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DOH: Avoid Shaking Hands, Eating Uncooked Food As Precaution For Novel Coronavirus
  • The Department of Health (DOH) reiterates that to date, there are no confirmed cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019 nCoV) or Wuhan coronavirus in the Philippines. As the agency remains vigilant against the spread of the virus, the DOH is asking the public to refrain from shaking hands and bussing cheeks, as well as to avoid uncooked food as precautions against the 2019 nCoV.

    “Avoid shaking of hands this time,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said on Monday, January 27, 2020, in a press briefing held in Malacañang. “At the most, fist bump,” he added jokingly.

    The Secretary also said to avoid the traditional “beso-beso” or bussing of cheeks amid reports that the 2019 nCoV may be spread through human contact.

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    The 2019 nCoV have also been linked to wild animals such as bats and snakes, and is believed to have spread from a large seafood and live animal market in Wuhan, China. The other two strains of coronavirus, Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV) are also “zoonotic,” which means they are transmitted between animals and people.

    The DOH advises the public to stop eating uncooked food such as kilawin (raw seafood cooked in vinegar) and exotic food like dog meat. These should also not be served to young children.

    “Yung mga kilawin, itigil na muna natin ‘yang mga ‘yan. Maraming mikrobyo rin ‘yang mga ‘yan,” Secretary Duque said.

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    “Rule number one: Never eat raw meat,” he shares. “Maraming puwedeng sakit [na puwedeng] ibigay ‘yan sa atin.”


    He adds, “Yung mga aso ‘di mo alam kung may rabies [pati] pusa. Wala pa akong alam na kumakain ng paniki. Alam ko ang daga kinakain, ‘yung mga sa agricultural lands kinakain. Dapat itigil po natin ito.”

    It is best to cook food properly and thoroughly as coronaviruses can die in high temperatures. "Make sure that the preparation is adequate. It should not be half-cooked or have meat that is pinkish," Secretary Duque said.

    “Sensitive naman itong mga coronaviruses sa init. So pagka I think 53 degrees Centigrade, they will be neutralized," he shared.

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    The DOH also reiterated the need for individuals to practice good hygiene and cough etiquette. Here are some ways that they can protect themselves from the 2019 nCoV:

    1. Frequent handwashing
    2. Avoiding symptomatic individuals
    3. Proper coughing etiquette
    4. Avoiding contact with wild and farm animals
    5. Consuming enough water
    6. Cooking food thoroughly
    7. Immediate consultation when experiencing symptoms


    The Wuhan coronavirus has affected nearly 3,000 individuals worldwide, including China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Nepal, Australia, United States of America, and France. 80 deaths have also been reported.

    In the Philippines, there are 11 patients under investigation for suspected 2019 nCoV.

    Symptoms of the 2019 nCoV can manifest in as few as two days and as many as 14 days after a person is exposed to it. Click here for what we know so far.

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