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DOH says not yet time to restrict Chinese arrivals amid COVID-19 surge 

The Philippines sees no need to impose stricter rules for travelers who came from China despite a recent surge of COVID-19 cases there.

DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the Philippines is in a “much better position” to handle COVID-19 cases.

“Sa ngayon, base sa pananaw ng DOH, kasama ng aming mga eksperto, hindi pa ho tayo napapanahon o wala tayong nakikitang pangangailangan para magsara tayo ng borders to this specific country o ‘di kaya ay magkaroon ng mas maigting na restrictions para sa bansang ito,” Vergeire said.

The Transportation Department initially recommends requiring travelers from China to present a negative RT-PCR test.

“If we travel to Hong Kong, you need an RT-PCR result, although there’s no need to quarantine. But maybe, we should also adopt similar practices for passengers coming from areas where there is high COVID-19 cases,” Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista said on Wednesday. 

“COVID is still there and we need to protect our citizens here,” he added. 

But Vergeire said that the country’s surveillance measures are enough for now.

“Sa tingin natin, kumpiyansa pa rin tayo sa ngayon that we can adequately guard our borders through these kind of policies that we have in the country,” she said.

“It is the direction of this administration that as much as possible restrictions should be at a minimal,” Vergeire said. 

“We don’t compromise health but also favor the opening up of economy,” she added.

The United States, Italy and Japan imposed stricter rules for Chinese travelers. 

Staff Report

The Filipino Times is the chronicler of stories for, of and by Filipinos all over the world, reaching more than 236 countries in readership. Any interesting story to share? Email us at [email protected]

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