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Business chambers call for COVID-19 lessons to be applied to managing monkeypox

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BUSINESS LEADERS expressed the hope that a possible monkeypox outbreak will be managed by a government now well-versed in what measures proved effective in containing the coronavirus.

“We are hopeful that monkeypox remains non-epidemic and that this administration, the healthcare sector, and the private sector use the lessons of COVID-19 to minimize its impact on Filipino lives,” Francisco Alcuaz, Jr., Makati Business Club executive director, said in a Viber message.

On July 29, the Department of Health (DoH) announced that it had detected the first monkeypox case in the Philippines, a 31-year-old Filipino national who arrived from overseas on July 19.

Monkeypox causes flu-like symptoms and pus-filled skin lesions. It can spread via close contact.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified the monkeypox outbreak as a global health emergency following its rapid spread.

Eric Teng, Restaurant Owners of the Philippines president, said that he does not expect COVID-style lockdowns following the detection of monkeypox.

“However, we should heed what safety precautions or warnings that the WHO will be recommending to our DoH,” Mr. Teng said in a mobile phone message.

“As with the COVID-19 pandemic, we have to act and work together with the right information, and be careful of fake news or false cures,” he added.

Steven T. Cua, Philippine Amalgamated Supermarkets Association president, said his industry remains focused on operating as normal, though it has a plan should restrictions be reimposed.

“It’s still business as usual. Hoping that there’s no need for any future alarm,” Mr. Cua said in a mobile phone message.

“We urged our members to continue their practice of checking if employees or customers are nursing a fever before allowing entry. Cleaning of surfaces helps against infection from any form of virus,” he added.

Tourism Congress of the Philippines President Jose C. Clemente III said in a Viber message that the government should know at this point which measures are effective.

“Monkeypox is definitely a concern but we are hoping that with the information we have, the government can mount a defense against wide spread. Of course, we cannot understate the possible effects and continue to ask that people continue health and safety protocols,” Mr. Clemente said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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