Airports and seaports in Western Visayas have been ordered to have thermal scanners as a precautionary measure against the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
In a joint meeting on Thursday, February 6,the Regional Development Council (RDC) and the Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) passed a resolution adopting the use of thermal scanners as a standard operating procedure in Western Visayas amid the 2019-nCoV scare.
The two councils also urged airline companies flying to and from various airports in the region to require their passengers to go through thermal scanners.
In an interview, Dr. Marlyn W. Convocar, regional director of the Department of Health – Center for Health Development 6 (Western Visayas) suggested that they sit down with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines 6 and the Philippine Ports Authority to “plan out its implementation.”
Convocar said they have to discuss who would purchase the scanner, the kind and capacity of the scanner, and other details they need to look into.
“Since the RDC has already ordered, then the implementing rules and guidelines should be set by the agency concerned,” she said.
Convocar said they hope to forward the result of their discussion to the Department of the Interior and Local Government, which in turn would relay the information to local government units hosting the ports and airports.
“The scanner is not the only way to track patients. They can be tracked by urging them that if they have fever, cough, and runny nose, they should go to our facility for consultation,” she said.
They can also be tracked once the barangay health emergency and response team is functional.
Convocar also raised the idea of asking passengers to fill up a health declaration card, which she said could help trace their whereabouts whenever a positive case is identified.
The use of the health declaration card is being proposed by the Iloilo and Capiz governments.
As of Thursday, Western Visayas had 14 persons under investigation (PUIs) – eight have already been discharged after testing negative for nCoV and six are still in referral hospitals (two each in Aklan and Iloilo and one each in Capiz and Iloilo City). (PNA)