We again would like to assure the public that the government is implementing the necessary precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
With the first case of 2019-nCoV confirmed yesterday and the World Health Organization having declared the virus as a public health emergency of international concern, we have intensified our preventive and control measures. It is a concerted effort being taken by our different agencies, to ensure that an outbreak is avoided.
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has advised local government units to create their respective Coronavirus Task Force to contain the spread of the disease at the local level.
The said Task Force will ensure that local health authorities have the necessary equipment and gadgets; that local health workers are trained in the prevention, control, and containment of the coronavirus; and that those suspected of nCoV are referred and transported to Department of Health (DOH)- designated-coronavirus referral center or hospitals.
LGUs are also tasked to conduct information campaigns regarding the virus as well post public advisories and preventive measures the public can take.
The Department of Education (DepEd) likewise, continues to promote awareness regarding the virus in schools and immediate communities through information materials from DOH. DepEd has also expanded the work of its Taal Quick Response and Recovery Team to include the nCoV matter.
The Department of Transportation and its attached agencies have implemented safety protocols as early as January 23. It has been closely coordinating with the DOH and the Bureau of Quarantine (BoQ) to support in securing transport terminals and in monitoring arriving passengers.
To contain the spread of nCoV, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) has reactivated its communicable disease preparedness procedures on all CAAP-operated airports, especially those with international flights.
Airport frontline personnel have been advised to follow precautionary measures, to exercise extreme vigilance in handling passenger arrivals, and to strictly monitor those who may be infected by the virus.
The Civil Aviation Board (CAB), meanwhile, resolved to immediately and indefinitely suspend all air services operations between Wuhan and any point in the Philippines.
To make certain the safety of public land transportation, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has mandated all public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers and conductors to wear face masks at all times and have asked franchise holders to ensure compliance. Terminal operators were also directed to ensure proper sanitation and provide face masks and disinfectants or sanitizer for free, for passengers to use.
The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) issued an advisory on January 23 which advises ship owners and operators to take the necessary measures to monitor the 2019-nCoV and to report suspected cases of nCoV. Ship owners and operators were also asked to install necessary medical equipment and to equip their personnel with full information about the virus.
The MARINA has put in place monitoring procedures such as body temperature tests for people entering its building, wearing of masks for its frontline personnel, and the provision of alcohol dispensers at its entrances and comfort rooms. Its premises are also being regularly sanitized.
In order to keep the public informed, the PCOO has also activated its Laging Handa communications team to provide information and updates from government agencies regarding the 2019-nCoV through all government media platforms.
These measures are all being undertaken by various government agencies to contain the spread of the virus. We enjoin the public to be vigilant and conscientious, and to work with the authorities and follow their prescribed procedures and precautionary measures. Preventing the spread of the virus is a shared effort, which requires the cooperation of everyone.
February 1, 2020