Senator Christopher Lawrence Go. (PNA photo by Che Palicte)

MANAY, Davao Oriental – Surveillance and border control should be strengthened to prevent the entry of monkeypox into the country, Senator Christopher Lawrence Go said here Thursday.

Go, concurrent Senate committee chair on health, said everybody should take the lessons of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic and make sure not to let it happen again.

“We have to study and strengthen the surveillance and border control,” he said.

The senator said the government should focus on awareness, detection, disease surveillance, and containment to avoid the spread of monkeypox.

“What happened [to the country] on Covid-19 is an eye-opener. We are all shocked, and we won't let it happen again,” Go said.

On July 23, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared monkeypox a global health emergency, its highest alert level for a disease.

More than 16,000 cases and five deaths of monkeypox so far have been reported in 75 countries and territories.

WHO said there is also a clear risk of the further spread of monkeypox globally, although the risk of interference with international traffic remains low.

“By God's grace, we don't have a case here. Let us continue to observe minimum health protocol,” Go noted, even has he urged the public to get vaccinated and have booster shots to get protected from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

“These (vaccines) are free. You will be protected if you are vaccinated,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health (DOH) has assured the public that there is no reported case in the Philippines yet, and that hey are doing everything to prevent it from entering the country.

DOH also reported that their preparations are all aligned with WHO’s list of temporary recommendations, which include aggressive information, communication, and educational campaign about the disease in coordination with other relevant government offices and private partners.

“DOH has been preparing for the monkeypox virus ever since cases were reported in other countries last May. Rest assured that they are keeping an eye on it,” Go said.

Go visited this town Thursday to witness the distribution of assistance to some 2,200 beneficiaries of the Department of Social Welfare and Deployment’s Assistance To Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) program.

While here, the senator also distributed bicycles, volleyballs and basketballs, crutches, shoes, mobile tablets, food and grocery packs, vitamins, face masks, and face shields to the beneficiaries. (PNA)