The Kalibo International Airport has stepped up its defense against the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) by having domestic passengers be screened for any symptoms, an official said on Wednesday.
Eusebio Monserate, airport manager of Kalibo International Airport, said passengers undergo thermal scanning before entering the airport.
“As per the Bureau of Quarantine’s (BOQ) mandate and regulations, only international passengers are subjected to thermal scanning but then, we boost our defense. Not only international passengers will be screened to thermal scanning but to include also our domestic passengers,” Monserate said in a phone interview.
Three thermal scanners of the BOQ are used at the Kalibo International Airport, he said.
The province of Aklan is also considering to augment the scanners in the airport.
“The province of Aklan will also augment us with thermal guns,” Monserate said.
Kalibo International Airport services domestic flights from Manila, Cebu, and Pampanga; and international flights to Korea and China.
During normal operations, the airport caters to 30 international flights and 11 domestic flights daily.
Since the flights from Kalibo to the provinces of China were banned last February 2, Monserate said international operations dropped by 60 percent.
Meanwhile, as to the Chinese tourists that entered the province before the temporary suspension of flights, Monserate said there is no order for them to be repatriated.
“We have a series of meetings now to identify the remaining Chinese in the province that passed through the airport,” he said.
The Malay Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) on Tuesday during the Pre-Disaster Risk Assessment of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said 2,000 tourists stay in various hotels and establishment in Boracay Island.
The MDRRMO wants the Chinese tourists to be monitored for symptoms of 2019-nCoV.
In a press release on Wednesday, the local government of Malay clarified that 429 persons are left in the municipality to be monitored.
“Currently, there are 429 Persons Under Monitoring since they have travel history from China for the past 14 days. The reported 2,000 Chinese who were from China, except Wuhan is actually the number of arrivals reported by the Municipal Tourism Office from the period of January 25 to February 3, 2020,” it said.
“Since most of them already left the country, the Municipality of Malay is left with 429 persons to be monitored. The 2,000 Chinese were already outside of their country prior to the imposition of travel ban,” the statement added.
Monserate said tracking the remaining Chinese in the province is difficult.
“We have to go back to screen all the passengers, how they arrived and what airline,” he said.
If there is an order to repatriate the Chinese, he said the Department of Health, Provincial Health Office, and the governor’s office will be the ones to coordinate with concerned national agencies. (PNA)