Commercial plane arriving at San Vicente Airport. Photo by Celeste Anna Formoso.

The municipality of San Vicente, an emerging tourist destination in northern Palawan, is adopting stringent measures to prevent the entry of the 2019-novel coronavirus through potential foreign carriers.

Municipal tourism officer Lucy Panagsagan said Thursday they have initiated the procurement of medical supplies to equip their health workers and the barangay units.

“Ang mga emergency purchase namin like masks, sanitizer, alcohol, at thermal scanner ay nagsimula na. Nagsimula na rin ng information, education, and communications campaign for awareness ng community at bisita,” she said.

Panagsagan said San Vicente’s newly-opened airport has attracted an increasing volume of foreign visitors, and they have foreseen the need for the equipment.

She said they also do not want to risk spreading the nCoV in their town.

“Na foresee naman ng local government unit ito kasi marami ring pumapasok dito na mga turista at ayaw naman natin na kumalat pa ito. May mga initial na tayong plano at ongoing na ang emergency purchase ng mga kailangan,” she said.

In addition, she said that a task force is also conducting regular monitoring at the entry points of the town, including Port Barton.

“’Yong mga entry points natin doon ay mga may naka-assign na task force to check lahat ng mga papasok sa munisipyo. ‘Yong ibang details ay wala pa since ongoing pa ang procurement pero kahit mga driver ay alam na nila magkakaroon ng parang checkpoint, ‘yong mga thermal gun scanner natin na mabibili ay possible rin na doon gagamitin,” she added.

In a meeting of the local health board in San Vicente on February 4, it was discussed also that health checklists will be distributed to arriving guests to determine the history of their travels.