• Quarantine bureau braces for Ebola virus


    Distribution of health forms to arriving passengers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) may be resumed over a reported outbreak again of the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa.

    Bureau of Quarantine (BoQ) personnel on Monday said they are only waiting for the instruction or ‘go-signal’ from the Department of Health (DoH) to resume the distribution, which was stopped in February this year after all kinds of virus were reportedly put under control.

    Although it stopped the distribution of the health forms, the bureau maintained its fever scanning system 24/7, according to physician Geraldine Yangson.

    Manila has no direct flights from Congo but Quarantine bureau personnel strictly monitor arriving passengers with connecting flights from Middle East countries and those from Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand.

    “If given the go-signal, we will resume the distribution of the health forms to all passengers on these flights,” Yangson said.

    Three years ago, airport and health authorities tightened screening of arriving passengers at the NAIA amid fears of a worldwide spread of the Ebola virus.

    Passengers of all foreign flights arriving at the NAIA terminals were required to fill out health declaration checklists, which asked for travel histories, addresses and contact details.

    Also, passengers coming from all destinations had to walk past thermal scanners set up in quarantine desks.

    The World Health Organization confirmed that at least one person had died after contracting the Ebola virus, signaling another outbreak of the disease in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    General Manager Ed Monreal of the Manila International Airport Authority has instructed airport personnel to make sure that there are enough hand soaps and sanitizers in all toilets at the four terminals of NAIA. BENJIE VERGARA


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