12 Chinese in Iloilo, Aklan monitored amid nCov fears
ILOILO CITY—Twelve Chinese nationals in Iloilo and Aklan are now being monitored by health authorities for signs of the deadly novel coronavirus (nCoV) in procedures that are now routine amid growing fears of nCoV spreading to the Philippines
The monitoring comes as international health experts said there were indications that carriers of the virus don’t show symptoms at least two weeks after infection. This meant that carriers would appear to be healthy but still capable of transmitting nCoV.
In Iloilo City, health workers on Wednesday (Jan. 29) placed under medical observation a three-year-old Chinese boy who developed fever after arriving from China.
Dr. Mary Jane Roches Juanico, head of the infectious disease unit of the DOH in Western Visayas, said the boy currently has no fever and respiratory ailment.
The boy, who is vacationing with his parents here, has no history of travel to Hubei, the province which has territorial jurisdiction over Wuhan City, the epicenter of the nCoV outbreak.
The boy was referred to the Western Visayas Medical Center after his parents sought to consult doctors at a private health facility, Juanico said.
In the capital town of Kalibo in Aklan province, 11 Chinese nationals vacationing in Boracay were also placed under observation in a facility.
Juanico said the tourists had traveled to China and Hong Kong before going to Aklan. None have showed symptoms of nCoV so far.
Antique Rep. Loren Legarda has called on
officials of Antique to ban visitors coming from China and other countries with suspected and confirmed cases of the nCov.
“This rise in Novel Coronavirus cases is a cause for alarm, especially because our country is one of the most visited by tourists from all over the world,” Legarda said in a press release.
“Health security checks must be done for people coming into the province,” she added, without elaborating on who she was referring to in her mention of people, whether Chinese nationals or even Filipinos.
Legarda said the assurance by the Department of Health (DOH) that there is still no confirmed nCoV case in the Philippines offers no guarantee that the virus would not find its way into the country.
“We cannot let our guard down,” she said, noting that the virus had spread to more countries after killing an increasing number of people in China.
Among countries or territories that have confirmed nCoV cases were Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, United States and France.
The Civil Aeronautics Board earlier suspended direct flights between Wuhan and Kalibo following a lockdown by Chinese authorities on Wuhan.
Flights connecting other areas in China to the Philippines, however, continued.
Chinese tourists had dislodged Koreans as the top visitors of Boracay, leading arrivals in Western Visayas.
Edited by TSB
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