Antique tourism sector told to be vigilant amid nCov scare

Tourism officers of the 18 municipalities and other tourism stakeholders in the province of Antique were told to be vigilant amid the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

In a meeting on Tuesday with municipal tourism officers, tour operators and resort owners in the province, provincial tourism officer Juan Carlos Perlas said Antique has not imposed a lockdown on tourists due to nCoV but they are only urged to be vigilant.

He said tourism officers and stakeholders must immediately report to their respective Municipal Health Officers (MHOs) if they have guests who have travel history to China and if they manifest flu-like symptoms.

He added that the Health Declaration Checklist, prepared by the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) and the Department of Health (DOH), should be given to their guests so they would know if they have fever, cough, and history of travel outside the Philippines for the past 14 days.

This is the same checklist distributed by the crew of the Philippine Airlines (PAL) to passengers bound for Antique and health personnel assigned at the Antique Airport as part of their screening.

PAL flies to Antique every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

Meanwhile, Perlas said Antique is just a secondary destination because tourists are already screened at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila before they fly to Antique via Clark.

Tourists are also screened at the airport of Iloilo, Kalibo or Caticlan and in Roxas City in Capiz, he said, adding Antique could be considered "safer".

Perlas said municipal tourism officers should keep monitoring the tourism arrivals in their respective municipalities with confidentiality.

During the meeting, IPHO nurse Jessa Sison and Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office Emergency Medical Services head Kareen Huelar briefed the tourism officers about the nCoV and its preventive measures.

Let us always practice hand hygiene, cough etiquette, and healthy lifestyle, Sison said.

She said hand hygiene or hand-washing is very important in preventing transmission. Cough etiquette means the use of a mask or avoiding coughing in front of another person, and a healthy lifestyle is to be stress-free and having enough sleep.

Huelar, on the other hand, said tourism officers should immediately refer tourists who have travel history to China within 14 days to their municipal health offices for proper management.

The tourism officers, on the other hand, requested if they could be provided with the infrared thermometer or sensor which they could use in screening tourist visitors.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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