Tue, 26 May 2020

Siquijor heightens alert vs COVID-19

Philippine Information Agency
14 Feb 2020, 22:38 GMT+10

SIQUIJOR, Feb. 6 (PIA) -- Passengers arriving at Siquijor Island are required to undergo temperature readings and to fill out basic personal and travel information upon arrival at the ports of entry as one of the precautionary measures implemented by the provincial government through the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Council (PDRRMC) and the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) here.

This as the province is on heightened alert to protect the island and its people from the possible spread of the 2019-Novel CoronaVirus or COVID-19.

"We have activated the Siquijor Incident Command System (SICS) and deployed personnel starting Feb. 6 to monitor inbound and outbound passengers in Siquijor and Larena Ports and Tambisan Wharf as well as take temperature readings of incoming passengers and tourists in the island," said PDRRM Officer Blezel Omictin in an interview with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) here.

This after Gov. Zaldy Villa signed an Executive Order (EO) directing the institutions of the precautionary as well as emergency measures against COVID-19 in the province.

The SICS, the EO states, is headed by Vice-Governor Mei Ling Quezon-Brown with the IPHO as the lead office, in collaboration with the six municipal health units, and all support local and national agencies to ensure that proper assistance is given to responders and concerns are addressed.

Task Force HABAK (Hugpong sa mga Ahensiya Batok sa Aksyong Katalagman) serves as the operation arm of SICS.

"So far, the team detected no passenger having fever," said Provincial Health Officer Josephine Bucol.

On the same day, the Provincial Tourism Office (PTO) also conducted a forum with the Siquijor resort operators as the Department of Tourism (DOT) enjoined tourism enterprises such as accommodation establishments to take immediate protective measures to avoid, correct or remove imminent danger in areas where tourists are evidently at risk of infection.

Another information drive was conducted on Feb. 10, 2020 with the transport group.

All Siquijodnons especially those who are engaged in the tourism industry are requested to give their full cooperation, vigilance and to remain calm and follow the recommended preventive actions set by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Department of Health (DOH).

Resort operators, particularly, are asked to follow DOT's guidelines in handling guests in tourism enterprises in the advent of global health emergency.

Meanwhile, in light of the COVID-19 threat, Bucol appealed to the public to refrain from sharing, posting or spreading incorrect and unverified information to avoid causing panic.

She also asked resort operators to monitor the health of their guests daily and immediately report persons manifesting signs and symptoms to the nearest health facility to ensure public safety. (rac/PIA7-Siquijor)

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