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PIA Press Release

Local execs should lead in massive info campaign vs A(H1N1) virus, DILG says

Tacloban City (June 21) -- Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno on June 18, directed all local government units to activate their barangay health emergency response teams amid the increasing number of people infected by the A(H1N1) virus.

Secretary Puno who was in town to induct the members of the reorganized Regional Peace and Order Council of Eastern Visayas, also found time to attend a gathering of more than 2,500 barangay and health officials of Tacloban City.

As the Department of Health declared that there is no need to declare a national emergency because of A(H1N1), Secretary Puno urged the people to remain calm and to continue with their daily routines.

However, Secretary Puno called on every local government unit to have their own contingency plans. This, he said, is a national campaign as he underscored that the campaign should be brought down to the barangay level and even in schools and work places.

In a memorandum order issued on June 4 directing the mobilization of rural health units and barangay emergency response teams as reporting centers for cases of A(H1N1).

Based on his directive, health units and emergency response teams would manage A(H1N1) suspects and their contacts, take the lead in an information campaign, implement measures to prevent the spread of the virus, and take the lead in preventing outbreaks.

He said local officials should "mobilize the Rural Health Units and activate the Barangay Emergency Response Teams as reporting centers for cases of Influenza A(H1N1), and to manage influenze A(H1N1) suspects and their contacts."

Puno had directed all DILG regional directors to immediately disseminate the circular to all local authorities within their respective areas of responsibility.

The DILG chief noted that while the Department of Health had announced that there is no community-level outbreak yet of the dreaded virus, "monitoring and reporting are essential." (PIA 8) [top]

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