Over 19K tourism frontliners in NCR jabbed–DOT


GOVERNMENT has stepped up the vaccination of tourism frontliners in Metro Manila, with most coming from accommodation establishments functioning as quarantine, isolation, and multiple-use hotels.

In a news statement, the Department of Tourism (DOT) said 19,315 tourism frontliners have already been vaccinated as of August 9, which accounts for 72 percent of the targeted 26,745 individuals. The agency said the number of vaccinated tourism workers includes both who have been fully dosed, and those who received only one jab so far, but failed to give an actual breakdown.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat said the tourism frontliners belong to the A1 and A4 priority list for vaccination, and were based on a list submitted by 455 DOT-accredited accommodation establishments. “The vaccination of our tourism workers is a necessary step to keep them protected while doing their duty at the front lines. These figures are of high importance, especially with the threat of the Delta variant,” she added.

Some 15,000 are frontliners who belong to the A1 group (20,061 listed), and some 4,300 are from the A4 group (6,684 listed). Aside from nurses and doctors, the A1 group includes tourism workers in DOT-accredited hotels that serve as quarantine and isolation facilities. The A4 group includes workers in tourism transport services, other employees of hotels and resorts, and those working in restaurants.

As of August 9, Romulo Puyat said 1,245 workers in DOT-accredited restaurants have also been vaccinated. According to the agency’s National Capital Region (NCR) office, 202 restaurants in Metro Manila submitted a list of 4,479 workers for vaccination.

“We are confident that we will be able to vaccinate 100 percent of tourism workers from DOT-accredited accommodation establishments from Metro Manila before the end of the ECQ [enhanced community quarantine] period,” said the DOT chief. NCR is currently under ECQ until August 20 due to the surge in Covid-19 cases, which health experts have attributed to the Delta variant.

As of August 9, there were 8,900 new Covid cases, bringing the total number to some 1.67 million nationwide, according to the Department of Health. In the NCR, the total number of cases in the region reached 573,136, with 23,454 new cases reported in the last 14 days.

The DOT also targets to vaccinate 73,477 tourism workers on Boracay Island in Aklan, Bohol, Palawan, Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte, and Pampanga. As of August 4, just 14,482 tourism workers in these leisure destinations received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, while only 474 are fully dosed. (See, “DOT targets to inoculate over 73K tourism workers in five key leisure sites,” in the BusinessMirror, August 5, 2021.)

The DOT earlier urged the National Task Force against Covid-19 (NTF)  to include frontliners from isolation and quarantine hotels to be included in government’s A1 priority group for vaccination.

Romulo Puyat urged other DOT-accredited accommodation establishments in Metro Manila who have yet to submit their list of tourism workers for vaccination to get in touch with the agency’s NCR office.

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