The Palawan provincial board’s committee of the whole has urged the acquisition of additional thermal scanners and infrared thermometers to be placed in all ports of entry as part of quarantine measures to ward off the possible entry of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
A statement released Thursday by the Provincial Information Office (PIO) said the committee of the whole filed a resolution seeking funds for the acquisition of the instruments after learning that only the Puerto Princesa City International Airport (PPCIA) and the Francisco B. Reyes Airport in Coron have them.
Board member Eduardo Modesto Rodriguez, chair of the committee on health, said in the statement that the heat scans are ideal in screening high body temperature to prevent the widespread occurrence of infectious diseases, particularly the nCoV, a new strain that has been reported to be fast-moving and aggressive.
He said a good thermal scanner brand costs around P1 million to acquire.
Rodriguez said Governor Jose Alvarez, as well as the Department of Health (DOH) and the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ), can intervene in bridging the gap in the need for the instruments to screen travelers going to the province.
The proposed measure, he said, also hopes to engage the support of airline companies in the acquisition and make it part of their corporate social responsibilities (CSRs) since the safety of passengers is also their concern.
Rodriguez said “backdoors” should also be provided with thermal scanners.
“Mahalagang malagyan ng thermal scanner ang bawat point of entry sa lalawigan, kabilang na ang mga tinatawag na backdoors na maaaring daanan ng mga taong may nakakahawang sakit tulad ng coronavirus,” the PIO statement said.
The heat scans should also be present as part of strict quarantine measures in the airports of El Nido and San Vicente, as well as other municipal airstrips, where small private airplanes land to convey passengers.