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DOTr to all seaports, airports: Be vigilant amid 2019 nCoV threats

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram January 23,2020 - 05:04 PM


Workers spray disinfectant at a train station in Wuhan in southern China’s Hubei province, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020. Chinese health authorities urged people in the city of Wuhan to avoid crowds and public gatherings, after warning on Wednesday that a new viral illness that has infected hundreds and caused at least nine deaths could spread further. | Chinatopix via AP

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has issued an advisory encouraging all transportation hubs in the country to be vigilant on the threat of the new coronavirus strain from China.

In a press release issued today, Thursday (January 23), DOTr quoted its head, Secretary Arthur Tugade, encouraging all airports and seaports to observe vigilance to prevent possible entry and spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus, simplified as 2019 nCoV, especially in anticipation of the influx of passengers this Lunar New Year on January 25.

Read more: DOH-7: Boy from Wuhan continues to test negative of non-specific coronavirus

The country’s transportation bureau stated that they have been closely monitoring all airports in the country, particularly Kalibo International Airport which served as a gateway for airline companies serving direct flights from the country to Wuhan City.

The 2019 nCoV, also known as the Wuhan coronavirus, originated in Wuhan City in Hubei Province of Central China which had already spread to other countries such as Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and the United Stated.

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

DOTr also said that an airline was planning to suspend its direct flights to Wuhan City from Kalibo International Airport in Aklan province and vice-versa.

“Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Director General Jim Sydiongco adds that Royal Air, one of the airlines that operate direct flights between Kalibo and Wuhan, has manifested its intention to suspend its Wuhan flights until the coronavirus issue has been contained and managed,” it added.

Read more: China’s appeal: Report suspected cases of coronavirus infection

On the maritime side, DOTr announced that all ports in the country are instructed to implement ‘strict passenger screening’ at arrivals. Medical units of all Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) stations were also placed on high alert.

“As we implement preventive measures and stringent monitoring of passengers in our transportation hubs nationwide, we implore the public to cooperate with the authority and also be vigilant in their travels at all times,” the statement quoted Tugade./dbs

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TAGS: 2019-nCov, COVID-19, Department of Transportation (DOTr), DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade, Wuhan City, Wuhan coronavirus

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