Cebu placed under state of preparedness amid nCoV scare

The provincial government of Cebu has placed the entire province under a state of preparedness as part of measures against 2019 novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (2019-nCoV ARD).

Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia on Monday said with the Provincial Board approval of the resolution declaring the province's preparedness, the Capitol is authorized to use its disaster funds for the upkeep, food and other items necessary for the operation of quarantine facilities.

The three facilities -- Eversley Child Sanitarium Hospital in Jagobiao, Mandaue City, the newly built drug rehabilitation facility in Pinamungajan and the Women and Children Development Center in Barangay Lahug here -- will be used as isolation area for anyone from China, Hong Kong and Macao who will arrive at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA).

The drug rehabilitation facility and the women's center are owned by the provincial government, while the 50-bed capacity Eversley Hospital is run by the Department of Health (DOH).

Garcia said the facilities will be used to seclude returning Filipinos and permanent residents from China, Hong Kong and Macao who will be arriving at the MCIA.

Although President Rodrigo Duterte's directive on the temporary ban covers foreigners, Garcia said she will continue to impose the 14-day mandatory quarantine to returning Filipinos and permanent residents who will arrive from the mainland China, its special administrative region and its autonomous region in the southern coast.

"What we will do is to strengthen our surveillance and quarantine measures and to operationalize the President's directive," Garcia said.

On Monday, at least 10 Filipino passengers onboard a Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong were subjected to mandatory quarantine procedures upon arrival at the airport.

Placing the passengers under mandatory isolation was decided Monday afternoon during the meeting called for by Garcia and attended by the officials of the DOH-Central Visayas, Bureau of Immigration, Bureau of Quarantine, GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC), Provincial Health Office, Provincial Social Welfare and Department Office, and the Mactan Association of Airline Operators.

The passengers were placed in a holding area for processing and were required to fill up the health card truthfully before they were transferred to Eversley Hospital.

The governor, however, emphasized that returning Filipinos flagged at the airport may opt to undergo home quarantine to be watched by village officials and the Philippine National Police.

DOH-7 chief Jaime Bernadas said home quarantine procedures can be supervised by the barangay officials.

In coordination with DOH-7, he said village officials may establish a barangay quarantine center.

GMCAC chief executive advisor, Andrew Harrison commended Cebu province's move to impose strict guidelines in addressing the global threat of 2019-nCoV to public health.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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