CORONAVIRUS WATCH: PCG-Negros on the watch for ships from China

By Dolly Yasa

BACOLOD City – Philippine Coast Guard-Negros Occidental (PCG) chief, Lt. Commander Jansen Benjamin, said they are monitoring all vessels from China that dock in the province’s seaports as part of precautions against the 2019 novel coronavirus (nCoV).

Benjamin said even before the nCoV issue, the PCG has been actively implementing Quarantine Immigration Customs Safety and Security Inspections (QICSSI) on all foreign vessels.

Benjamin also said that before foreign vessels are allowed to dock in any part of the country, they will be redirected to the port’s anchorage area and await a boarding team from the PCG and an officer from the Bureau of Quarantine.

Once the quarantine official does not find any health issues among the crew and the vessel itself, they will issue an advisory allowing the vessel to dock.

But Benjamin pointed out that because of the nCoV issue, they have implemented stricter monitoring of foreign vessels, especially those from China.

Meanwhile, as for local vessels especially those operating passenger services, Benjamin said they are implementing information dissemination.

Benjamin said PCG personnel in coordination with the Philippine Ports Authority are actively encouraging passengers to practice proper hygiene in order to combat the virus.