By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN
Agusan del Norte Rep. Lawrence Fortun has urged the national government to impose the strictest possible protocols to prevent the entry of Wuhan Coronavirus in country
“It is the lives and health of our people that are at stake here. We implore our authorities to be more proactive, aggressive and swift in situations like this,” said Fortun.
Fortun has called the attention of the Department of Transportation as well as the Bureau of Immigrations for allowing flights from Wuhan to land in the Philippines and even waited for the Chinese authorities’ announcement of lockdown before deciding to prohibit entry of flights coming from a place already confirmed to be the epicenter of the outbreak of a fatal virus.
“We have to send at least 500 travelers back? And that is not even a decision reached by our authorities, but the airlines?” said Fortun.
“The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, the various airport agencies, and the Department of Health must not leave anything to chance. Leave no stone unturned, lest we regret,” he added.
Fortun added that the government now shouldn’t focus on Wuhan alone since there were already other confirmed cases of the virus in other countries.
“Please don’t look at Wuhan only. The Chinese government itself has restricted travels not only to and from Wuhan but other cities and provinces as well. When circumstances already warrant,” said Fortun.
“We need not wait for another announcement of lockdown before considering bans of flights from these places,” he added.
Although the country was able to keep the SARS virus out many years ago, Fortun stressed influx more visitors from China and other East Asian countries.
“We also have many Chinese working in POGOs. Public health and safety dictate the country must be protected with very strict implementation of inviolable protocols,” said Fortun.