Tourists and industry stakeholders are urged to remain calm and be updated on advisories following the reported cases of locally transmitted coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the Philippines.
“The DOT defers to the Department of Health (DOH) as the lead agency of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, for decisions and announcements pertaining to the COVID-19 concern,” the Department of Tourism (DOT) said in a statement.
While the travel industry struggles to stay afloat amid the outbreak, the DOT reiterated that the safety and well-being of visitors and locals remain as its “utmost priority”.
“As such, it will continue to coordinate and work closely with the IATF, partners from other government agencies and the private sector to mitigate the impact of the disease,” it added.
The DOT said the government continues to engage airports, hotel establishments, and tour operators to ensure guidelines and precautionary measures are in place to contain the spread of the virus in the country.
Among those measures include the use of thermal scanners at the entrance, provision of hand sanitizers and proper food preparation based on global Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) standards.
DOT-accredited hotels are continuously cleaning and sanitizing premises, particularly the common and frequently used areas, the agency added.
DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat enjoined the industry to extend any assistance possible to affected tourists in their respective areas. Tourism stakeholders were also told to immediately report suspected cases to local health authorities.
Tourists, on the other hand, are advised to visit the DOT travel advisory bulletin at www.philippines.travel/safeph to know the consolidated efforts of the Philippine tourism industry in containing the spread of Covid-19 and maintaining the safety and well-being of visitors. (PNA)