NAIA beefs up quarantine measure amid Novel Coronavirus scare

Marje Pelayo   •   January 22, 2020   •   2745

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)

Brazil’s Bolsonaro tested again for novel coronavirus

UNTV News   •   July 7, 2020

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Monday (July 6) he had undergone another test for the novel coronavirus, after local media reported he had symptoms associated with the COVID-19 respiratory disease, including a fever.

Bolsonaro told supporters outside the presidential palace that he had just visited the hospital and been tested for the virus, adding that an exam had shown his lungs “clean.”

CNN Brasil and newspaper Estado de S.Paulo reported that he had symptoms of the disease, such as a fever. The president’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Bolsonaro has repeatedly played down the impact of the virus, even as Brazil has suffered one of the world’s worst outbreaks, with more than 1.6 million confirmed cases and 65,000 related deaths, according to official data on Monday.

The right-wing populist has often defied local guidelines to wear a mask in public, even after a judge ordered him to do so in late June.

Over the weekend, Bolsonaro attended multiple events and was in close contact with the U.S. ambassador to Brazil during July 4 celebrations. The U.S. embassy in Brasilia did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Bolsonaro previously tested negative for the coronavirus after several aides were diagnosed following a visit to U.S. President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago, Florida, estate in March. (Reuters)

(Production: Leonardo Benassatto, Paul Vieira)

China warns of consequences if UK offers residency to HK citizens

UNTV News   •   July 2, 2020

China’s foreign ministry said on Thursday (July 2) that Britain would bear all consequences for any move it took to offer Hong Kong citizens a path to settlement in the UK.

China reserved the right to act against Britain over the issue, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a daily briefing, without specifying what countermeasures Beijing might take.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday (July 1) that China’s imposition of a security law on Hong Kong was a “clear and serious” violation of the 1984 Joint Declaration and that Britain would offer around 3 million residents of the former colony a path to British citizenship. (Reuters)

(Production: Joseph Campbell, Wang Shubing)

UK says China’s security law is “clear violation” of Hong Kong treaty

UNTV News   •   July 2, 2020

The United Kingdom said on Wednesday (July 1) that China’s imposition of a security law on Hong Kong was a “clear and serious” violation of the 1984 Joint Declaration and called on the People’s Republic to honor its international obligations.

“We have very carefully now assessed the contents of this national security legislation since it was published last night,” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told Reuters and the BBC.

“It constitutes a clear violation of the autonomy of Hong Kong, and a direct threat to the freedoms of its people, and therefore I’m afraid to say it is a clear and serious violation of the Joint Declaration treaty between the United Kingdom and China.”

Raab said he would set out shortly the action Britain would take with its international partners.

Hong Kong’s autonomy was guaranteed under the “one country, two systems” agreement enshrined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration signed by then Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997 after more than 150 years of British rule – imposed after Britain defeated China in the First Opium War. (Reuters)

(Production: Will Russell, Hanna Rantala, Polly Rider)

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