A man uses a body thermal scanner on a student wearing a protective mask as a precautionary measure against the spread of the virus at a school in Manila, Philippines, Friday, January 31, 2020. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Beginning Sunday, March 8, all clients and visitors at the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi and Philippine Consulate in Dubai will have to undergo thermal screening before entering the said premises to prevent the spread of the deadly novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

“All incoming clients will be made to undergo thermal screening. Those with body temperature higher than 37°C will be requested to return to the Embassy at a later date. They will be advised to consult a physician,” the Philippine Embassy posted on its official Facebook page

Philippine Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes confirmed to Gulf News on Saturday that the same policy will also be imposed in Dubai.

NAT Philippine Embassy advisory-1583579445967
Thermal scanning will begin at Philippine Embassy and Consulate in the UAE from Sunday Image Credit: Supplied

To reduce the crowd, the Philippine Embassy added in its advisory that “only applicants (or those with official transactions) will be allowed entry to the Embassy, except for minor children that need to be accompanied by parents.

Accompanying family members, friends, employers, escorts will be advised to wait outside the Embassy.

Those who have shown symptoms such as coughing or sneezing will be requested to wear a face mask while inside the Embassy compound

NAT 200307 PAUL-1583579444139
Paul Raymond Cortes, Philippine Consul General Image Credit: Angel Tesorero, Staff Reporter

Everyone is also requested to apply hand sanitisers provided at the reception area before proceeding to transaction counters.

Cortes told Gulf News the precautionary measures are done in the interest of public health and safety.

The Philippine Embassy also reminded all Filipinos in the UAE to take the necessary health precautions; to avoid large crowds and gatherings, and to follow the guidelines set by the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) and World Health Organisation (WHO) in relation to COVID-19

Meanwhile, Marford Angeles, Consul-General and Deputy Head of Mission at the Philippine Embassy, said there are “no updates received (yet) from UAE authorities” regarding the status of two Filipino patients.

Gulf News earlier reported that a Filipino patient, who was diagnosed with COVID-19 in the UAE on February 8, is still in the ICU.