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In a bid to protect its own people from the threat of Novel Corona Virus (nCOV), the City Health Office (CHO) started Friday to require all tourists from direct international flights to fill out a health declaration checklist (HDC) upon arrival at the airport.
CHO chief, Dr. Ricardo Panganiban, told Palawan Daily News (PDN) Friday that “mandatory HDCs” will also serve as records of all individuals who arrived at the Puerto Princesa City International Airport (PPCIA) through direct international flights.
“Nakalagay doon pangalan, saan ka nanggaling, kelan dumating, anong flight, seat number, saan ka nanggaling nitong dalawang linggo, saan ka pupunta, [phone] number mo, saan ka magch-check-in kung turista ka. Mandatory na ito, minandatory ko na kasi iyon ang utos ng ating punong lungsod,” said Panganiban
“Iyong form na iyon ay maiiwan doon sa ating mga quarantine personnel. Itong mga forms covered ‘yan ng Bureau of Quarantine, [which is] an agency under the Department of Health,” he added.
He said mandatory HDCs will also be implemented upon every cruise ship arrivals at the port of Puerto Princesa.
Panganiban said alongside this requirement, they are also closely coordinating with different hotels and establishments in the city that cater to tourists, advising them to immediately report to authorities should their visitors experience any symptoms of the disease
If symptoms are already present, Panganiban said under their protocol an ambulance from Ospital ng Palawan (ONP) will fetch the patient and admit him/her in the hospital for close monitoring.
He said this deadly flu-like disease originated from the city of Wuhan in China
He said symptoms include fever, cough, colds, body pains, and a weakened body.
Panganiban said PPCIA also has a thermal scanner and noted that the local Bureau of Quarantine under the leadership of Dr. Jun Reyes are working hand in hand with them.
However, Panaganiban assured the public there is yet no confirmed case of nCOV in the city and advised the public to take proper health care.
“Constant hand-washing will help. Iyong pagiging malinis natin sa katawan natin, tapos kung hindi maka-hand wash a sanitizer will help, avoid too much crowd, [observe] cough etiquette natin kunguubo tayo takpan either with hands, tissue, handkerchief or damit,” said Panganiban
“Magpalakas ng resistance, vitamins will help, take a lot of fluid, enough rest,” he added.
City information officer Richard Ligad also told PDN Thursday that the public must rest assured that all responsible agencies are working to ensure everyone’s safety.