The Department of Tourism in Bicol has banned travel to places that have been identified as dengue “hotspots” by health authorities.
Benjamin Santiago, DOT regional director, said the advisory was issued after the Department of Health declared a national epidemic earlier this month.
“We strongly enjoin tourists to temporarily avoid visiting areas identified by DOH as hotspot as a health preventive measure,” he said in an interview yesterday (Monday, August 12).
However, the dengue “hotspots” that travellers are urged avoid have not been identified.
Mr Santiago said the travel ban would remain in place until health chiefs had given all of the individual locations the all-clear.
Tourists may visit other areas in Bicol not identified as hotspots, but they are advised to take the necessary precautions such as avoiding places suspected to be possible breeding grounds of dengue-carrying mosquitoes.
Earlier this month, the Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit recorded 104 villages in Bicol hard-hit by dengue. More locally, Camarines Sur tops the list with 45 villages followed by Albay with 22; Sorsogon, 17; Catanduanes, 15; and Masbate, five.
As for infections, Camarines Sur has 1,706 cases with 17 deaths; followed by Sorsogon, 784 with eight deaths; Albay, 769 with 10 deaths; Catanduanes, 563 with one death; Masbate, 271 with two deaths and Camarines Norte, 144 cases with two deaths.
However, health chiefs suspect that these figures may be just the “tip of the iceberg” with many cases unreported.
Nationwide, the number of recorded cases has climbed to more than 160,000 with more than 700 deaths, the Department of Health (DOH) revealed today.
In the latest report of the DOH’s epidemiology bureau, a total of 167,607 dengue cases were recorded from January 1 to July 27, with 720 deaths.
The DOH also noted 12,880 cases were recorded in just one week — from July 21 to July 27.
Western Visayas had the most number of dengue cases at 27,765 with 126 deaths, followed by Calabarzon with 19,732 cases and 69 deaths.
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