunion, at iba pang social gathering. Gawin na rin sana nating Christmas gift sa bawat isa ang pagiging mindful na maaari tayong makahawa," the lawmaker said.

"Kung may symptoms tayo, pwede naman umiwas sa mga gathering at bumawi sa susunod. But if we really must go, maging responsible sana tayo and practice cough etiquette and other public health protocols para maprotektahan ang mga makakasalamuha natin," she added.

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