4 Chinese tourists isolated for nCoV in Sarangani
ALABEL, SARANGANI –– Sarangani authorities hauled into isolation four Chinese tourists and subjected them to a 14-day quarantine after spending days at a beach resort in Glan town.
The four were set to depart today for Manila and on to China.
The four, tagged as persons under monitoring by the Provincial Health Office, include two females and two males, ages 10, 30, 31, and 43.
They were earlier reported to have arrived on Feb. 2 in Gumasa, Glan, which is famous for its powdery sand beaches that earned its monicker “Boracay of the south.”
Sarangani health officer Dr. Arvin Alejando said the four would be monitored while confined at a drug rehabilitation facility, newly built by the Chinese government, and adjacent to a police camp in Barangay Kawas here.
The sprawling facility has about 200 rooms and a gymnasium. Thirty-one persons are being treated in the facility as out-patients. They visit the rehabilitation center every Tuesday and Friday.
“We have prepared a room for them there, where their comfort is assured while wearing face masks,” Alejandro said.
They will stay in that place until Feb. 20 and if they do not show any symptoms of the novel coronavirus (nCoV), they can be free to leave, Alejandro added.
If any of the four show signs of sickness, Alejandro said they would be immediately brought to a medical center, where an arrangement has been made through the Department of Health.
There is no hospital here or in General Santos that has the facility to accommodate them, Alejandro noted.
“What we want is that they are treated well here and that they can tell this to their compatriots in China when they go back there,” Alejandro said.
Two of the tourists were supposed to leave today for China while the other two were supposed to stay in Manila. Two of them are holders of both Chinese and Philippine passports, one with a Hong Kong passport, and one with a Chinese passport but no Philippine visa.
The tourists initially resisted the move by local authorities to hold them, even calling the Chinese consulate for help.
Alejandro said he explained to the consul that what they were doing was in keeping with health protocols, and in accordance with Philippine laws. The Chinese consul, in turn, explained the move to the tourists, who acceded to the requirements of local authorities.
The four were initially placed in an undisclosed apartelle on Wednesday before they were moved to the drug rehabilitation facility in the absence of an isolation facility for persons being observed for symptoms of the novel coronavirus (nCoV).
Alejandro narrated that one of the tourists begged that they stay in the resort where they checked-in last Feb. 2, but, “that cannot be because it is a private business facility and it would be difficult to isolate them.”
The tourists came from Fujian, China, and took a flight from Clark International Airport, where they passed a thermal scanner, and were cleared to fly to Davao City on January 30.
They stayed for three days in Davao before boarding a bus to General Santos City, then a commuter van to Glan. A tricycle took them to the beach resort on Feb 2.
Alejandro said they learned about the four tourists when local residents alerted the Glan mayor about their presence. The mayor of Glan immediately referred the matter to the Provincial Health Office.
On February 4, the Glan mayor ordered resort and hotel operators to stop accommodating Chinese nationals in their resorts, inns, and hotels.
Edited by Lzb
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.