By Merlina Hernando-Malipot
Filipinos residing and working Singapore, Macau and Korea were advised by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) to follow precautionary measures issued by the respective health departments of the said places amid the threat of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
POEA Administrator Bernard Olalia, in advisories no. 8 and 11 dated January 28, shared the public health advisories of Singapore and Korea, respectively, to avoid travelling to Wuhan in China – which the 2019-nCoV originated – “in view of the developing novel coronavirus” situation in the said city and in other parts of China.
The POEA, in advisory no. 10, also noted that the Macau government “has assured the public that it is closely monitoring its borders against possible cases linked to pneumonia infections in Wuhan, China and “advised the public to immediately reported suspected cases.”
Filipino workers residing and working in Singapore, Korea and Macau, the POEA said, are “advised to follow the same precautionary measures” issued by these governments.
In advisory no. 12, the POEA also shared the World Health Organization (WHO) advice fro international travel and trade in relation to the outbreak of pneumonia caused by a new coronavirus in China. WHO “assesses the risk of this event to be very high in China, high at the regional level and moderate at the global level.”
WHO also asked international travelers to practice usual precautions such as “avoiding close contract with people suffering from acute respiratory infections” and “frequent hand-washing” – among others.
Based on the reports, the new nCoV has killed over a hundred people and is affecting thousands of individuals in China where it has originated. Cases of the new coronavirus strain was also confirmed in Thailand, Hong Kong, the United States, Australia, Taiwan, Singapore, Macau, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, France, Vietnam Canada, Germany, Sri Lanka and Nepal. The Philippines’ Department of Health (DOH) maintains that there is still no recorded case of the 2019-nCoV in the country.