DOH: Code White Alert up for Undas 2014

MANILA, Oct. 30 -- The Department of Health (DOH) disclosed that all DOH-retained hospitals and Centers for Health Development nationwide will be on Code White Alert from October 31 until November 3 to prepare for any eventualities or health-related incidents that may occur.

“A Code White Alert is declared when there is a mass gathering or national event and there is a possibility of emergency conditions that may need immediate medical attention,” Acting Secretary Janette Loreto-Garin said, adding that medical teams are on standby for immediate mobilization when needed.

Garin explained that Code White Alert refers to the readiness of hospital manpower like general and orthopedic surgeons, anesthesiologists, internists, operating room nurses, opthalmologists, and otorhinolaryngologists, to respond to any emergency situation.

Also during Code White Alert, emergency service, nursing and administrative personnel residing at the hospital dormitory shall be placed on an on-call status for immediate mobilization.

Garin also said that the Health Emergency Management Staff operations center will be on 24-hour duty on the said dates to monitor any health-related events.

The DOH also coordinated with other responding agencies such as Bureau of Fire Protection, Metro Manila Development Authority, and local government health units for a coordinated health emergency response.

Meanwhile, Garin advised people going to cemeteries to bring their own food and water to avoid diarrhea, or even food poisoning.

The acting health chief warned against patronizing ambulant foods peddled in cemeteries. She explained that the safety and sanitation of peddled foods, such as green mangoes, hotdogs, juices, barbecues, burgers, chickens, etc., are doubtful, as these might be exposed to dust and other disease-causing organisms.

Garin appealed to transport owners to deploy more buses to bring people to provinces and avoid overcrowding and overloading of passengers, which oftentimes are causes of accidents. She added that commuters should also plan their trip, bring water to avoid dehydration, and be more patient as there will be more passengers wishing to go to the province to pay respect to their dearly departed loved ones.

“It would be better not to bring along babies and small children to cemeteries/memorial parks, as they are vulnerable to contracting diseases due to their low resistance to infection, heat, and congestion,” Garin concluded. (DOH)

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