MANILA, May 26 (Mabuhay) — The Department of Health will implement the four-door strategy to prevent the entry of monkeypox into the country, a health expert said Wednesday.

The four-door strategy is the framework of the National Emergency Operational Response Plan to prevent and control emerging infectious diseases.

In a televised public briefing, DOH–Technical Advisory Group member, Dr. Edsel Salvaña said the strategy would involve Prevent, Detect, Isolate, Treat and Reintegrate (PDITR) approach.

Salvaña noted it would start with border control and followed by other measures — testing, contact tracing, wearing of masks, and vaccination — the same prevention path the government has observed in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

“Masasakop na rin dito ‘yung monkeypox dahil sa (Monkeypox will be included here because of the) monitoring we make sure people are asymptomatic when they’re on the planes,” he said.

Health experts say monkeypox is not deadly and its spread is easier to prevent compared to Covid-19.

Vaccines against smallpox may be used to avoid monkeypox and there are proven medications.

“Hindi po ito parang Covid-19 na wala tayong alam nung nag-start ng March 2020 (It’s not like Covid-19 about which we know nothing when it started in March 2020),” Salvaña said.

While the country does not have a stockpile of vaccines for monkeypox, Salvaña said the government has links in case procurement would be needed.

“Meron naman tayong contacts with the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies na kung kakailanganin natin ng tulong para sa pag-procure nito (We have contacts with the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies if we’ll need help to procure them),” he said.

“This is something na kailangan lang nating bantayan pero this is not on the level of Covid-19 po talaga (we need to monitor but this is not really on the level of Covid-19),” Salvaña added. (MNS)

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