An estimated 2,000 Chinese tourists in Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan are considered Persons Under Monitoring (PUMs) for possible exposure to the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), the Malay Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction Office (MDRRMO) said on Tuesday.
Catherine Fulgencio, Malay MDRRMO officer, said the 2,000 Chinese tourists are presently staying at different hotels and establishments in Malay.
In the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management’s (RDRRMC) Pre-Disaster Risk Assessment (PDRA) on Tuesday, Fulgencio said: “There are 2,000 that are not monitored for signs and symptoms. Even our hotels, not all (are monitoring),” she said.
“There is panic when there is a Chinese having cough and runny nose. The staff in establishment even go home and the Chinese (tourists) opt to transfer to another establishment to stay. That is the situation there,” she said.
The Chinese tourists staying in different hotels and establishments is
a challenge for the MDRRMO and health officials to monitor.
Some hotels and establishments also lack doctors and nurses to attend or monitor for any flu-like signs on the tourists.
Fulgencio suggested the establishment of a “one-stop-shop” for the safety officers and the medical team to establish a situational report of the health status of the tourists.
She said Malay Mayor Frolibar Bautista is also mulling to sign a memorandum requiring hotels and establishments to attend to education and information campaign of the local government against the virus.
Dr. Jane Juanico, head of the Infectious Disease Cluster of the Department of Health Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD)-6, meanwhile, said they are completing the number of persons under monitoring for 2019-nCoV in the region.
PUMs are patients with no symptoms but have history of travel to any provinces of China, including Macao and Hong Kong, or with known close contact or positive exposure to a known novel coronavirus, Juanico said.
Juanico has yet to determine if the 2,000 tourists in Boracay will be added to the seven persons earlier put under medical observation in different areas of Western Visayas.
“We have yet to complete the list. The cases that we picked up are from the hospitals,” she said.
The PMUs arrived on the island on Jan. 21 before the extended travel ban was imposed by the national government on February 2. (PNA)