Palace closely monitoring situation on Avian flu

MANILA — Malacañan on Saturday reassured the public that it is keeping a close watch on the developments in Nueva Ecija following reports of poultry deaths, urging the people to refrain from spreading fake news which may cause distress and panic.

“We are closely monitoring the situation in Nueva Ecija following the confirmation of poultry deaths in the province yesterday by the Department of Agriculture (DA). We ask our people to remain calm yet vigilant and to refrain from spreading unverified information that may cause undue alarm and panic,” said Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella in a statement read over Radyo Pilipinas.

Abella said that concerned government officials have been quick in their response in avian flu investigation and containment activities and have established heightened surveillance and community action teams for detection of other fowl deaths and possible flu cases in humans.

He added that the government has also put up advance command posts in San Nicholas, Pampanga and San Isidro, Nueva Ecija with the capacity to respond 24/7.

According to Abella, health officers have trained AFP personnel and have provided Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and Prophylaxis Meds (Tamiflu) good for 10 days for soldiers who would do the culling.

The Palace official also stressed that bird flu is transferred via respiratory routes and that properly cooked chicken meat and eggs remain safe to eat.

“As of this time, there has been no report of bird-to-human contamination in the Philippines,” he noted.