NAIA terminals heighten alert vs MERS-CoV

By , on June 9, 2015


Cebu Pacific check-in counters at NAIA Terminal 3 (Mattun0211 / Wikipedia)
Cebu Pacific check-in counters at NAIA Terminal 3 (Mattun0211 / Wikipedia)

MANILA — Airport authorities has heightened its health alert at the at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) terminals following reports of the spread of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in a neighboring country.

Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) general manager Jose Angel Honrado, in a statement on Tuesday, said the alert was also raised following official guidance from the Bureau of Quarantine.

“While saddening, airport management takes its cue from the sudden spread of Mers-Cov in South Korea to intensify health screening efforts at NAIA,” Honrado said.

The airport chief said that the bureau’s memorandum circular directs airports to heighten surveillance and enforce health screening measures on arriving and departing passengers and crew.

It also instructs Quarantine officials at NAIA to issue health checklists and notices to passengers while health officers were will be in charge of operating thermal scanners at the arrival areas of the airport.

Aircraft commanders will be assigned to report in advance passengers onboard who have flu-like symptoms or any health emergency to on-duty health officers at NAIA.

MIAA Medical Division will also be on standby to assist officials of the Bureau of Quarantine. Health personnel will immediately escort the passenger to designated quarantine areas should anyone be suspected of having the virus.

To date, nearly 80,000 people have been recorded to arrive at NAIA from South Korea since last month.

Honrado, however, stressed that medical teams are sufficient to screen arriving passengers at the terminals and that they will remain firm so as not to let any passenger get past health screening procedures.

He, meanwhile, sought for patience from passengers as they cooperate with health procedures employed at the airport.

“I request passengers to cooperate with Quarantine officials and to be honest in declaring their health status,” Honrado said.

He also reassured the public that health screening measures at the airport have been enhanced ever since the Department of Health (DOH) first issued its advisory regarding Mers-Cov last year.