February 19, 2020 (3:47 PM)

3 min read


COVID-19. Dr. Marie Yvette Barez, Chairperson of the Infection Control and Prevention Unit of Southern Philippines Medicine Center, imparts awareness on the coronavirus outbreak in a forum held last Monday. Photo by Jeni Anne Rosario

Dr. Marie Yvette Barez, the Chairperson of the Infection Control and Prevention Unit at Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), warned against spreading incorrect information during her talk on The Deadly Coronavirus (COVID-19) held at room F213, Finster Building.

“This is the time for rationality, not rumors,” she said.

Barez also tackled common misconceptions such as the proper way of wearing masks, health security, and the readiness of Davao’s hospitals.

To properly wear a mask, Barez stated that the colored part should always be outside while the white portion is inside.

She also explained that one’s hands should be clean before putting on the mask.

“Let us all be vigilant on proper hygiene to avoid the spread of this virus. Before wearing the mask, you should wash your hands first. Make sure na malinis ang kamay,” Barez said.

With regards to animals contracting the virus, the doctor said that at present, there is no evidence stating that companion animals such as dogs or cats can be infected.

However, she recommended proper handwash after contact with pets.

Not airborne

In addition to the common misconceptions, Barez shared that at present, there has been no evidence stating that COVID-19 is airborne.

“So far, the WHO (World Health Organization) said that it is only [transmitted] through droplets,” she said.

Despite not being airborne, the virus can still be transmitted through commonly touched objects such as doorknobs, elevators buttons, tables, etc.

To prevent transmission, disinfectant agents such as ethanol, hydrogen peroxide, and sodium hypochlorite can be used to reduce Coronavirus infectivity within minutes.

Although curing COVID-19 focuses on remedying the symptoms, Barez clarified that Vitamin C does not prevent one from catching the virus.

“Beware of fake news. Taking Vitamin C will not prevent you from getting the Coronavirus,” she said.

The doctor also added that there is currently no vaccine for COVID-19.

“At present, wala pang vaccine, but the companies now in Australia are doing their best to fast-track vaccines for this Coronavirus,” she shared.

Hospital facilities

In terms of hospital facilities, Barez stated that SPMC has negative pressure rooms for patients with COVID-19.

These rooms, however, are limited and cannot cater to a mass number of infected patients.

As of writing, there are no confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Davao.

“So dito sa Davao, sa aming na admit, there were already about eight din. Six are already negative. May dalawa pa na we’re waiting for the test,” she said.    

On a positive note, Barez stated that although COVID-19 has a high velocity, its death rate is low.

“Mataas pa rin ang deaths sa SARS compared sa Coronavirus,” Barez said.

End the silence of the gagged!

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