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Mandaue City to declare 3 rivers off-limits after poliovirus result

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THE DEPARTMENT of Health announced last Feb. 15, that samples from the Butuanon River tested positive for poliovirus. — THE FREEMAN/JTORREJOS

THE MANDAUE City government will declare three of its rivers — Butuanon, Mahiga, and Tipolo — including the tributaries, off-limits to the public following test results indicating that the Butuanon River is positive of the poliovirus. John Eddu Ibañez, chief of staff of Mayor Jonas C. Cortes, said the Butuanon River Management Board was scheduled to meet Monday to discuss the matter. They will also meet with Cebu City Mayor Edgardo C. Labella for coordination as the Butuanon River traverses the two cities. “While it is most unfortunate that this news came at the time when we are still reeling from the effects of COVID-2019, it is good that we knew of this the earliest in order for us to align our time and resources to address this concern,” Mr. Ibañez said. “We will ramp up our vaccination campaign and information dissemination against polio and other preventable diseases,” he added. The Department of Health (DoH), through the Research Institute of Tropical Medicine (RITM), announced last Saturday that environmental samples from Butuanon River tested positive for poliovirus. The DoH, in a statement, said it is coordinating with the World Health Organization for an appropriate vaccination response. “It is important that we are able to timely detect any acute onset of paralysis in children — especially within our communities. We have evidence that the poliovirus continues to spread. Our aim is to promptly diagnose and treat all possible polio cases,” said Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque, III. The DoH has been implementing a nationwide vaccination drive after a polio outbreak was declared in September 2019, almost two decades since the country has been free from the virus. — The Freeman









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