Health personnel in Sarangani province formally placed under quarantine on Thursday the four Chinese tourists from Fujian, China who earlier visited a beach resort in Glan town.
Dr. Arvin Alejandro, chief of the Sarangani Health Office, said they transferred the foreigners to an isolation facility to undergo quarantine for another week in compliance with the protocol set by the Department of Health (DOH).
The four Chinese nationals, one of them a minor, arrived before 1 p.m. at the DOH-managed Regional Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center in Barangay Kawas, Alabel town, where they will be quarantined until Feb. 13.
They were fetched by an ambulance of the Sarangani provincial government from an apartelle in Purok Malakas, Barangay San Isidro.
The four transferred to this city on Wednesday after staying for at least two days in a beach resort in Glan.
Alejandro said they stopped the foreigners from flying to Manila on Thursday based on advice from the DOH's epidemiology bureau.
He said they alerted the Bureau of Immigration, Bureau of Quarantine and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines about the scheduled flight.
They appeared disappointed after being barred from taking their flight (to Manila) but this is something that we have to do for the safety of everyone, he said in an interview.
Based on the DOH's protocol, the official said the tourists need to complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine for the deadly novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) as they came from mainland China.
The foreigners, who entered the country last Jan. 30 through a flight from Guangdong, China via Clark International Airport, will need to complete the remaining seven days of quarantine before they will be allowed to travel again, he said.
The tourists initially flew to Davao City and stayed there for three days before traveling to this city and Glan, Sarangani by bus and passenger van, respectively.
Alejandro said the four are currently considered as persons under monitoring but have not been tested for 2019-nCoV.
They remain asymptomatic and following the precautionary measures like the wearing of N95 protective masks, he said.
He said they were provided with an airconditioned room with four beds and a couch, and can move around the rehabilitation center compound.
Alejandro assured the public that the situation is under control and they have been closely monitoring the condition of the tourists.
We actually talked to them face-to-face to show to the public that there is nothing to worry as long as we exercise precautionary measures, he said.
He added that they already communicated with the Chinese Consulate in Davao City regarding the status of its quarantined nationals.
Source: Philippines News Agency