Ship crews who have recently called in any China ports have been barred from leaving their vessels to avoid further infections of the 2019 novel coronavirus (nCoV) in the country.
Not only the passengers coming from Chinese territories are barred from disembarking but we have also disallowed the crews of vessels which recently called in any China port, Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago said in a statement on Monday.
Aside from the disembarkation ban, which is applicable to all PPA-controlled ports, Santiago said allowing seafarers' visitors�such as relatives�to board vessels, have also been temporarily suspended.
It is also a practice in the country that relatives of Filipino seafarers are allowed visitation rights as well as several institutions giving moral, spiritual and emotional support. And this too is temporarily suspended, Santiago said.
To ensure strict implementation of the measure, the PPA said a team will be deployed in each PPA ports to monitor the movements of all personnel, crew, and passengers.
PPA is also coordinating closely with the Office for Transportation Security and the Maritime Industry Authority as well as agents of ships calling in the Philippines to issue parallel directives within their jurisdiction, the PPA said.
Stringent prevention measures, it said, were put in place in all PPA ports on Friday as a frontline defense against the possible entry of the virus in the country."
Moreover, nCoV Malasakit Help Desks have also been established in PPA ports to receive reports of possible victims of the viral disease, as well as the distribution of face masks and sanitizers to frontline employees.
Earlier, the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine said there was still no case of human-to-human transmission of nCoV in the Philippines, adding that the country is in the containment stage of the international epidemic.
This, after a 44-year-old Chinese man�the companion of the first confirmed nCoV case in the country�became the first nCoV-positive patient to have died outside China on Saturday.
Source: Philippines News Agency