THE Korean community in Baguio City has taken precautions against the spread of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome-Corona Virus (MERS-CoV) in the city.
On Monday, City Mayor Mauricio Domogan met with the United Korean Community Association in Northern Luzon, the Department of Health-Cordillera, the City Health Services Office to bring together their efforts in preventing a MERS outbreak in the city.
South Korea has reported 169 cases of MERS-CoV and 25 deaths.
While the number of cases has dropped, Baguio is still cautious because many Koreans visit and study in the city.
"We do not restrict travels to and from Korea. Doing that is against human rights. Koreans are still free to enter the region or the city anytime," DOH-CAR Regional Director Amelita Pangilinan said.
The local Korean association has five affiliates: the Korean Church Association in Baguio; Baguio Korean School Association; Baguio Korean Business Association; Baguio Korean Sport Community Association; and Good Hand.
Each affiliate has been assigned specific tasks in preventing a MERS outbreak.
Association President Park Hyoung Jun said they are already monitoring Koreans entering the city for symptoms of the disease.
Students in Korean schools in the city are also checked daily.
Koreans who recently arrived from Korea and who show signs of infection such as cough, colds, fever, diarrhea and breathing difficulty have been advised to contact the association through its hotlines 09176787979 and 09275657822.
The association will then call the attention of city health authorities.
Hoya Mun of the association said between 4,000 and 8,000 Koreans visit the city. Most of them study for three months at English language schools.
He said the peak season for Korean visitors is from July to August, which is school break in Korea.
With the outbreak of MERS, few travelers from Korea are expected this year.
Domogan made it clear Koreans are not being discriminated against because of MERS.
"We just want to protect our constituents in the city, likewise our Korean brothers and sisters," he said.