2003, March

Alert levels were raised at all provincial ports against the possible entry of the deadly disease known as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), which is believed to originate from China. Concern was particularly high at the Laoag International Airport, the terminus of 20 weekly flights from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The SARS scare eventually prompted such responses as alternate tourism packages (to make up for the downside in tourist arrivals from the Asian mainland) and minimal body contact during religious services.

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