UNDAS 2015: Hospitals on Code white alert

Filipinos every year celebrate All Saints’ Day to remember their departed loved ones. (photo credit:

The Department of Health (DOH) has said all DOH-retained hospitals and regional offices nationwide will be on Code White Alert from Friday, October 30 until November 2 in preparation for any eventualities or health-related incidents that may happen during the country’s observance of All Saints’ Day.

“A Code White Alert is declared when there is a mass gathering or national event and there is a possibility of emergency conditions that may need immediate medical attention. All medical teams are on standby for immediate mobilization.” Health Secretary Janette P. Loreto Garin explained.

Garin further explained that Code White Alert, which is based on Administrative Order No.2008-0024, also refers to the readiness of hospital manpower like general and orthopedic surgeons, anesthesiologists, internists, nurses, to respond in any emergency situation.

The health chief also said that the Health Emergency Management Bureau operations center will continuously monitor any health-related event that may occur during the weekend holiday 24/7. As in previous years, local governments will deploy motorist assistance tents, including first aid teams, along major roads and highways nationwide.

The DOH is also working closely with other agencies such as Bureau of Fire Protection, Metro Manila Development Authority, and local government health units for a coordinated health emergency response.

Meanwhile, Garin advised people going to cemeteries to bring their own food and water to avoid diarrhea, or even food poisoning.

Garin warned against patronizing ambulant foods peddled in cemeteries. She explained that the safety and sanitation of these foods are doubtful as these might be exposed to dust and other disease-causing organisms.

She also appealed to transport owners to deploy more buses to bring people to provinces and avoid overcrowding and overloading of passengers, which oftentimes are causes of accidents. She added that commuters should also plan their trips, bring water to avoid dehydration, and be more patient as there will be more passengers going to the province to pay their respects to their dearly departed loved ones.

“It would be better not to bring along babies and small children to cemeteries/memorial parks, as they are vulnerable to contracting diseases due to their low resistance to infection, heat, and congestion,” Garin concluded.

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