BORACAY–In the race against COVID-19, Boracay Island expects to get 40,000 Sinovac vaccine doses, which is enough to inoculate an estimated 17,000 tourism workers, “in the coming days”.
This, according to Malay acting mayor Frolibar Bautista, who believes tourism workers should be among those who are first in line to get protection from the coronavirus disease.
“These are the people who will help restart tourism in the country,” he said. “Once vaccinated, they will regain the trust of visitors to travel and stay in Boracay Island.”
The vaccines developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech will be delivered soon for the rollout in Boracay Island after the Aklan provincial government urged vaccine czar and chief implementer of National Task Force Carlito Galvez, Jr. to put the tourism workforce on the immunization program’s priority list.
For his part, Provincial Health Officer I Dr. Cornelio Cuachon, Jr. said the more people getting the vaccines, the better for the pandemic-hit tourism industry of the island resort.
Pre-COVID, the tourism industry was one of the major contributors to the country’s economy, but when the country went on lockdown, everything tourism-related shut down as well. And even when Boracay was reopened in October to domestic tourists, arrivals have remained sluggish. Without the international market—China and South Korea, specifically—a major turnaround is not expected.
Meanwhile, the mass COVID testing will continue in Boracay Island on March 2 to cover almost 220 vendors and jetty port personnel.
The province of Aklan has by far recorded 881 confirmed cases, including 156 active cases and 28 deaths. (Boy Ryan Zabal /iNEWS-Aklan/Boracay Bureau)