Tighter preventive measures at ports pushed to prevent spread of coronavirus
Neophyte Senator Imee R. Marcos on Tuesday urged government officials manning the country’s ports – particularly in Manila, Kalibo, Cebu and Davao – to adopt preventive measures in a bid to minimize the risk of spreading the virus that has been traced to have originated from China.Senator Imee Marcos (Senator Imee Marcos Official Facebook Page / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN) Marcos made the call as the influx of Chinese vacationers celebrating the Lunar New Year this weekend might spread a new strain of pneumonia-causing virus in the Philippines. She said lax immigration procedures for Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) also increased the country’s health risk to the virus that Chinese officials have traced to an animal and seafood market in Wuhan, the capital of the central mainland province of Hubei. The World Health Organization (WHO) said that human-to-human transmission of the new virus remains inconclusive. “Besides health scans at ports of entry, standard operation procedures for a possible quarantine of infected persons should already be put in place by the Department of Health (DOH) and airport authorities, just in case WHO announces an epidemic,” Marcos said. “Ganyan kasi nangyari sa atin sa HIV. Nagulat na lang tayo na biglang exponential na ang increase dahil hindi tayo naging maagap. Sa Pilipinas ang may pinakamabilis na paglaganap ng sakit sa buong Southeast Asia,” Marcos warned. (That’s what happened to HIV. We were caught flatfooted by the exponential increase of HIV because of our failure to institute preventive measures. The Philippines has the fastest rate of HIV infection in Southeast Asia.) “Dapat maging alerto at magpatupad ng precautionary measure ang Department of Health, Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA), at iba pang ahensya ng gobyerno para di makalusot ang coronavirus na maaaring manggaling sa China, Thailand, o Japan (Government agencies such as the DOH, MIAA and others should be on alert for the possible entry of coronavirus that might come from China, Thailand or Japan),” Marcos said. Chinese health authorities have already reported four deaths caused by the virus and more than 200 cases of infection have been recorded in the mainland, with a few cases detected in Thailand and Japan, but the United Kingdom (UK) estimates that the actual number could reach about 1,700 globally. READ MORE: Read more: Manila Bulletin News
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