Coronavirus defense: Airports told to make hand sanitizers available

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 24 2020 04:36 PM | Updated as of Jan 24 2020 05:50 PM

Personnel at the NAIA Terminal 1 in Parañaque City wear face masks as a precaution on Jan. 23, 2020, as the country raises the alert to prevent the spread of an undetermined strain of the coronavirus originating from Wuhan, China. Aviation authorities ordered all terminals to ensure availability of hand sanitizers at all times for proper hygiene. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - All Philippine airports should ensure the availability of hand sanitizers, an aviation official said Friday, as the country tightened security protocols to prevent the entry of a new flu-like virus from China.

The best way to protect oneself from acquiring the new strain of coronavirus is to practice good hygiene, the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) said in a statement, citing guidelines from the Bureau of Quarantine.

Covering one's mouth when coughing or sneezing, disposing tissue paper properly after use and washing hands with soap and water, alcohol-based hand rub or antiseptic handwash are also recommended, the agency said.

Eating well and drinking lots of water are also "strongly encouraged," the MIAA said.

Terminals are also directed to provide quarantine spaces with accessible exits to the tarmac in cases where a patient needs to be transferred to hospitals, MIAA general manager Ed Monreal said.

Flights between Wuhan and the Philippines were suspended Thursday. The central Chinese city is the suspected ground zero of the outbreak and has since been on lock down to contain its spread.

There are 8 flights per week between Wuhan and other points in the Philippines including Kalibo in Aklan, a gateway to the paradise island of Boracay, the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) earlier said.