‘CORONAVIRUS ALERT’: Iloilo Airport tightens quarantine protocols

The airport’s thermal scanner detectedthem with fever. Throat swab specimens were collectedfrom the three foreigners then these were sent to the Research Institute forTropical Medicine in Manila for analysis. To further protect the province,Defensor further ordered the following: According to Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP)Iloilo Airport terminal supervisor Arthur Parreño, his agency has tightenedmedical quarantine protocols. The thermal scanner has also been activated to detect passengerswith fever – one of the symptoms of those infected with the new coronavirusknown also as 2019-nCoV. “The 29 years old Chinese was advisedto stay overnight at the DRSTMH while the young girl was considered anoutpatient. The 65-year-old patient, on the other hand, is currently beingchecked at the hospital,” said Cuachon. ILOILO City – Joining the rest of the world in heighteningmeasures to prevent the spread of a new corovirus from China, the IloiloAirport in Cabatuan, Iloilo has started screening passengers arriving from HongKong and Singapore for fever and flu symptoms. The three Chinese nationals werereferred to the Dr. Rafael S. Tumbukon Memorial Hospital (DRSTMH), said Dr.Glenn Alonsabe, DOH regional epidemiologist. “Feverish passengers would be ushered to an isolation room,” saidParreño. “The suspected cases won’t be passing the passenger terminal butthrough the ramp in going to the waiting ambulance,” Parreño stressed. * mobilization of barangay volunteerssuch as Barangay Health Workers, Barangay Nutrition Scholars and BarangayService Point Officers to monitor and record returning residents and transientwith travels from countries positive for 2019 nCoV, and similar strains; and Iloilo’s Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr.backed the steps that CAAP has taken but pointed out a loophole when he checkedthe Iloilo Airport yesterday. The Department of Health (DOH)confirmed early this week that three Boracay Island-bound Chinese visitors whoentered the country through the Kalibo International Airport were placed underquarantine in Kalibo, Aklan. * inspection / clearing / checking offoreign vessels including the crew for 2019-nCoV in their second or subsequentport of entry in the province by the Bureau of Quarantine Parreño expects a surge in passenger arrivals this week due to theDinagyang Festival in Iloilo City. Signs of infection include respiratorysymptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties. * monitoring and recording of guestsfrom tourism accommodation establishments who have travel history from affectedcountries The CAAP-Iloilo chief said his office is also waiting an orderfrom their central office for the possible free distribution of face masks atthe airport. The Kalibo International Airportservices direct flights to and from Wuhan City. He thus issued Executive Order No. 028ordering the mandatory accomplishment of the “passenger declaration and healthdeclaration card” of those entering the province both by domestic andinternational flights or vessels”. This new virus has spread from China’sWuhan City (there are now over 500 confirmed cases, with the origin a seafoodmarket) in China to several Chinese provinces, as well as the US, Thailand,South Korea, Japan, and Macau. Bureau of Quarantine personnel have been posted on Aerobridge 3,the designated passageway of passengers arriving from Hong Kong and Singapore. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illnessesranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as pneumonia. It isnot yet clear how bad this new coronavirus is but deaths were already reportedin China. The first to be quarantined, accordingto Dr. Cornelio Cuachon of the Aklan Provincial Health Office, was a29-year-old Chinese national. This was on Jan. 17. The second was a three-year-oldgirl on Jan. 18.The most recent, on Monday, was a 65-year-old Chinese. It may take time before the resultswould be known, said Cuachon./PN The Iloilo Airport services 50 flights each day (25 departure, 25arrival) including flights to and from Hong Kong and Singapore. Hospital authorities would be contacted for an ambulance thatwould take the passengers to the hospital for further examination.