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Malabon polio vaccination

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PCG prohibits swimming in Manila Bay amid polio scare

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The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has agreed to help local government units in preventing the public from swimming in Manila Bay amid the polio virus scare that could spread hrough dirty waters.

Captain Armand Balilo, PCG spokesperson, said Tuesday that a directive has been issued by the PCG-National Capital Region to all team leaders of patrol boats to coordinate with the local government units to help in the mission to bring the country back to its polio-free status.

According to the Department of Health (DOH), the polio virus has been detected in samples taken from sewage in Manila and waterways in Davao.

“May directive na yung PCG-NCR na mag-coordinate sa, local health officials, ng mga cities at towns sa Manila Bay (A directive have been initiated by the PCG-NCR to coordinate with the local health officials of cities and towns about keeping Manila Bay free from erring swimmers,” Balilo said.

“We have alerted also yung mga team leaders ng patrol boats na mag-assist sa mga local government units in implementing action plans to prevent swimming in Manila Bay (We have also alerted the team leaders of patrol boats to assist the local government units in implementing action plans to prevent swimming in Manila Bay),” the captain added.

The drop in oral polio vaccination; poor public sanitation; and the poor surveillance of cases over the last three to four years were identified as components that contributed to the reemergence of polio in the country, following the two confirmed cases in Lanao del Sur and Laguna.

Aside from getting vaccinated, DOH has been reminding the public to keep their surroundings clean as the disease is transmitted people-to-people through contaminated feces or food.

Due to the reemergence of the disease, which was declared extinct in the Philippines in 2000, the health department is intensifying its efforts in hitting the vaccination target, reactivating its sufficient monitoring of cases, and ensuring “zero open defacation.”

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III had asked the cooperation of local government units to ensure “zero open defacation”, noting that poor public sanitation could impede the government’s mission to bring back the country’s polio-free status.

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