Press Release
August 10, 2019


Senator Richard J. Gordon, chairman of the Philippine Red Cross, yesterday called on the public to initiate measures to protect themselves from dengue by cleaning their surroundings every day.

Gordon made the call following the Department of Health's declaration of a national dengue epidemic in the wake of the 146,062 cases recorded since January up to July 20 this year, which is 98% higher than the same period in 2018. At least 622 deaths have already been recorded.

"With the declaration of a national dengue epidemic, we all have to do our part to stem the further spread of the disease. We have to take preventive measures to protect ourselves. That is why I am calling on the public to clean their surroundings every day. Destroy all the breeding sites of mosquitoes by cleaning canals, removing stagnant, clean water that can be found in places where these may go unnoticed such as flower vases and other plants, old tires, construction debris, uncollected garbage, and gutters, among others," he said.

In line with the PRC's fight against dengue, Gordon said the humanitarian organization is also on the alert for people who may have dengue, especially those who may not have had the disease before and were inoculated with the Dengvaxia vaccine, so that Red Cross ambulances can transport them to hospitals immediately. The ambulance service is provided free for indigent patients who cannot afford the fee.

He added the PRC has already sent 330 bags of blood to dengue-stricken provinces such as Iloilo, Capiz, Aklan, Tacloban and Palawan.

Gordon also disclosed that the Red Cross has also installed, on Wednesday night, an air-conditioned big tent or rub hall with 30 double-deck beds at the Pagamutan ng Dasmarinas in Cavite to help the hospital accommodate the overflowing dengue patients. The PRC has earlier installed eight other tents in Iloilo, Capiz and Aklan.

"The Red Cross is treating this as a national emergency because one dead is already one dead too many. The dengue season has just started at dadami pa 'yan kaya we are treating this very seriously," he said.

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