The Philippine Government Is Considering A Travel Ban To And From South Korea

South Korea has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases.
PHOTO: ISTOCKPHOTO/NIYAZZ

South Korea now has the world’s largest number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases with a total of 763 patients, making it the biggest number outside of China.

In less than a week, the country saw a surge in coronavirus cases. The rise in infections has been attributed to a religious sect in Daegu where a cluster of infections emerged, ABS-CBN News reported.

With the number of coronavirus cases on the rise in South Korea, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-IED) will study if it should impose a travel ban to and from the Asian country as well as nations which have been affected by the virus.

According to a report from Inquirer.net, the Department of Health (DOH) assistant secretary for public health services, Dr. Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the IATF, which is chaired by the DOH, “has agreed to hold regular assessment of the travel restriction, which is currently in effect for mainland China and its special administrative regions Hong Kong and Macau.”

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Dr. Vergeire said that an assessment will also apply to Singapore.

The considerations that the IATF makes when imposing a travel ban are the following: the volume of travelers, the “burden of infection,” risk of exposure, and strict protocols enforced in that country.

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The Philippines imposed a travel ban on Taiwan earlier this month, but the ruling was later lifted. Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said that the travel restriction was lifted "as agreed by the members of the IATF by reason of the strict measures they are undertaking, as well as the protocols they are implementing to address the COVID-19."

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