Advanced Passenger Information System to protect ports against coronavirus

Dr. Irving McIntyre speaking at the emergency press conference and meeting of the National Emergency Planning Organisation (NEPO)

An Advanced Passenger Information System or API has been put in place at all ports of entry in Dominica, as the government continues to put measures in place to protect the country’s borders against the coronavirus (covid-19) according to Minister for health Dr. Irving McIntyre.

McIntyre said this system is a precautionary measure used to obtain information of all passengers.

He stated if anyone comes from a “hotspot” country known to have cases of the virus, they will be interviewed and arranged to be home quarantined by health officers as soon as they enter Dominica.

“The system of sharing information with the arrival of passengers from the People’s Republic of China or other hotspots is in place- that is done through the API…so if we have that sort of information it makes it much easier for us to know where someone is coming from,” he said during a National Emergency Planning Organisation (NEPO) meeting held yesterday.

He said although this system has been working well  so far, he called on the general public to assist the port officials by reporting anyone that the API might have missed.

Meantime, McIntyre said the customs division has already taken precautionary measures to ensure that all ports of entry are equipped with adequate and basic protective and sanitary gear to reduce the risk of infection to front line officers who are exposed to new arrivals each day.

He said one of the major areas that Dominica faces a potential challenge is in the yacht industry which is a semi regulated means of travel that may be an avenue for risk for the entire country.

He stated that recently the controllers of customs within the Caribbean region voiced their concern on this matter though a CARICOM impacts video conference.

During the conference, the Caribbean Customs Law enforcement Council (CCLEC)  announced that two “Kiosks” have already been shipped with a live online system called “Sail Clear” vessel clearance system.

In travel kiosks, are typically self service devices that are simple to use and convenient, making it possible for travelers to be more easily recorded and processed at the point of entry or departure.

The health minister said this will assist the region to manage potential covid-19 outbreaks by utilizing pre-arrival notifications and will mandate that masters of all yachts and vessels use “Sale Clear” to submit online declarations regarding their passengers and luggage to customs and immigration.

The ministry of health has been monitoring all alerts and other communication in relation to covid-19 and has increased preparedness measures through heightened surveillance systems, educational sessions and dissemination of public health information.

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8 Comments

  1. March 7, 2020

    We must STOP accepting cruise ships! Each cruise ship brings several thousand visitors from diverse parts of the world. It takes just one infected traveller on a sightseeing tour to infect the driver and Dominica is doomed. Prevention is better than (attempted) cure.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  2. Really
    March 6, 2020

    Am I reading correctly? I thought that system was in place for a while now

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0
  3. The love of Money
    March 5, 2020

    The information given reminds me of the information they gave on the eve of Maria, when the Doctor of deception lied about how ready they were and even told us how it would be a short storm and the police spoke of how ready they were and how would be waiting on looters, only to find out when Maria came we were caught naked, unprepared, with no food or water, in a country that had abundance of both before Maria. All I heard were a dosage of the same old lies this time through the mouth of a professional doctor that once healed us but for love of money chose to become an Honorable liar instead of the caring doctor that once saved lives. What a shame!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0
  4. My little take
    March 5, 2020

    More lies, more hypocrisy and more deception. Advance passenger information or API immediately after 911 so much so that without that information you aren’t even able to buy a ticket. Secondly, since McIntyre is saying that people coming from hotspots of the coronavirus, let it be known to him that planes hardly fly to and from those hotspot countries so that he doesn’t have to lie about. Thirdly, if McIntyre has to depend on API to put system in place to protect the people then we are in deed trouble because people with the virus are not allowed to travel. Is people that are infected and don’t even know they are infected that are of concern. So say a cruise ship arrives here and no one had coronavirus but as they get on the local taxi they start to spread the virus to our taxi drivers and so on. Clearly they do not have a clue of what’s happening and to me the information they gave makes me feel more concerned than before the information

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0
  5. March 5, 2020

    I am surprised that we do not already have an API system in place when fellow OECS members such as Antigua, St.Lucia and Grenada have been operating such for some time. I guess better later than never. With regard to self imposed home quarantine I do not think this a wise move. Other people in the home can easily be cross contaminated and isolation at a secure, monitored facility is preferrably.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0
  6. A concerned Dominican
    March 5, 2020

    When was this API deployed? Was it before our recent Carnival where hundreds if not thousands came to our shores?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1
  7. Ras B
    March 5, 2020

    He stated if anyone comes from a “hotspot” country known to have cases of the virus, they will be interviewed and arranged to be home quarantined by health officers as soon as they enter Dominica. Irvine that is not sensible! Do not allow any one with the virus to enter Dominica. Though finally you seem to be trying to address activity at the ports, the approach is wrong. A person suspected of or having the disease and coming from a hot spot area should not be granted entry. He should remain on the ship or plane. Dominica is not able to cope with an outbreak. We must go all out to prevent. The giant, USA, has virtually shut it’s borders from hot spot areas. Irvine, don’t disrespect and jeopardise Dominicans.

    He said although this system has been working well so far, he called on the general public to assist the port officials by reporting anyone that the API might have missed. Irvine, this is ridiculous! How will a member of the general public know who was missed by the API!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0
  8. Coconew
    March 5, 2020

    Well, we shall see. This governments record of incompetence is sky high and I suspect not much has changed over night. So, words are a comfort to a fool!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 3

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