Palace visitors told to answer health declaration form, bare travel history

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 06 2020 05:10 PM | Updated as of Feb 06 2020 06:42 PM

MANILA (UPDATE) - Malacañang has started requiring Palace visitors to fill up a health declaration form in light of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus outbreak.

Reporters covering President Rodrigo Duterte’s event on Thursday afternoon were asked to answer the form, which contains questions on one’s travel history for the past 14 days, as well as recent interactions with animals.

All visitors of Malacañang, including their respective security detail, are required to fill up the form as part of precautionary measures against the virus, Presidential Security Group (PSG) commander Brig. Gen. Jose Niembra told ABS-CBN News.

The forms will be distributed until the Department of Health (DOH) lifts the protocol on the virus, he added.

The PSG began implementing stricter security measures against the virus this week after the Philippines confirmed the entry of the pathogen in the country.

All persons entering the Malacañang complex undergo a temperature check and are also asked to rub their hands with alcohol.

A member of the PSG said those with a body temperature of 38 degrees Celsius or higher will be refused entry. All PSG personnel were also required to wear face masks.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles on Wednesday said Cabinet officials also underwent a temperature check before their meeting with the President on Tuesday night.

The President, who earlier said that the virus outbreak was “nothing really to be extra-scared of,” also rejected calls of his staff to limit his public engagements for the meantime, Nograles said.

“He (Duterte) just wants to keep on doing the things he’s doing without imposing limitations sa kaniyang (on his) movement,” the Cabinet secretary said. “He doesn’t want to change the way he conducts his business.”