Department of Tourism urges public, tourists to take precautions vs. Novel Coronavirus
Manila, Philippines — Hot on the heels of the announcement of the Department of Health (DOH) with regard to the first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the Philippines, the Department of Tourism (DOT) recently urged the public, including tourists from other countries, to take the necessary measures/precautions to veer away from the risk of contracting the said deadly virus.
DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in a press statement that while the agency has the mandate to promote, encourage, as well as develop tourism as a major socio-economic activity in the country, the first priority of the DOT at the moment is to ensure the safety, health, and the well-being of all.
“We strongly urge the public to stay informed and abide by the suggested guidelines issued by our health department to minimize risk and help stem the spread of the coronavirus,” said the DOT Secretary. “For your safety, we ask for your full cooperation and understanding at this time.”
The DOT further said in a statement that the agency is confident that the heightened interventions of different government agencies, including the DOH, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Transportation (DOTr), Bureau of Immigration (BI), as well as Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ), would help in impeding the spread of the 2019-nCoV.
On top of that, the DOT is also tapping different entities, such as the local health, travel trade partners, police and security establishments, and other stakeholders, to help in providing guidance and assistance in an aim to make sure that travelers and citizens are safe.
Romulo-Puyat added that the DOT’s stakeholders are going to be advised of all protocols shared by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases headed by the DOH, particularly in handling cases that involve guests and the workforce in the tourism enterprises.
Guidelines in Handling Guests in Tourism Enterprises in the Advent of nCOV Global Health Emergency
For Accommodation Establishments
The DOH is also enhancing its coronavirus laboratory testing capacity, hospital preparedness, rapid response, and its risk communication and information dissemination. Personal Protective Equipment are made available at the Bureau of Quarantine, Centers for Health Development, and DOH Hospitals.
The Bureau of Quarantine, meanwhile, is working with airlines and airport authorities to strengthen border surveillance, while the Epidemiology Bureau is heightening its community surveillance.
The DOT will continue to coordinate with tourism stakeholders and LGUs nationwide and underscore the value of taking precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the nCoV.
To ensure safety and security of travelers and citizens, the DOT calls on the travel trade partners, local health, police and security establishments, and other stakeholders to help provide proper guidance and assistance, when needed.
The public can get information about the 2019-nCoV from the DOH’s and WHO’s official press releases, website, and official social media platforms. Please be wary of fake news and reports circulating online, and always verify the sources of your information.
Philippine Department of Health
World Health Organization – Philippines