Government imposes stricter screening of airline passengers-A A +A
Saturday, July 7, 2012
MANILA -- Malacanang said on Saturday that the government is now implementing a stricter procedure in screening passengers at the country's international airports following an outbreak of a fatal respiratory syndrome affecting mostly children in Cambodia.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in an interview aired over government-run dzRB Radyo ng Bayan that the Department of Health (DOH) is currently monitoring the situation through its National Epidemiology Center.
"That respiratory disease is now being checked," Lacierda said.
Health Secretary Enrique Ona instructed the Bureau of Quarantine to be more vigilant in carrying out routine screening procedures at all international airports.
The World Health Organization (WHO) informed the Philippines about the disease after Cambodia reported 60 deaths among children, who were less than seven years old.
"Although a causative agent remains to be formally identified, all (available) samples were found negative for H5N1 and other influenza viruses, SARS, and Nipah virus," the WHO report said. No sign of illness were reported among hospital staff that took care of the patients.
"We are more vigilant in screening passengers at the country's international airports because of this latest news and there will be no let up until this has been contained," Ona said. (SDR/Sunnex)