By the Bohol ChronicleAmid threats of a global pandemic of the deadly H1N1 virus or swine influenza, the province is now placed on alert status.
In a meeting with Gov. Erico Aumntado last Friday at the Peopleâ€™s Mansion, health, agriculture officials and municipal mayors were informed by the governor that â€œstrict quarantine measures in all ports of entry should be imposedâ€.
The notice given by the governor is a preventive measure in an effort to anticipate for any possibility that the virus may be transmitted by hundreds of foreign tourists coming to the province daily.
Ports and seaports in the province could be possible entry points for infected tourists or pork.
Provincial health officer Dr. Reymoses Cabagnot said surveillance and monitoring in ports of entry is being enforced.
Department of Agriculture (DA) Sec. Arthur Yap, who is in the province, also told the Chronicle yesterday that there is no swine influenza outbreak in the country.
However, Yap said, the spread of the virus can be prevented by ensuring that meat and related products are inspected and certified by the National Meat Inspection Service to ensure that these are infection free.
The Department of Health (DOH) and the DA is already tightening quarantine procedures for safety, Yap said.
He added that what is being done by the DOH and DA to contain the Ebola Reston virus is still in place.
The H1N1 virus is highly communicable and can be transmitted by humans or hogs.
Bohol, being one of the top hog producers in Central Visayas , has so far no reported cases of the swine influenza, said provincial veterinarian Dr. Stella Marie Lapiz.
According to Lapiz, pork importation from countries with reported infections of H1N1 is already banned by the DOH and DA.
â€œWe are closely monitoring reports from the field of any incidence of suspected swine flu, the community should also be alerted,â€ Lapiz said.