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Tourists warned: Avoid dengue hot spots

LEGAZPI CITY --- The Department of Tourism (DOT) in Bicol has issued a travel ban advisory warning locals and tourists to temporarily not to venture in specific areas identified as dengue “Hot Spot” by health authorities here.

Benjamin Santiago, DOT regional director, on Friday last week issued the travel advisory after the Department of Health (DOH) declared a Dengue national epidemic due to the rising cases of the mosquito-borne disease.

Santiago said “we strongly enjoin tourists to temporarily avoid visiting areas identified by DOH as Hot Spot as a health preventive measure.”

He said the travel ban would be remain hoisted until the DOH issues a health bulletin clearing the areas from being considered as hot spot.

While in other areas not identified as hot spots, tourists are advised to take the necessary precaution by avoiding places suspected to be possible breeding grounds of dengue.

Meanwhile, the Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (RESU) as of August 7 has recorded 104 villages in Bicol with rising incidence of Dengue, with Camarines Sur topping the list with 45 villages, followed by Albay with 22, Sorsogon-17, Catanduanes-15 and Masbate with only 5 villages.

Ernie Vera, DOH regional director, in a news conference said DOH RESU has recorded from the period January 1 to August 3, this year 4,241 dengue cases with 40 deaths or 157% increase that that of the same period last year with 1,653 cases and with 18 deaths.

Camarines Sur has recorded 1,706 cases with 17 deaths; followed by Sorsogon-784, with 8 deaths; Albay-79 with 10 deaths; Catanduanes-563 with one death; Masbate-271 with 2 deaths; Camarines Norte with 144 cases with 2 deaths and others (transients) with 4 cases.

Vera explained that the figures reported are only the “tip of the iceberg” as these numbers were gathered from a trendsetting formula where the data were gathered from 11 hospital sentinels across the region.

In the provinces, Sorsogon Gov. Francis Escudero and Masbate Gov. Antonio Kho have issued their respective executive orders declaring a synchronized clean up and sanitation drive in all towns and barangays.

In Albay, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan was to pass a resolution placing the entire province under a “State of Calamity” due to the rising incidence of Dengue.

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