Here’s what you need to know on MCIA’s precautionary measures amid threat of 2019-nCoV

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram, Norman V. Mendoza January 23,2020 - 06:03 PM

Passengers lining up the Immigration Booths at Terminal 2 of the Mactan Cebu International Airport | CDN Digital Photo by Norman V. Mendoza

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Precautionary measures to control the potential spread and entry of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019 – nCoV)  are now being implemented by airport authorities from the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) community.

The MCIA has recently issued a statement on Thursday, January 23, stating that they will be implementing intensified thermal scanning, hand sanitization and air disinfection, and placing dedicated medical team at the arrivals area in both domestic and international terminals of the airport.

MCIA is also advising passengers having flu-like symptoms to “self-declare, and voluntarily submit themselves to a medical screening by the Bureau of Quarantine upon disembarkation.”

Airport and quarantine officers are also planning to disinfect aircrafts upon arrival.

Thermal Screening

According to Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA) and the airport’s private co-managing body GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) , there are three thermal scanner cameras being used to determine the passengers’ body temperature.

They said passengers are advised to remove their jackets, caps, scarves and for the thermal scanners to determine their body temperature. Passengers are also required to fill up personal health information cards during their arrival.

Those with high body temperature will be evaluated and if suspected to have carried the coronavirus, the passenger will be quarantined and referred to the designated hospital.

Any suspected cases of the 2019-nCoV will then be referred to officers of the Bureau of Quarantine.

Additional thermal scans of passenger body temperatures are also stationed on the aerobridges of all flights arriving directly from China.

The Department of Health has also provided additional 20 nurses and 4 doctors to cover five shifts for 24 hours.

Paul Longinos, officer from Bureau of Quarantine in Central Visayas, said these are on top of the thermal scanning at the Immigration Arrival Level.

“There will be hand sanitization and air disinfection. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are being installed in all aerobridges and arrival corridors with passengers being asked to use these facilities. Liquid disinfectant will be sprayed in the aerobridges prior to each flight arrivals,” Longinos added.

Ground staff and airport personnel

Aside from that, airport front liners are required to wear protective masks, and all airport staff dealing with passengers upon immediate arrival are required to wear surgical masks as a precautionary measure. As the virus is currently understood to be transmitted through contaminated droplets, surgical masks will provide adequate protection.

Adequate information materials and announcements are also being displayed in prominent areas at arrival and departure areas to provide the passengers with ample information on coronavirus. Announcements and reminders will be made on a regular basis and running electronic messages will be displayed around the airport. These messages will be based on guidance material from the Department of Health and Bureau of Quarantine.

MCIA serves eight routes with direct flights to mainland China. These are flights to Guangzhou, Xiamen, Jinjiang, Chengdu, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Nanjing, Hangzhou.

There are no direct flights from Cebu to Wuhan City, where the 2019-nCoV surfaced./dbs


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TAGS: COVID-19, Mactan Cebu International Airport, MCIA, nCOV

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