Photo courtesy of NTF Against Covid-19

MANILA – More than half of the hotel workers across Metro Manila have received their booster shots against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), the Department of Tourism (DOT) said Wednesday.
 
Tourism Undersecretary Woodrow Maquiling Jr. said roughly 13,500 out of the 25,386 hotel workers in the region have been given the additional jab, with more expected in the coming days as the government ramps up vaccination amid the rising cases due to the Omicron variant.
 
He added the campaign will be sustained in other parts of the country.
 
In Boracay alone, the National Task Force Against Covid-19 (NTF) earlier committed to allocate 20,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses to be administered as booster shots to the island's tourism workers.
 
Meanwhile, a total of 288,577, or 88.6 percent of the country’s initial target population of 325,489 tourism workers from various tourism-related industries, have already been inoculated against Covid-19.
 
This leaves only 11.3 percent or 36,912 tourism workers who have yet to receive their first dose.
 
"(W)ith Omicron right now, we are really pushing with the booster shots for our tourism workers, especially so, that hotel workers are being used as quarantine facilities and isolation facilities for positive returning overseas Filipinos (ROF)," Maquiling said.
 
The government has allowed quarantine hotels to serve as isolation facilities for ROFs who are undergoing quarantine in their establishments and have tested positive for Covid-19.
 
Previously, guests who turned out positive for the disease had to be transferred to an isolation facility.
 
DOT, for its part, vowed to ensure that hotels are compliant with government protocols following the incident involving a ROF who skipped quarantine last December.
 
"(T)alagang ang ginagawa naman natin sa regional office nag-i-spot check tayo, nagra-random inspections tayo because iyan ang directive ng Secretary (Our regional office is doing spot check and random inspections because that's the directive of the Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat) to make sure there’s really compliance sa ating mga (in our) hotels in terms of their quarantine on guest," Maquiling added. (PNA)