The provincial government is covering all bases in its intensified efforts to prevent the entry of the coronavirus particularly the novel coronavirus from China, which remains scrambling to contain the disease and prevent a global pandemic.
According to acting Governor Rene Relampagos, the technical working group that the Capitol established to fight the entry of the disease, which killed 17 people and sickened hundreds abroad, will look into the health safety situation at the Garcia Hernandez seaport which receives vessels from China.
While efforts to prevent the entry of the disease were focused in Bohol’s main gateways such as the Bohol Panglao International Airport and the Tagbilaran City Tourist Port, Relampagos admitted that the small seaport in Garcia Hernandez which mostly caters to vessels that collect and transport limestone from the province to various ports of the world was almost overlooked.
The issue was raised during the first emergency meeting of Capitol officials and local health authorities on the coronavirus on Wednesday.
“I’m very thankful for that information kay definitely namiss nato na. Pero sakto na naay mga direct from abroad na mga vessels nga mo dock diri labina diha sa Garcia Limestone Corporation,” he said. “That is a very good feedback and we will be including this in the TWG meeting.”
Alert in Lila
Health authorities and seaport and airport personnel across the province including those under quarantine services have been placed on alert to prevent the entry of the disease.
Mayor Arturo Piollo of Lila, which is an emerging tourist destination in Bohol through its whale shark watching, said that the local government unit has implemented stringent precautionary measures against the Wuhan virus.
He said that they are monitoring the health of those who enter the attraction site by getting their temperatures using a tympanic thermometer as recommended by the town’s municipal health office.
Those found to have flu-like symptoms which may indicate infection of the new coronavirus will be denied entry at the site.
“Kanang naay flu-like symptoms sa mga guests dili g’yud nato pasudlon,” he said.
It has been noted that Chinese tourists have started to visit the whale shark watching in Lila which only grew in popularity late last year.
So far, there have been two suspected coronavirus cases in Bohol.
Both cases involved two Chinese nationals, aged two and 36. They manifested symptoms of the new coronavirus but test results are still awaited to determine if they indeed were infected with the disease.
Doctor Yul Lopez, Capitol health cluster chief, said that although only the tests would determine their actual status it is unlikely that they were infected as they were both from Guangdong province, some 900 kilometers away from the city of Wuhan, the outbreak’s epicenter.
They both have been getting better and symptoms have lessened in intensity since they were screened in separate hospitals in Tagbilaran City on Wednesday, Lopez said. (R. Tutas)