Authorities want 2K Chinese PUMs in Boracay monitored for nCoV

Published February 5, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By the Philippine News Agency 

ILOILO CITY – An estimated 2,000 Chinese tourists in Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan are considered Persons Under Monitoring (PUMs) for possible exposure to the novel coronavirus (nCoV ARD), the Malay Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Office (MDRRMO) said on Tuesday.

TOURISTS HAVEN. Photo shows tourists at the beachfront of Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan. An estimated 2, 000 Chinese tourists on the island are considered persons under monitoring for possible exposure to novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), the Malay Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Office said on Tuesday (Feb.4, 2020). (File photo)
TOURISTS HAVEN. Photo shows tourists at the beachfront of Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan. (File photo via PNA / MANILA BULLETIN)

Catherine Fulgencio, Malay MDRRMO officer, said the 2,000 Chinese tourists are presently staying at different hotels and establishments in Malay town.

In the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management’s (RDRRMC) Pre-Disaster Risk Assessment (PDRA) on Tuesday, Fulgencio said: “There are 2,000 that are not monitored for signs and symptoms. Even our hotels, not all (are monitoring),” she said.

“There is panic when there is a Chinese having cough and runny nose. The staff in establishments even go home and the Chinese (tourists) opt to transfer to another establishment to stay. That is the situation there,” she said.

The Chinese tourists staying in different hotels and establishments pose a challenge for the MDRRMO and health officials to monitor.

Some hotels and establishments also lack doctors and nurses to attend or monitor for any flu-like signs on the tourists.

Fulgencio suggested the establishment of a “one-stop-shop” for the safety officers and the medical team to establish a situational report of the health status of the tourists.

She said Malay Mayor Frolibar Bautista is also mulling to issue a memorandum requiring hotels and establishments to attend to education and information campaign of the local government against the virus.

Dr. Jane Juanico, head of the Infectious Disease Cluster of the Department of Health Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD)-6, meanwhile, said they are completing the number of persons under monitoring for 2019-nCoV in the region.

PUMs are patients with no symptoms but have history of travel to any provinces of China, including Macao and Hong Kong, or with known close contact or positive exposure to a known novel coronavirus, Juanico said.

Juanico has yet to determine if the 2,000 tourists in Boracay will be added to the seven persons earlier placed under medical observation in different areas of Western Visayas.

READ MORE: Boracay officials track down, monitor 2,000 Chinese tourists still on island

“We have yet to complete the list. The cases that we picked up are from the hospitals,” she said.

The PMUs arrived on the island on Jan. 21 before the extended travel ban was imposed by the national government on February 2.

READ MORE: DOH confirms Chinese woman 3rd case of nCoV in PH