By Tara Yap and Freddie Lazaro
Iloilo City/Vigan City —Tourists from countries with positive cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (nCov-ARD) cannot enter the island province of Guimaras.
This is after Guimaras Governor Samuel Gumarin issued an executive order barring entry of tourists who fail to present a clearance from the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ), the attached agency of the Department of Health (DOH).
“While the BOQ remains on high alert and is in constant coordination with authorities from all ports of entry for stricter border surveillance, the province of Guimaras likewise needs to have full vigilance and security in all its entry points,” Gumarin said.
While Gumarin’s executive order specifically mentions barring Chinese tourists from Wuhan City, it also included any other areas with positive nCov cases.
“There is a need for immediate action at the local level, particularly to protect the inhabitants and the agri-tourism industry of the province,” Gumarin said.
An island province of five towns, Guimaras has been an alternative beach destination for travelers of Metro Iloilo. It also has inland resorts and religious sites that have gained popularity among domestic and foreign visitors.
Guimaras is also known to be the home of one of the world’s sweetest mangoes.
In Ilocos Sur, Governor Ryan Luis V. Singson ordered local health workers and other concerned individuals in the province to strictly enforce quarantine procedures and other disease prevention and control measures to protect the province from the 2019-nCoV and other similar strains.
Executive Order No. 03 issued on January 21, 2020 also mandates the implementation of precautionary measures against the possible entry of the virus in Ilocos Sur province.
As of press time, Ilocos Sur is still nCoV-free.
“We need to protect the province from 2019-nCoV and similar strains, as may identified by the World Health Organization and/or the Department of Health, by the strict implementation of additional quarantine, and other disease prevention and control measures,” Singson said.
It is also necessary to implement the following procedures to prevent the entry of the virus to the province: inspection/clearing/checking of foreign vessels in their second or subsequent port of entry; mandatory accomplishment of passenger declaration and health declaration card of those entering the province by domestic flights and by domestic or international vessels; barangay monitoring; and tourism establishments monitoring.
He enjoined local chief executives in the different cities and municipalities to mobilize their respective barangay councils, barangay volunteer workers, such as barangay health workers, barangay nutrition scholars, and barangay service point officers to monitor and record returning residents and transients with travel history from countries positive for 2019-nCoV and similar strains and/or exhibiting symptoms such as fever, cough and or/colds, and to report to the City or Municipal Health Office, if any.
Tourism establishments such as, but not limited to hotels, pension houses, motels, resort dwellings and transient accommodations, shall monitor and record guests with travel history from affected countries.
Singson also called on the massive advocacy campaign on the simple tips to protect the people from any viral infection.