INSULATION FOR SUSPECTED SARS-INFECTED PASSENGERS

Manila, March 29, 2003 -- Stricter measures will be imposed on passengers 
coming from Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, and China where cases of the 
dreaded Severe Acute respiratory Syndrome (SARS) have been reported, an 
airport official said Saturday.

Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) general manager Edgardo Manda 
said over radio dzBB that arriving passengers with high fever, coughs, and 
colds would be automatically brought by an ambulance to the San Lazaro 
Hospital in downtown Manila or to the Research Institute for Tropical 
Medicine (RITM) in the suburb of Alabang south of Manila for a check-up.
A medical team will man isolation areas set up at the entrance of 
aerobridges, which connect airplanes to the terminal, to immediately 
isolate possible SARS carriers. Aerobridge operators will also be required 
to wear masks to protect them from the disease, Manda said.

Manda said the implementation of the new rules would be coordinated with 
the Department of Health.

Health and airport officials have previously required only a voluntary 
quarantine of seven days for passengers arriving from SARS-afflicted 
countries.

Manda, however, said they had no way of monitoring whether or not a person 
would quarantine himself, making the Philippines vulnerable to the spread 
of the virus should he be a carrier.

SARS has claimed the life of a Filipina domestic helper based in Hong Kong. 
Dayrit, however, assured the public that the Philippines has remained free 
from the deadly disease.

The World Health Organization has reported 1,485 cases of SARS from 
November 2002 to March 28, 2003 from at least 15 countries. It also 
recorded 53 deaths, the highest coming from China with 34.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

© Copyright, 2003  by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
All rights reserved


PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE