Garin to DOH: Simplify, laymanize medical info on novel coronavirus

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
totalITemsFound:
maxPaginationLinks: 10
maxPossiblePages:
startIndex:
endIndex:

Former Health Secretary and now Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin also calls for regular advisories amid the outbreak of the mysterious respiratory illness around the world.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 29 — Former Health Secretary and now Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin on Wednesday called on the Health Department to release regular advisories on the novel coronavirus — in order to help stop the spread of misinformation amid the outbreak of the respiratory illness around the world.

“The problem is if it takes too long and the Sec (Health Secretary Francisco Duque) is busy, no one dares to speak up,” Garin said during a House hearing on the country’s international health response.

“These are factors that I think, the DOH should start explaining to the public. Because refusal to speak is misconstrued as hiding something when in fact there is nothing being hidden,” she added.

But apart from issuing timely updates, the lawmaker also dished out a piece of advice to her former colleagues: simplify the technical medical terms.

“There are medical terminologies within the confines of the rooms na hindi alam ng tao (that people are not aware of)… You have to laymanize.”

Garin, in a separate interview with CNN Philippines, said “fake news” is thriving in the digital world due to the lack of information dissemination from appropriate authorities.

At least 132 people have been killed by the mysterious respiratory illness in China, CNN reported Wednesday. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases there has also soared to over 6,000. 

The Philippine government is currently monitoring 23 patients for possible infection of the virus, the Health Department said Tuesday. However, authorities stressed there are no confirmed cases in the country.

The Bureau of Immigration has also temporarily stopped issuing visas upon arrival to Chinese nationals to slow down group tours amid fears over the virus.

‘Disclosing hospitals will only create panic'

Apart from the campaign against false information, Garin also appealed to authorities to stop disclosing the names of hospitals where suspected patients are being observed.

The former Health chief said doing so will only create panic among Filipinos.

“That should not be the case. What help will it do? It will create more panic than help people,” Garin told CNN Philippines' The Source. “And you start discriminating the patients and the health workers from that hospital. Walang add-on ‘yun eh (there is no add-on).”

The Health Department said 27 individuals were previously under investigation for possible coronavirus infection—including patients from Metro Manila, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Mimaropa, Eastern Visayas, and Northern Mindanao. Three of them have already been discharged, while one died due to pneumonia.

The Health Department said 27 individuals were previously under investigation for possible coronavirus infection—including patients from Metro Manila, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Mimaropa, Eastern Visayas, and Northern Mindanao. Three of them have already been discharged, while one died due to pneumonia.

READ: Man under observation for possible coronavirus infection dies due to pneumonia in San Lazaro Hospital