President Duterte Expands Travel Ban To Contain Coronavirus Spread

The announcement follows the pressures from lawmakers and the public.
PHOTO: iStock/TeamDAF

President Rodrigo Duterte orders the expansion of the temporary travel ban on Hubei province to the rest of mainland China, Macau, and Hong Kong, Senator Bong Go confirmed on February 2. The measure is meant to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCov) in the country.

"Sa ngayon ay mag-i-implement na ng temporary travel ban on travelers coming from any part of China and its special administrative regions on top of the existing temporary travel ban imposed on those coming from Hubei province and other affected areas," Go told Dobol B sa News TV.

He added that the President took into consideration the concerns raised by key government officials and health experts to decide on the matter. 

The ban is for all travelers coming from China and its territories regardless of nationality. Go clarified that Filipino citizens and holders of permanent resident visa issued by the Philippine government are exempted.

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The province of Hubei in China seats the epicenter of the 2019-nCoV, Wuhan City. The temporary travel ban last week on Chinese nationals from Hubei came after the Health Department confirmed the first case of the virus on a 38-year-old Chinese female who traveled to the Philippines from Wuhan City via Hong Kong on January 21. The woman is still admitted in the San Lazaro Hospital in Manila for isolation and monitoring. 

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Yesterday, her 44-year-old male traveling companion died from 2019-nCoV-related severe pneumonia, figuring as the second case of the new virus in the country and the first death outside China. 

As of Sunday monring, there are 14,380 cases in China; 380 of which resulted to casualties

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