84 travelers denied entry at Malay border checkpoints
AKLAN, Philippines – Malay acting town mayor Frolibar Bautista lifted the border checkpoints on Saturday, February 15, after placing restrictions on travelers who had been to mainland China.
The Malay task force reported a total of 45 foreigners without proper documents of history of travel, while 39 who had shown their passports had been to China within the last 14 days. They were refused entry to Boracay Island.
Executive Order Number 4, issued on February 6 by Bautista, directed health workers and law enforcement units to monitor the entry of any persons, regardless of nationality, before entering the town of Malay and Boracay Island over coronavirus concerns. (PH coronavirus watch: Suspected cases per region, as of February 15, 2020)
Border checkpoints were set up by the task force in Nabas-Malay boundary, barangay Dumlog, and Sitio Bacolod in barangay Caticlan, to check the passports and travel history of visitors.
All persons travelling from or transiting to China and its special administrative regions of Macau and Hong Kong for the past 14 days were temporarily banned from February 7 to 15 out of caution that travellers may be infected with the deadly virus.
Bautista said travellers to Boracay Island would receive further screening in Caticlan port. They would be advised to fill-up health declaration cards and get checked by the personnel there for common signs of coronavirus.
Visitors on roll-on roll-off vessels from Batangas and Mindoro are also required to submit their health declaration cards upon arrival at Caticlan port.
Negative for COVID-19
Meanwhile, 9 persons under investigation (PUIs) in Aklan were discharged from Aklan provincial hospital. The 9 cases had been found |negative for infection of 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), according to the Provincial Health Office (PHO-Aklan).
A bus driver who was put in quarantine in Aklan training center in Kalibo, Aklan was also discharged on February 15. The male patient had no travel history to infected countries and had no close contact with confirmed coronavirus patients, but insisted on self-quarantine after experiencing flu-like symptoms.
With the lifting of the Taiwan travel ban, airports and seaports in Aklan are on heightened surveillance to examine passengers in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Taiwan is the third largest source market of Boracay Island, with 30,624 arrivals last year.
Provincial Health Officer I Dr. Cornelio Cuachon said the provincial inter-agency task force isolation rooms with 12 beds for PUIs in Dr. Rafael S. Tumbokon Memorial Hospital (DRSTMH) in Kalibo, Aklan and the Aklan training center as temporary holding area for persons under monitoring (PUMs).
Augmentation personnel from Department of Health (DOH) are also deployed in airports and district hospitals to help in monitoring coronavirus cases. – Rappler.com