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Stop Calling 911… at least for suspected COVID-19 cases, Sara pleads

Mayor Sara Duterte has reminded Davaoeños to refrain from calling 911 for suspected COVID-19 concerns to avoid overwhelming the thin staff.
“We have to understand that although we have this pandemic, we can still experience other emergency situations not related to COVID-19. Our Central 911 is dedicated for emergency purposes only,” she said in an interview with 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio.

She lamented that people are still ignoring her reminder not to call contact the Central 911 services.

“Every time you call 911 for your queries (on COVID-19), you are barring much more important calls such as for emergencies and disasters,” she said.

In the same vein, the Central 911 ambulances should not be treated as private chauffeurs that will ferry suspected cases to the Southern Philippines Medical Center. The city government already has standby vehicles for that purpose.

Previously, the mayor said that Davaoeños may call 911 for medical consultations. But the objective was to encourage people to stay at home rather than making the trip to the clinics or hospital. Some doctors in the city have volunteered to help provide free checkups over the phone.

“If you are not experiencing any alarming or critical manifestations, then you are advised to not go to the hospital. Instead, you call be consulted by doctors by just dialling 911 in your landlines and cellphones,” the statement from the city reads.

The service is available from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

Again, for any COVID-19 concerns, the public is asked to call only the operation center, which is open 24.7.

“We have operationalized the center so that all your questions and queries about COVID-19 will be catered. Report to the center immediately when you have experienced some symptoms like colds, cough, fever, chills, headache, shortness of breath, diarrhea, and sore throat,” she said.

The operation center can be reached through:

Globe – 0917 508 6548;
Smart – 0919 071 1111;
PLDT hotline – 082 244 0181
E-mail address – covidtf@davaocity.gov.ph

She said that the center is manned by city health personnel who will give instructions on what to do. The goal is to prevent people from rushing to the different centers and hospitals, which could increase the risk of community transmission.

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