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Palace requires visitors to declare travel history amid nCoV risk

Amid the threat of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), all visitors entering Malacañang’s premises are now mandated to provide information about their travel history and health condition.

Upon entry to Malacañan, Palace visitors are given a declaration form that needs to be filled out, as part of the protective measures against the new coronavirus strain that originated in Wuhan, China.

They are required to provide their full name, nationality, sex, age, contact number, e-mail address, and address in the Philippines. They are also asked about the foreign countries or Philippine cities that they have visited in the past 14 days.

The form also contains questions which require visitors to answer by “yes or no” the questions about the possibility of them being sick in the past 30 days, or experiencing fever, colds, cough, sore throat, or breathing difficulties in the past 14 days.

Visitors are also quizzed if they have been in close contact with farm animals or exposed to wild animals in the past 14 days.

In a text message, Presidential Security Group commander, Brig. Gen. Jose Eriel Niembra said the form is being distributed to all visitors, including government officials and employees, security detail, guests, and media workers.

“Precautionary measure para sa lahat papasok ng Palace (It’s a precautionary measure for all those entering the Palace),” Niembra said.

Last Monday, the PSG personnel started to use infrared thermometers to check the temperature of employees and visitors entering Malacañang compound.

Temperature checks started four days after the PSG personnel were directed to wear face masks as protection against nCoV.

The 2019-nCoV, which first began spreading in Wuhan, China in December 2019, has already claimed more than 500 lives and infected more than 28,000 people.

Two dozen countries, including the Philippines, now have confirmed cases of the new strain of coronavirus.

The three confirmed 2019-nCoV cases in the Philippines involve three Chinese nationals from Wuhan, China.

Common symptoms of the new type of coronavirus include fever, coughing, and breathing difficulties, according to an advisory issued by the World Health Organization.

The virus can also cause pneumonia, kidney failure, and death. (PNA)

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