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Task force on emerging infectious diseases formed

Delon Porcalla - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - With the emergence of deadly viruses over the years, President Aquino has created an inter-agency task force that will prevent the entry of fatal infectious diseases to the country.

Aquino issued Executive Order (EO) 168 creating the Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID) with the mandate of preventing diseases like the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and avian influenza and Ebola viruses from entering the country.

The task force is composed of the Departments of Health (DOH), Foreign Affairs, the Interior and Local Government, Justice, Labor and Employment, Tourism and Transportation and Communications.

Health Secretary Enrique Ona will head the task force.

The new EO said there have been recurrent threats of diseases such as meningococcemia, leptospirosis, antimicrobial resistance of tuberculosis and other bacterial, viral and parasitic diseases entering the country.

“The international proliferation of these diseases persist due to increased globalization and mobility of travelers and products, and thus, threatens the lives and safety of Filipinos both here and abroad, as well as the economy in general,” it said.

This makes it imperative for the government to create an “inter-sectoral collaboration to establish preparedness and ensure efficient government response to assess, monitor, contain, control and prevent the spread of any potential epidemic in the Philippines,” it added.

Under the EO, Ona can call any instrumentality of government – including government-owned and controlled-corporations, government financing institutions and local government units – and non-government organizations and the private sector for “assistance as exigencies may require.”                     

 

DEPARTMENTS OF HEALTH EMERGING INFECTIOUS DISEASES EXECUTIVE ORDER FOREIGN AFFAIRS GOVERNMENT HEALTH SECRETARY ENRIQUE ONA INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT MIDDLE EAST RESPIRATORY SYNDROME CORONAVIRUS
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