26 Koreans now under monitoring in Cebu

TWENTY-SIX Korean nationals who flew in from Daegu City, North Gyeongsang Province, South Korea on February 25 are now tagged as persons under monitoring (PUM) for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

Bureau of Qurantine-Central Visayas chief Terence Anthony Bermejo said they are tracking down the accommodations where the Korean nationals are currently staying in so that they can closely monitor them.

Travelers from North Gyeongsang are now barred from entering the Philippines.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo announced this in a press briefing Wednesday, February 26, saying the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging and Infectious Diseases approved the ban due to the novel coronavirus outbreak in North Gyeongsang.

Cases of Covid-19 in South Korea jumped again Wednesday, with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention saying 134 of the 169 new cases were in Daegu. Another 19 cases were in neighboring towns.

As of Wednesday afternoon, South Korea has 1,146 confirmed infections of the virus and 11 fatalities from the Covid-19 illness it causes.

Bermejo said they are now gathering the health declaration forms of these passengers who boarded a four-hour direct flight from Daegu to the Mactan Cebu International Airport.

“We will be tracing them, contacting them and determining their whereabouts. Once we can locate them, they will be advised to stay in their respective accommodations, and will be subject for close monitoring,” Bermejo said.

But should they manifest symptoms of the Covid-19, Department of Health-Central Visayas Director Jaime Bernadas said they will be confined in a hospital and will be classified as persons under investigation (PUI).

“Unless they are cleared and tested negative of the virus, then they are not allowed to return to their country of origin — in this case, South Korea,” he added.

For now, the Korean nationals are advised to stay in their rooms, avoid contact and practice proper hygiene.

Bermejo and Bernadas met with Governor Gwendolyn Garcia late Wednesday afternoon, February 26, to discuss updates in relation to the spread of Covid-19.

During their meeting, they agreed to include travelers coming from North Gyeongsang in the list of those who will undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Garcia said the quarantine protocols for travelers from China and its special administrative regions will continue to be applied. (RTF)