PH airports on full alert for Ebola virus

/ 07:11 PM August 01, 2014

Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia). INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – The country’s airports are on full alert over all flights amid the outbreak of the Ebola virus that has killed hundreds in West Africa, the director of the Bureau of Quarantine said.

In a Radyo Inquirer 990AM interview on Friday, Dr. Emmanuel Labella said they are monitoring all flights to the country to screen the passengers for their symptoms.


He said they have set up scanners to check on the passengers, as well as distributed health check-lists to all passengers for them to fill up about their vital signs.

Should these passengers show symptoms of the virus long after arriving in the country, the government can trace them using these forms, Labella said.


He said even though there is no direct flight from the country to Africa, the government remains vigilant in monitoring all flights.

“Hindi na tayo magkukumpiyansa. Minomonitor natin all flights, kahit saan siya galing. May screening at monitoring, at may check-list na dinidistribute while on board the plane para ma-fill up nila kung may signs and symptoms,” Labella said in the radio interview.

(Let us not be confident. We are monitoring all flights, wherever these would be coming from. There will be screening and monitoring, and there will be a check-list to be distributed to passengers while on board the plane for them to fill-up about signs and symptoms.)

He assured Filipinos that there is no cause for panic over the virus.

Labella urged Filipinos to always wash their hands properly, and also to cook imported meat well.

“Wala tayo dapat masyado ikabahala. Maliban na sa Africa ito, ang transmission ay direct contact at hindi sa hangin kagaya ng ibang sakit,” Labella said.

(We have nothing much to worry. The virus came from Africa, and the transmission is by direct contact, instead of by air.)


The infection is characterized by a sudden fever, weakness, muscle pain, headache sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and sometimes, both internal and external bleeding, according to the World Health Organization.

The viral disease is transmitted by contact to the bodily fluids of an infected person.

As of July this year, at least 1,323 Ebola cases were recorded in the West African countries since the start of the year. Of these, 729 have died due to the virus.


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TAGS: Africa, airports, Bureau of Quarantine, disease, Ebola virus, Emmanuel Labella, virus
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