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Infectious disease expert shares what keeps her ‘hopeful’ amid new pandemic challenges

August 28, 2021

Dr. Anna Lisa Ong-Lim and Dr. Jun Ruiz during DMCI Communities’ first health webinar last August 20, 2021.

While there may be new challenges posed by the coronavirus health crisis, there are also many positive developments happening around that should serve as inspiration for people to keep going amid these uncertain times.


This and many more meaningful insights were shared by infectious disease expert, Dr. Anna Lisa T. Ong-Lim, when she served as resource speaker during DMCI Communities’ first health webinar last August 20, 2021 that was attended by residents of various DMCI Homes condominium communities.


Alam kong pare-pareho tayong nag-aalala dito sa bagong challenge na hinaharap na naman natin, parang nakapagpahinga na tayo ng kaunti, dumating na ‘yong bakuna..I think lahat tayo umaasa na sana patapos na ‘to tapos may bago na naman,” Dr. Ong-Lim shared during the webinar titled: “COVID-19 Vaccines: Defending Against the Delta Variant.”


While it is hard not to feel fatigued and anxious about the situation, Dr. Ong-Lim encouraged Filipinos to find comfort and inspiration in “small victories” so as not to feel helpless despite uncertainties.


Ako personally, I feel very encouraged every day just by seeing small victories that happen in whatever setting that I’m in. I continue to seek patience kapag nakakakabalita ako ng pasyenteng gumaling, maayos ang kalagayan or mayroon tayong nakikitang improvement in communities, nakakabuhay talaga siya ng loob,” said Dr. Ong-Lim, who is a member of the Department of Health Technical Advisory Group and chief of the division of infectious and tropical diseases in pediatrics at the Philippine General Hospital.


“One thing that we can all benefit from is (seeing the) perspective that God is continuously in control of the situation. Many positive developments have happened. We are not as helpless as before. We have the power to be able to prepare ourselves and our families. So let’s not feel helpless,” she continued.


Moreover, Dr. Ong-Lim asked the public to never get tired of adhering to minimum health standards to be protected from the coronavirus disease.


“Let us continue to think about active ways how we can help our families and ourselves by continuing to practice the minimum health standards. Getting vaccinated, thinking about ways by which we can stop the virus from entering our homes are really very empowering and I think these are measures that can keep us hopeful every day that we face the challenges of COVID-19,” she enthused.


Preventing the spread of infection in condo buildings


The webinar live-streamed on YouTube was jointly organized by the Health Advisory Task Force of Flair Towers’ Property Management Office (PMO) and DMCI Communities to discuss ways on how to prevent the spread of infection in condominium buildings.


Dr. Ong-Lim was joined in the webinar by Flair Towers’ Health Advisory Task Force members Dr. Jun Ruiz who served as the forum host and Dr. Adora Christine Felix, and Dr. Peter Hans Esguerra who served as facilitators.


During the webinar, Dr. Ong-Lim also gave a run-through of the developments about COVID-19 variants and discussed the importance of getting COVID-19 vaccines. After her lecture, she also answered some questions sent by residents of DMCI Homes communities concerning infection prevention and control in condominium buildings.


In response, Dr. Ong-Lim stressed that the key to preventing the spread of infection is having well-maintained ventilation along hallways of condominium buildings.


She also encouraged residents to always observe minimum health protocols and avoid staying in common spaces of the condominium such as building lobbies, elevators, and hallways.


Siguro magkaroon lang ng heightened consciousness na hindi porket nasa ‘bahay’ which is the way we treat our condominiums, na ‘you’re home so bakit ako kailangan akong mag-ingat, bubble ko na ito eh,’” Dr. Ong-Lim shared.


Pero in fact, hindi ka ‘home’ until wala ka sa unit mo. Doon sa labas, that is still a public space so dapat mag-ingat ka pa rin,” she stressed.


Dr. Felix, who served as one of the facilitators of the webinar along with Dr. Esguerra, shared Dr. Ong-Lim’s views that observing minimum health protocols is still paramount in preventing the spread of COVID-19.


“The bottom line po talaga is observing minimum health protocols talaga. Social distancing, face mask, face shield, and proper handwashing,” said Felix who practices Obstetrics and Gynecology.


“Siguro good thing about DMCI condominiums is our condominium is very much ventilated. We have very big corridors and we are really ventilated unlike the other condominiums. Talagang ang lakas ng hangin. So tanggal lahat ng virus kapag humangin eh,” she pointed out.


In the webinar, Dr. Anna Lisa Ong-Lim stressed the need for utilizing ventilation as an additional layer of protection against COVID-19.

Volunteer physicians


Dr. Ruiz, a member of Flair Towers’ Community Development Council and founder of the Health Advisory Task Force said they organized the educational forum together with DMCI Communities to help their fellow residents prevent the spread of COVID-19 by providing them with facts, expert opinions, and guidance for the community.


“The Health Advisory Task Force is a group of volunteer physicians who are residents of Flair Towers that provide their expertise, their free time, and dedication to assist the PMO in health matters that benefit the community. This is our small contribution in the fight against COVID-19,” said Dr. Ruiz who is a Philippine and American board-certified gastroenterologist and the lead advocate for colorectal cancer screening of the Augusto P. Sarmiento Cancer Institute of The Medical City.


Click this link to watch the full webinar.

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