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PIA Press Release
2009/06/26

Malacanang calls on Filipinos not to panic over AH1N1

Manila (26 June) -- Malacanang said there is no need to panic in the wake of the AH1N1 outbreak because health authorities are on top of the situation.

Presidential Spokesperson Lorelei Fajardo told Palace reporters that the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has also allayed people's fears that the spread of the virus might cause a slowdown of consumer spending and lead to a contraction of the country's economic growth.

Fajardo said "precisely in all our press briefings we make it a point to have health authorities update us and brief us on what is really happening so there is no need for the people to panic and speculate further on the virus."

The DOH had reported that most of the reported AH1N1 cases turned out to be mild.

Deputy Spokesperson for the economy Dr. Gary Olivar said "we have nothing to fear but fear."

Health authorities said there is no need to close down schools with confirmed AH1N1 cases as this would only stop students from attending their classes.

If there is a low level of contamination there is no need for the schools to shut down as the students, who go home to their respective areas, will also come in contact with the virus. In effect, the move to close down schools is self-defeating, Fajardo said.

People's awareness of the virus through the continuing public information campaign, has made reporting of the virus spread somewhat more threatening, but this does not mean that the situation is out of hand, DoH doctors said.

Fajardo said that as long as people heed the advice of health officials the problem will be contained faster.

The DOH has medicines good for 500,000 patients and "I doubt if we will need that much medicines," she added.

For DOH officials to have a baseline data or socio-demographic projection of the virus, they need to have two to three-month observation period of the movement of the virus.

"The virus is treatable. We have enough medicines. Health officials are handling it very well and we have the cooperation of the people," Fajardo said. (PNA) [top]

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