Passengers from the cruise ship World Dream wear facemasks as they visit a theme park in Manila. The luxury ship with more than 700 passengers on board, mostly from China and Hong Kong, docked at the Port of Manila on Tuesday.
Locals, foreign tourists told: Follow health guidelines amid novel coronavirus fears
Rosette Adel ( - January 31, 2020 - 7:18pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism on Friday advised the local and foreign tourists to follow the prescribed health guidelines amid the outbreak of novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease of 2019-nCoV ARD.

This reminder came a day after the Department of Health confirmed the first case of the virus in the country.

The DOT said tourists should take the necessary precautions to minimize the risk of contracting the virus.

“While the DOT is mandated to encourage, promote, and develop tourism as a major socio-economic activity, at this time our first priority is ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of all. We strongly urge the public to stay informed and abide by the suggested guidelines issued by our health department to minimize risk and help stem the spread of the coronavirus,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in a statement.

“For your safety, we ask for your full cooperation and understanding at this time,” she added.

She is also calling on the travel trade partners, local health, police and security establishments, and other stakeholders to help provide proper guidance and assistance, when needed.

Last week, Puyat said she is not bothered by the possible decline of tourism in the country amid the novel coronavirus scare.

“Safety of tourists is number one,” she said in a press conference last January 23.

The DOT said it is confident that the strengthened safety measures of agencies such as the Department of Transportation, the Department of Health, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government as well as all concerned agencies operating in our international gateways, such as the Bureau of Immigration and Bureau of Quarantine, will impede the spread of the 2019-nCoV ARD in the country.

Puyat said the DOT would continue to coordinate with tourism stakeholders and local government units nationwide amid the health concern.

On Friday, the World Health Organization declared an international emergency over the deadly novel coronavirus from China.

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