By Calvin Cordova
CEBU CITY – Authorities here have started implementing the mandatory quarantine for Filipinos arriving from China and its special administrative regions Macau and Hong Kong.
On Monday, 10 Filipino passengers who arrived from Hong Kong aboard a Cathay Pacific flight at 10: 48 a.m. Monday were the first batch to undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine as part of the measure to prevent the spread of 2019 novel Coronavirus Acute Respiratory Disease (ARD).
Ten other Filipino passengers aboard a separate Cathay Pacific flight were also scheduled to arrive at 6 p.m. Monday.
Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia on Monday presided at a meeting to discuss the quarantine guidelines with officials of the Bureau of Immigration, Bureau of Quarantine, Department of Health, Mactan Cebu International Airport Authority, GMR-Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) and Philippine National Police (PNP).
“The quarantine is in line with the directive issued by the President to ban the entry of foreign nationals except FiIipinos and permanent resident visa holders coming from China and its special administrative regions,” said Garcia.
Discussed in the meeting were the procedures of the mandatory quarantine.
“We had to abruptly end the meeting since there was an arriving Cathay Pacific flight,” said Garcia.
Garcia said under the mandatory quarantine, the passengers will not be allowed to go home and will not be barred from mingling with their families.
Upon arrival, the passengers will submit a mandatory health form and will be brought to an isolation room at MCIA.
“BOQ and BI personnel will go to the passengers so they don’t have to mingle with other passengers,” said Garcia.
Airport personnel will be the ones to bring the baggage to the isolated passengers.
“The passengers and the families will be properly briefed about the whole procedures,” said Garcia.
From the airport, the passengers will be brought to the Eversley Childs Sanitarium and General Hospital in Mandaue City which was one of the quarantine facilities that the DOH identified.
Garcia said the possibility of allowing them to go on home quarantine was also being studied.
“They passengers may also choose to undergo home quarantine but we are still finalizing the protocols,” said Garcia.
Aside from the hospital in Mandaue, the Women and Children Development Center in Barangay Sudlon, Cebu City and a rehabilitation center in Pinamungajan town, Cebu were also identified as quarantine facilities.
Police Brig. Gen. Valeriano de Leon, chief of the Police Regional Office-Central Visayas (PRO 7), said they were assisting DOH Region 7 in tracing the places that the 38-year-old Chinese woman visited in Dumaguete City.
The woman tested positive for the virus.
“We are ready to help but we also have our own measures to protect our men from the virus,” said De Leon.
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