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Davao City, Philippines

It begins with the basic

January 27, 2020 - Monday 4:01 AM by MDM

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We live in a most interesting time. Closer to home, restive Taal Volcano is keeping this nation on its toes with its continuous spewing of smoke and ash into the atmosphere. Several towns of Batangas are on lockdown or abandoned for good.

Authorities say it is only a matter of time before the volcano, with erupted 33 times in the past, will erupt in a violent explosion of monstrous proportions.

The other threat comes from the outside, notably from the capital city of Wuhan in China’s Hubei province.

The threat of the coronavirus, which has already killed 26 people in China itself, triggered a lockdown that has turned life upside down for Wuhan.

In response, the Civil Aviation Board here has indefinitely suspended all flights to and from Wuhan to prevent the entry of coronavirus.
 
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat said the primordial concern is safety. “The safety of our tourists is number one and the safety of all those employed in the tourism industry. We will never make our tourists come if we didn’t know or think it was safe.”
 
She clarified, however, that Taal’s activity and the coronavirus notwithstanding, the Philippines remains safe for travel.
 
Meantime, there is tight screening of arrivals at the country’s ports of entry, including the seaports. The Department of Health and the Bureau of Quarantine are not leaving anything to chance.
 
They emphasized that the best way to protect oneself from acquiring the coronavirus is to practice good hand hygiene and to use alcohol-based sanitizers.
 
This certainly is sound advice. It packs a lot of sense. It is basic. Travelling is always pleasant when hygiene and safety come with the territory. It reflects what is referred to as the national character. This should be inculcated not only in the ports of entries but also in transportation terminals where millions of Filipinos converge and interact daily.
 
Stay safe, observe hygiene, and enjoy the trip.
 

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