TIGHT SCREENING. As two alert airport security personnel watch, newly-arrived airline passengers pick up their baggage from conveyors after undergoing x-ray inspection at the Iloilo Airport in Cabatuan, Iloilo. IAN PAUL CORDERO/PN The region’s other internationalairports are the Iloilo Airport in Cabatuan, Iloilo and Boracay Airport inCaticlan, Malay, Aklan. This new virus has spread from WuhanCity (there are 440 confirmed cases, with the origin a seafood market) in Chinato several Chinese provinces, as well as the US, Thailand and South Korea.Yesterday the city of Macau also reported its first confirmed case of thevirus. Citing Mayor Jerry Treñas, Zaldivarsaid the city government will provide free pneumonia vaccination to allemployees of the city hall. It may take time before the resultswould be known, said Cuachon. The virus, known also as 2019-nCoV, isunderstood to be a new strain of coronavirus that has not previously beenidentified in humans. The SARS (severe acute respiratorysyndrome) virus that killed nearly 800 people globally in the early2000s was also a coronavirus. The airport’s thermal scanner detectedthem with fever. Throat swab specimens were collectedfrom the three foreigners then these were sent to the Research Institute forTropical Medicine in Manila for analysis. The three Chinese nationals werereferred to the Dr. Rafael S. Tumbukon Memorial Hospital (DRSTMH), said Dr.Glenn Alonsabe, DOH regional epidemiologist. The Dinagyang, he said, attractsvisitors from other countries thus the risk of the China virus entering thecity should not be downplayed. “The quarantine procedure is part ofour alert system to protect the public,” said Alonsabe. The Department of Health (DOH)confirmed early this week that three Boracay Island-bound Chinese visitors whoentered the country through the Kalibo International Airport were placed underquarantine in Kalibo, Aklan. “They are already doing controlmeasures. They are on heightened alert checking our travellers,” she said./PN “The 29 years old Chinese was advisedto stay overnight at the DRSTMH while the young girl was considered anoutpatient. The 65-year-old patient, on the other hand, is currently beingchecked at the hospital,” said Cuachon. Zaldivar pointed out that thehighlight of the Dinagyang Festival is drawing closer – the crowd-drawing ati tribes competition on Sunday, Jan.26. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illnessesranging from the common cold to more severe disease. It’s not yet clear how badthis new coronavirus is. Signs of infection include respiratorysymptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties. The first to be quarantined, accordingto Dr. Cornelio Cuachon of the Aklan Provincial Health Office, was a29-year-old Chinese national. This was on Jan. 17. The second was athree-year-old girl on Jan. 18.The most recent, on Monday, was a 65-year-old Chinese. ILOILO City – Does the city governmenthave “screening and sanitation systems” to protect people from the possibleentry of a new virus from China that has also brought a handful ofpneumonia-like cases in Thailand, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and the US? The Kalibo International Airport servicesflights direct from China. “We do not want to put our health atrisk,” said Zaldivar, emphasizing that prevention is better than cure. The Bureau of Quarantine has personnelin the airports and even seaports, said Dr. Mary Jane Juanico, head of DOHRegion 6’s infectious disease section. “As a neighboring country of China, wemust be vigilant and swiftly take the necessary precautions,” said CouncilorAllan Zaldivar, chairperson of the Committee on Health in the SangguniangPanlungsod.