Eastern Visayas is still free from the deadly 2019 novel coronavirus respiratory disease (COVID-19), according to the Department of Health (DOH). 

DOH Region 8 (Eastern Visayas) Director Minerva Molon said in a press statement that all 16 suspected carriers have been cleared, with 14 of them already discharged after getting negative results for the virus while the remaining two are still completing the mandatory 14-day isolation period with no flu-like symptoms. 

“As of Friday, we have zero suspected carriers of the Covid-19. We do not have any admission of (any) patient under investigation (PUI), but we will not let our guards down and continue our advocacy for a healthy Region 8,” Molon said.

An intensified education campaign was launched in government offices, schools, and establishments to instill a better understanding of the disease to avoid confusion, misinformation, and panic among the residents. 

“We are calling (on) the public to avoid sharing unverified information,” Molon further said, encouraging the netizens to only get and share information from the press releases posted on the official website and social media accounts of DOH.

On top of the enhanced communication and information dissemination, the health department took extra steps in improving its coronavirus laboratory testing capacity, hospital preparedness, rapid response, and border and community surveillance to control the widespread of the deadly virus. 

“We are still under code white and we assure that all infection and prevention control measures are strictly implemented and followed, especially in isolation areas,” Molon said.

In medical terms, code white alert status pertains to government-owned and DOH-retained medical facilities being ready with their resources, such as personnel, supplies, and equipment.

“I am reminding the public that the practice of proper hand hygiene and cough etiquette is still the best way to protect oneself from the virus. In such trying times, we should not let our fears overwhelm us and cause us to overreact. Let us all work together,” Molon added. (RJ Espartinez)