New Normal: A Continuous Preventive Measures Bound to Real Recovery


Last March 2020, the Philippines witnessed the swift and merciless impact of the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (Co-Vid 19) and again subjected our nation to an extreme trial of resiliency, resourcefulness, and compassion. Each day was filled with mourning to the loss of healthcare workers, and patients from this health threat. This pandemic has made it clear that once and for all, it knows no social class, race, gender, or even age.


It has been over a month since the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon. The 30th of April is the most anticipated date because it signals the possible lifting of the ECQ, and the chance to return to normal life. Not until after thorough evaluation of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), the government decided to extend the ECQ in the National Capital Region (NCR) and other high risk areas until May 31, 2020 and implemented a so-called General Community Quarantine (GCQ) to those considered as moderate to low risk areas starting May 31, 2020, which includes Palawan.


In the Province of Palawan, Culion Sanitarium and General Hospital (CSGH) is considered as the only CoVid-19 Referral Hospital in the Calamianes area. Since the outbreak, CSGH has been vigilant in undertaking essential steps in preparation for CoVid-19. Fortunately, with the exerted efforts from the LGUs of Busuanga, Coron, Culion, and Linapacan (BCCL), CSGH has noted no positive cases since then. One of the best practices of CSGH was the innovative mass reproduction of cloth facemasks which was provided free to all incoming patients and their guardians in the Triage Area. In this little way, even with our shortcomings in identifying confirmed cases or suspect ones, the cloth masks may ease the spreading of the disease or other diseases to the patients, healthcare workers, or in the community.


As ECQ and GCQ will be lifted in Palawan, CSGH is now preparing to transition to “Recovery Phase”. CSGH released an advisory dated April 28, 2020 regarding the “New Normal” that employees and the community alike should embrace as continuous preventive measures which include essential or necessary steps and precautions like:


  1. requirement to wear facemask in public spaces and whenever entering the hospital premises;
  2. continuous triaging in the hospital entrance for strengthened surveillance against Co-Vid 19;
  3. practicing physical distancing of at least one meter apart;
  4. sustaining handwashing or the use of hand sanitizer; and
  5. compliance to waste segregation policies.


These are concerted efforts to seek the continuation of measures to prevent the spread of CoVid-19 in our communities.


As we all wait for CoVid-19 developments to unfold, what we know and urge everyone to do for certain is a change of behavior and openness to live with the new norms. The battle against Co-Vid 19 is far from over but we have to move forward by accepting the regulations regarding proper habits and health-conscious norms. Despite Co-Vid 19’s complexities and challenges, it has opened up opportunities for our leaders and citizens to review and reflect on existing plans and policies so that we can no longer be caught off guard, if not stop, any pandemic in the future.


Our Medical Center Chief, Dr. Arturo Cunanan would always reiterate a relevant and timely discourse, “We need to paddle with the same strength towards one direction”, and we believe so, for only then can we heal as one!



Republic of the Philippines  |  Department of Health

Culion, Palawan