Dinagat Islands ramps up preparedness vs. coronavirus

- The province of Dinagat Islands has stepped up its preparations and measures to prevent the entry of the 2019 novel coronavirus in the area.

In a statement on Wednesday, Dinagat Islands' Provincial Information Office (PIO) said an executive order has been issued by Governor Arlene Kaka Bag-ao to heighten the preparations against the deadly coronavirus.

Executive Order 02-001 series of 2020 entitled An Executive Order Establishing and Strengthening Preparedness and Preventive Measures of the Province of Dinagat Islands against the 2019 Novel Coronavirus aims to ensure that the virus will not enter the province, the statement read.

Bag-ao's executive order also mandates the provision of sufficient preparations to guarantee that any detected nCoV case will be isolated to prevent a possible contagion.

Do no panic. Your provincial government and the concerned agencies are now working to prevent the entry of coronavirus in our province, Bag-ao said.

She also urged residents to participate in ensuring the safety of communities and adhere to measures issued by the Department of Health on the protection against nCoV.

Bag-ao also convened the Provincial Risk Reduction and Management Council on Tuesday to further strengthen the preventive measures against nCoV.

The governor's directive enumerates the preventive measures to be undertaken by all concerned agencies and local government units, such as information, education and communication campaigns; complementary prevention mechanisms; monitoring mechanisms; and containment and control actions.

Dinagat Islands is among the rising tourist destinations in Caraga Region for the last two years, data from the Department of Tourism-Region 13 indicated.

A growth rate of 47.41 percent during the first three quarters in 2019 was recorded in the province with a total arrival of 76,389 compared to 51,822 in the same period in 2018.

Domestic tourists topped the number of arrivals during the period with 47.41 percent growth rate or 75,596 compared to 51,213 recorded in 2018. Visits of foreign tourists in the island province during the period also increased to 793 or an increase of 30.21 percent compared in 2018.

Data from DOT-13 also took note of the 3.15 percent increase in tourist arrivals in Dinagat Islands in 2018 compared to 2017.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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