Mar. 14, 2020
Mayor Sylvester Turner and city team gives state of preparedness and response to Coivid 19 .
The are eight pillars of preparedness and response to the Corona virus pandemic as the world health organization has declared .
One is country level coordination , planning and monitoring and the city of Houston leadership agrees that the declaration of emergency by president Trump is a good thing that will help with operation support and logistics .
The mayor of Houston declared at the Houston emergency center on Friday during the Covid 19 press conference that the four cases identified so far in his local government administrative jurisdiction may be related to the Egyptian Cruise ship as point of entry , though he does not say if those passengers had the virus in them before boarding or contracted the virus from Egypt. The pillar of point of entry may be implied as emphasis is made with reference to Egypt .
The pillar of national laboratories remained a major concern, because test kits were not available in the initial phase of the outbreak , with samples of suspected cases sent directly to the USA center for disease control in Atlanta . The mayor assured the population that many test kits will be available from next week , paving the way for more tests to be done , with the possibility of more positives recorded . The head of the health department also said with the help of Houston city leadership , two more laboratory specialists have been recruited to help with laboratory testing.
As relates to the pillar of surveillance , rapid response and case investigation, two more epidemiologists have been added to the Houston health department response team , adding to the city and Harris county capacity .
Case management was addressed , and it is known that all the major Hospital health systems that are part of the Houston Texas medical center , the biggest in the world, are ready to address and manage new cases and surges . The Harris county health system , has one of It,s three hospitals , the Ben Taub at the Texas medical center .
The leadership team talked of infection prevention and control , along side the mayor underscored the need for personal protective equipment for first responders and health care workers .
The church and faith based leaders who are calling on the mayor for advice as to church services for Sunday 3/15/2020 were told to make the decisions them selves , if they should close or do online service instead like Lake Wood church .
They were advised to follow safety procedures if they must gather on Sunday in their Worship places .
The city,s communication department working with the health department is working on risk communication and community engagement .
With what is said in the video posted , we would conclude that the state of preparedness in Houston is very good .
Dr Akwo Ntuba Thompson