The Bureau of Quarantine (BoQ) has implemented stricter protocols in monitoring the entry points of the city.
The BoQ, an agency under the Department of Health (DOH), imposed the policy after President Rodrigo Duterte declared the country under a state of public health emergency.
Dr. Shane Ludovice, BOQ medical officer, said they have to make sure that no one can enter the city unevaluated or unchecked.
In yesterday’s DOH press conference, Ludovice said they are doing their best efforts in manning the airports, seaports and the other entry points of the city.
He said they have advised airlines to practice having their passengers’ checklists or the records of their health declaration to be submitted to nurses dispatched in domestic terminal buildings. Fourteen nurses as of now are dispatched already.
“Nurses are dispatched to domestic airlines, they are to check the checklists provided from the airlines. They are to encode and send information to DOH and RESU (Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit),” Ludovice said.
He said that these nurses will evaluate first the passengers and are provided with thermal guns. They have to submit their reports to DOH and BOQ for further assessment.
Passengers should be held at the seaports and airports for further assessment and questioning.
“We have to know their travel histories, check their health status to ensure that the city is safe from the virus,” Ludovice said.
Shipping lines are also advised to submit their ports of call ahead of the arrival so that they can assess if the vessel should be put into quarantine anchorage or if there is a restriction of disembarking or embarkation of the crew.
As soon as the passengers have been observed with some manifestations of COVID-19, they are automatically isolated in the city’s quarantine areas. But, Ludovice said, even if there are no manifestations of the virus, as long as an individual has traveled from outside the city, they are advised to be home quarantined.
The BoQ urged the public to participate in this drive against the COVID-19 by cooperating during the assessment and evaluation period. They have assured the public of their efforts towards guarding the entry points and the ports.
“Rest assured that we would do our best to guard the ports and airports of the city,” he said.