Precautionary measures in place to keep Boracay Covid-19 free

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The provincial government of Aklan is asking all Boracay Island visitors for a temperature check and to fill up health declaration cards to guard against potential carriers of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

As local transmission in the country was confirmed by the Department of Health (DOH), government and health officials ensure that both foreign and local tourists undergo preventive protocols as they enter the island through Caticlan Jetty Port and Passenger Terminal.

Jeane Chaezel Pontero, Aklan’s Economic Enterprise Development Department special operation officer at Caticlan Port, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that tourists fill up health declaration cards and have their temperature checked before accessing a boat trip to Boracay.

Upon arrival, tourists fill up a health declaration form which reflects their personal information like name, nationality, sex, and age.

The forms also ask for the tourists’ contact number, e-mail address, and current address.

The tourists’ international and local travel history will also be traced through the form, Pontero said.

The port also utilizes four thermal guns for contactless checking of tourists’ body temperature.

“We conduct the thermal scanning here inside the port to ensure that even the locals will undergo this procedure. This is a 24-hour operation,” she said.

The government also placed sanitizers and alcohol at almost all corners of the port for tourists to use.

Some of the tourists at the port were also observed wearing face masks but Pontero said it is their individual discretion for added protection.

Since the precautionary measures had been implemented last January 28, she said no tourist has shown signs of the disease.

She said the port administration, with the local government of Malay, has identified steps on how to handle any suspected case.

When a tourist manifests fever, cough, and colds, Pontero said he or she will be put on the port’s first aid station. “We identified our first aid station as our holding area for persons showing signs of the disease,” she said.

The port administration will immediately coordinate the case with the Aklan Provincial Health Office.

She said the symptomatic person will be assessed by the health officials.

An ambulance at Malay Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, which is located 50 meters away from the port, is ready to respond at any time.
“We ensure that no person under monitoring or patient under investigation that can enter the island,” she said.

There were still people visiting the island who question the precautionary protocols but Pontero assured that all persons entering the island had undergone the preventive steps.

The Caticlan Jetty Port and Passenger Terminal caters to an average of 5,000 persons daily which went down to 2, 800 to 3, 000 passengers daily when the coronavirus threat broke out.

“We are asking for everyone’s cooperation. With the cooperation of the people and the government agencies, we can combat this disease,” she said.PNA



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