As the country braces for the general community quarantine (GCQ) or the ‘new normal’ status to be implemented amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, doctors call on the public to observe post-quarantine measures to avoid the further spread of the disease.
The Philippine College of Physicians (PCP), the umbrella organization of over 10, 000 internists and subspecialists in the country, says that the key rule to prevent COVID-19 is to have that mindset to be constantly guarded.
PCP Vice-President and infectious disease specialist Dr. Mario M. Panaligan stresses that in this health crisis, being familiar with preventive measures is vital to stay safe.
“Avoid complacency in infection control,” he says. “Putting it bluntly, treat everybody and everything as potentially infectious.”
Dr. Panaligan adds that this should be strictly done as some parts of the country slowly shift from Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) to GCQ. The ‘new normal’ status now allows several non-essential businesses to open. However, strict observance of preventive measures against COVID-19 shall still be implemented.
For workers who are going back to their offices, PCP lays out these preventive measures to keep in mind:
a. Regular face mask must be used when going outside.
b. Avoid unnecessary touching of the eyes, nose and face.
c. Keep your hands clean by frequently performing hand hygiene. Use soap and water and alcohol-based gel when cleaning the hands.
d. Observe social distancing. Avoid close contact with sick people.
e. Make sure that the workplace is clean. Disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as tables, computer and laptop keyboards, elevator buttons, and doorknobs.
f. Bring your own food and utensils and avoid eating in crowded places.
g. Perform cough etiquette. Cover your cough and sneezes; and dispose used tissue properly.
h. Update your immunization status. Talk to your doctor on how to boost your immune system.
Dr. Panaligan adds that as Filipinos enter this new phase of fighting COVID-19, there is no choice but to adapt to these changes. These must all continue until the pandemic is over.
“Welcome to the ‘new normal.’ All of us must be ready to adapt to the marked change on how we should behave. Always take care of yourself,” Dr. Panaligan says.
For its part, PCP released the “A Message from the PCP Frontliners” video, the College’s call for solidarity and cooperation in these times as part of its public awareness advocacy campaign.
In the video, the PCP Board of Regents led by its President Dr. Gina Nazareth, underscores that until a cure is introduced, the fight is far from over. Doctors also remind the general public to take care of themselves and their families in these trying times through responsible health practices.
For more information about PCP, visit www.pcp.org.ph.