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No POIs in Iligan, says health official

ILIGAN City–A health official yesterday assured the public that no persons under investigation (POIs) suspected of having symptoms of the 2019 Novel Corona virus (2019NCoV) inspite of the report that there are at least 10 considered as persons under monitoring (PUMs) as of February 10.

The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for outbreak prevention and control of novel coronavirus-Acute Respiratory Disease (NCOV-ARD), Iligan City Health Officer Cherlina Cañaveral, during the regular session of the City Council, said four of the 10 considered PUMs have already been cleared from the 14-day incubation period.

"The four persons who have finished their home quarantine belong to one family. They arrived home from vacation on January 26. The other six will complete their home quarantine this week," said Cañaveral.

The IATF in Iligan, aside from giving constant public awareness on the right things to do to prevent from the virus infection, has taken other preventive measures.

The local government of Iligan City has closely coordinated with the industries with foriegn workers and are receiving foriegn visitors.

"We inspected plants and industries and they even have their practice of putting hand washing facility and thermal scanner for their employees who are going to work everyday," Cañaveral said.

Iligan City's quarantine officer, Dr. Andrew Marcella said the IATF monitored five cargo vessels docked in Iligan Bay since February 1 and four of them were coming from China.

One of the four was inspected in Cebu City before it proceeded to download its cargo in Iligan.

Although the arrival of these vessels in Iligan Bay was beyond the 14-day incubation period already, Marcella said, the crews who are mostly Chinese were advised not to come down to the shore or anywhere.

"They were advised to dock some miles away from the shore and monitored to stay in a contained environment," Marcella said.

Cargo vessels that are put on 'quarantine' hoisted yellow flag according to Marcella. "If you could see vessels hoisting yellow flag, that means it is under the quarantine period."

Meanwhile, city councilor Lamberto Macapagal, committee chairman on health in the city council, said Iligan City is not ready if there will be confirmed case of NCO-V ARD in the city.

The LGU has to procure yet personal protective equipment for the medical health personnel who will to NCOV patients.

To prevent the spread of visus, the city council approved a resolution requiring mandatory home quarantine of all asymptomatic persons coming from identified high-risk countries and localities in the Philippines.

One of the places in the Philippines identified as high-risk is Metro Manila.

"We required mandatory home quarantine because there are PUMs who will undergo such at their own pleasure. Meaning, if they like it, they will go into quarantine," Macapagal said.

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