CEBU -- The Lapu-Lapu City Council asked the City Health Office to work closely with other health authorities to make sure no traveler with MERS-CoV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Corona Virus) enters the city, which hosts the international airport.

But Dr. Terrence Bermejo, chief of the Bureau of Quarantine-Central Visayas, assured that tourists from other countries get screened by a thermal scanner at the Mactan Cebu International Airport against MERS-CoV.

The City Council alerted health officials because of reports that the virus has spread in South Korea, where majority of the tourists in the city come from.

There are, at least, four direct flights from South Korea to Lapu-Lapu City.

Bermejo said travelers with flu are placed under quarantine, examined and interviewed to find out their illnesses.

He said infected persons in South Korea are contained in hospitals.

“There is no cause for alarm. There is no community-wide infection in Korea. The virus is contained in hospitals. It hasn’t spread to the populace,” he said.


In a resolution passed last week, the City Council asked the City Health Office to work with the Department of Health, the Bureau of Quarantine, the GMR-Megawide, hospitals and other concerned agencies.

The resolution, authored by Councilor Jose Dungog, also asked the City Health Office to conduct an awareness campaign on the virus in the barangays.

“There are many Korean nationals who are engaged in business in our city and most often are returning home to visit their relatives in South Korea and back to our country,” the resolution read.

“Heath authorities in our city are obliged to disseminate information regarding the disease,” it added.

Consul help

For his part, Bermejo said he asked a Korean consul to let its citizens undergo temperature checks before allowing them to fly to the Philippines.

“We have no travel ban. But we are advising those who go to Korea to avoid visiting hospitals since the infected people are there,” he said.

He said the Bureau of Quarantine has been on a heightened alert for more than a year now.

Mayor Paz Radaza, in a message relayed by City consultant Jonji Gonzales, said more thermal scanners have been placed in the airport.

She said she has also instructed the City Health Office to help implement measures against the virus. (RSB/Sun.Star Cebu)