PREPAREDNESS. The Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, the biggest government hospital in north Luzon, in Baguio in this 2019 photo. Dr. Thea Pamela Cajulao, infectious disease specialist of the hospital, said they have already briefed their personnel as part of their readiness against any cases of monkeypox in the city. (PNA file photo)

BAGUIO CITY – A system is already in place at the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) in case monkeypox reaches the city, according to an official of the hospital.

“The same system already in place for Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) will be used for monkeypox,” Dr. Thea Pamela Cajulao, infectious disease specialist at the BGHMC, said in an interview on Thursday.

She said that the signs and symptoms of monkeypox are very similar to Covid-19's flu-like symptoms but the latter disease also has additional symptoms that can easily be detected with the naked eye like rashes and lesions on the skin.

The doctor said that except for emergencies, patients suspected of having monkeypox will be directed to the triage at the garden, same as in the Covid-19 system, to determine where they will be referred next, how they will be classified, and how they will be managed.

“We have managed to be ready for Covid-19 even if it came at a time when nobody knew about it,” Cajulao said.

She added that they continue to give briefings to hospital personnel about the threat of monkeypox and the safety measures that need to be done.

“We already had several briefings and we continue to do them as a reminder and as part of the preparedness,” Cajulao said.

The BGHMC is a tertiary government hospital north of Metro Manila that is under the Department of Health (DOH), providing specialty health services for patients in Baguio City, Cordillera including Regions 1, 2, and 3.

“The prevention measures we do to prevent Covid-19 infection is the same... to avoid being infected with monkeypox. We should still observe distance to avoid skin contact, washing of hands, and sanitation after holding anything,” Dr. Rio Magpantay, regional director of the DOH-Cordillera, in a press conference on Wednesday said.

The doctor urged the public not to panic but to always ensure they observe health precautions. (PNA)