NAIA beefs up quarantine measure amid Novel Coronavirus scare

Marje Pelayo   •   January 22, 2020   •   2112

Philippines MERS virus measures at the airport epa04169811 A Filipino medical officer observes Passengers from United Arab Emirates pass through a thermal scanner at the medical quarantine area upon arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, south of Manila, the Philippines, 17 April 2014. The Department of Health (DOH) of the Philippines is now on intensive search for passengers of an Etihad flight that arrived in Manila on 15 April 2014, who may have had possible contact with the Filipino male nurse tested positive for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus. The World Health Organization said on 14 April 2014 that the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases of the MERS coronavirus since September 2012 stood at 228, including 92 deaths. Most cases have been reported in Saudi Arabia, but there have also been cases in Europe and North Africa. EPA/RITCHIE B. TONGO

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Quarantine has heightened measures at ports across the country due to reports of suspected Novel Coronavirus from China.

Additional thermal scanners were installed at terminals of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

Quarantine staff were ordered to wear mask at all times as they are the first to interact with arriving passengers.

The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday (January 21) said they have been observing the conditions of a 5-year-old Chinese boy who showed flu-like symptoms suspected to be the 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

The boy travelled to the Philippines from Wuhan, China to study English.

He arrived at 3:00p.m. of January 12 but was hospitalized on the same day at 6:00p.m.

Blood samples from the boy were immediately tested at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) and was confirmed negative for Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-COV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

However, he was tested positive for a certain strain of coronavirus. His samples were immediately forwarded to a laboratory in Australia for further tests.

The boy will remain as person under investigation until the DOH receives the result from Australia.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Quarantine has already launched contact tracing of all passengers in the same flight as the Chinese boy.

The agency reminds airlines to be ready with the necessary reports should the authorities require them.

“We are reminding the airlines that the universal protective kits should be available on board, the passenger locator card, the protocol on handling cases on board and of course reporting of cases on board to the ground crew,” stressed Dr. Ferdinand Salcedo, Director of the Bureau of Quarantine.

The DOH, meanwhile, is expecting the result from the Australian laboratory tomorrow Thursday (January 23). MNP (with inputs from Aiko Miguel)

China advises foreign diplomats to stop coming to Beijing

UNTV News   •   April 3, 2020

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying

China’s foreign ministry is advising foreign diplomats to stop coming to Beijing, after the country temporarily banned most foreigners from entering to prevent a resurgence of a coronavirus epidemic, a spokeswoman said on Friday (April 3).

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters during a daily briefing that the ministry was aware of confirmed coronavirus cases among foreign diplomats in China.

Mainland China reported 31 new confirmed coronavirus cases, 29 of which were imported from overseas, the country’s National Health Commission said on Friday.

The total number of infections now stands at 81,620 and 3,322 deaths have been reported from mainland China to date. (Reuters)

(Production: Shubing Wang, Irene Wang)

Teenage boy dies in London after testing positive for coronavirus

UNTV News   •   April 1, 2020

A 13-year-old boy in London who tested positive for coronavirus has died, a hospital said on Tuesday (March 31).

“Sadly, a 13-year old boy who tested positive for COVID-19 has passed away, and our thoughts and condolences are with the family at this time,” King’s College Hospital said in a statement.

“The death has been referred to the coroner and no further comment will be made.”

The number of deaths from coronavirus in the United Kingdom rose by 27% as the UK government said 1,789 people have died in hospitals as of 1600 GMT on Monday, an increase of 381 from Sunday, the largest rise in absolute terms yet. (Reuters)

(Production: Gerry Mey, Michael Fiorentino)

19 people killed in massive forest fire in southwestern China

UNTV News   •   March 31, 2020

A massive forest fire in southwestern China has killed 19 people, according to a state media report on Tuesday (March 31).

Eighteen firefighters and a local guide were confirmed dead, from a group of 21 firefighters who went to fight the blaze that had spread over more than 1,000 hectares of land near Xichang, a city in Sichuan province.

The fire started on a farm on Monday (March 30) afternoon and quickly spread to nearby mountains due to strong winds, according to local reports.

Flames and heavy smoke were seen drifting into the sky, posing a threat to a nearby town — including a gas storage station about 70 meters away from parts of the fire.

“This place (the gas station) is by far the most dangerous place in this forest fire in Xichang,” said Zhang Shanhu, a member of the local fire and rescue team.

Police have evacuated more than 1,200 people from the area, and local authorities have organized over 2,000 people to fight the blaze. (Reuters)

(Production: Irene Wang)

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