V versus V: City gears up for nCov to buy more PPEs, readies village-level BEHRTs

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BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – City Hall is buying more personal protective equipment (PPE) as village-level emergency response health teams will be mobilized to respond to emergencies related to the nCoronavirus.

Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, head of the local inter-agency task force on the nCov, said part of the P10 million standby fund the city council had allocated last week would go to buying at least 3,000 PPE sets.

Familiaran said over DNX’s Radio X Editors Table show that the city is well-prepared for the nCov but the task force is preparing for a worst-case scenario.

“That is how we should prepare,” Familiaran said, a view shared by disaster czar Jose Maria Vargas who heads City Hall’s cluster on disaster preparedness and response.

The PPE sets are single-use gear composed of boots, coveralls, and goggles.

Examples of a coverall and goggles for sale online. | Photos from Shopee

These will be worn by first responders who transport or attend to persons who show flu-like symptoms.

An online check by DNX showed coveralls that can be bought online range between P400 to P3,000. Safety boots are priced in the same range while safety googles range between P50 to P500.

An entire set, based on online prices, can cost between a low of P830 to a high of P6,500.

DNX has yet to know the specifications required by the health department for the PPEs.

An entire set can only be worn once and will be disposed of properly according to biohazard protocols, and not simply thrown away.

The purchase will also be in line with the activation of Barangay Emergency Health Response Teams that will serve as grassroots-level first responders and medical surveillance teams.

The city has 61 villages, most of which are in the urban areas or those that are most populated.

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