Coronavirus scare

DOH-7 sends more doctors, nurses to T2 of Mactan-Cebu International Airport

By: Futch Anthony Inso - CDN Digital | January 22,2020 - 12:36 PM

A thermal scanner machine set up at the Quarantine Screening Area for inbound passengers at Terminal 2 of the Mactan–Cebu International Airport (MCIA) in Lapu-Lapu City. | CDN Digital file photo

Cebu City, Philippines—The Department of Health in Central Visayas (DOH-7) has already augmented doctors and nurses to the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) station at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) Terminal 2 to help monitor passengers coming in from other countries.

BOQ Cebu Station Assistant Chief Dr. Vernier Ceniza told CDN Digital that currently, they now have 20 nurses and four doctors stationed at the airport who are helping in making sure that the coronavirus from China won’t enter Cebu.

The agency is also currently in heightened alert status.

“So they are more than enough to improve our surveillance there,” Ceniza said.

Ceniza said that before the plaguing of coronavirus from China, the BOQ has only augmented one doctor and four nurses at the airport.

On Tuesday, January 21, 2020, Health Secretary Francisco Duque confirmed that a 5-year-old child from Wuhan, China who was in Cebu City was tested positive for non-specific pancoronavirus.

Read: New coronavirus strain in Cebu City

The child was currently admitted on a hospital in Cebu City for manifesting fever, throat irritation, and cough prior to entering in the country.

Samples from the patient were already sent to Australia, after the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) yielded negative results from the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-related Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-related Coronavirus (SARS-CoV).

Aside from personnel augmentation, the agency also augmented two additional thermal scanners at the airport.

Although the agency’s surveillance will put emphasis to flights coming from China, Ceniza clarified that all arriving passengers in Terminal 2 will have to undergo to thermal scanning.

“If someone has a high temperature, he or she will be pulled out and will be examined by the  doctor. The doctor will evaluate based on the parameters of the decision making,” he said.

Aside from the airport, BOQ has also augmented a doctor and a nurse to different seaports in the province who will go onboard  vessels coming from other countries.

They will be tasked to check passengers and the crew using a handheld thermal scanner. /bmjo

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