GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/27 March)– The Department of Health (DOH) placed Wednesday all private and public hospitals in Region 12 or the Soccsksargen Region on Code White alert in connection with the Holy Week or Lenten holidays.
Jenny Ventura, DOH-12 health education officer, said the raising of the alert status is mandatory for all hospitals to ensure immediate response to emergency cases that might arise during the Holy Week break, specifically from March 27 to April 1.
She said the alert covers health facilities or stations operated by local government units.
“All public and public hospitals are automatically on Code White alert every time we celebrate or observe national events,” Ventura said.
A Code White alert is raised by the DOH during national holidays or when a cyclone is on forecast.
Under Code White alert, “emergency service personnel at the hospital dorm shall be placed in an on call status” while “emergency medicines should be stocked and made available.”
Ventura said local health personnel will specifically monitor possible cases of heat stroke and illnesses triggered by the prevailing intense summer heat.
She warned residents, especially those planning to join various Church-related activities during the Lenten holidays, to avoid over-exposure to direct sunlight.
“It’s important to always use or bring along umbrellas or head gears to ensure protection from the intense heat or possible rains that might occur,” she said.
Dr. Jean Genevieve Aturdido, acting city health officer of Koronadal City, said their assessment showed that the prevailing weather condition in the area might pose serious health risks to residents.
“It could result to heat stroke or trigger the sudden rise of blood pressure,” she said.
She urged residents to immediately seek medical attention in case they suffer from severe headache or dehydration as a result of the warm weather.
Aturdido said they should also avoid getting exposed to direct sunlight in long periods without any protective gear.
She said they may wear clothes with long sleeves, use umbrellas and sun glasses with sun protection factor or SPF level of at least 50 to ensure protection from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.
This city and other parts of Region 12 have been experiencing unusually intense warm weather in the last three weeks due to the onset of the summer season.
But the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) noted in its weather forecast issued at 5 a.m. Wednesday that the “whole country will experience partly cloudy skies with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms mostly in the afternoon or evening.”
During the Holy Week, it said cloudy skies may bring scattered rain showers and thunderstorms to parts of Mindanao this coming weekend. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)