By Ma. Cristina Arayata
Authorities continue to strictly monitor arriving passengers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), in line with the mysterious illness reported in China, a doctor from the Department of Health’s Bureau of Quarantine (DOH-BOQ) said Friday.
“We implement strict monitoring, surveillance of arriving passengers, especially those from China. We also have two new units of thermal scanners each at NAIA Terminals 1, 2 and 3,” Dr. Noel Ramirez speaking to the Philippine News Agency (PNA).
He said that, during his duty so far, the BOQ officers have not recorded any suspected case of the mysterious pneumonia-like illness.
Ramirez clarified that a different doctor is on duty at NAIA per day. In case there will be a suspected case, it would be the BOQ’s main office in Quezon City which would report about it to the public, he added.
“We also do information dissemination, to inform the public how to prevent getting this viral pneumonia. Our officers also monitor how airlines disinfect the aircraft. We are also in close coordination with the airlines, and asked them to report to us should they have passengers possibly affected by the mystery pneumonia,” Ramirez said.
He said the thermal scanner can detect if a passenger has fever, and the BOQ personnel would also see a color red on the screen.
Among the signs they are looking for are high grade fever, and consider the passenger’s travel history.
“In such case, we ask the passenger to fill up a health declaration card. We double-check the passenger’s temperature, and he or she may also undergo a regular physical examination,” Ramirez said.
Serious cases will then be referred to hospitals or to the RITM (Research Institute for Tropical Medicine) for further tests, he added.
The cause of the mysterious illness reported in Wuhan, China, is still unknown.
(First published in PNA)