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Senators urge gov't to order travel ban on China

Several lawmakers are now calling on Malacañang to impose a travel ban on individuals travelling from China.
The request comes after a Chinese woman became the first confirmed case of the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the country.
The Department of Health said that the 38-year-old patient from Wuhan, China arrived in Manila via Hong Kong last January 21.
Senator Risa Hontivers said that a travel ban is necessary for at least 30 days.
“This temporary travel ban will give time for our health authorities to set in place all safeguards necessary in case there are more confirmation of the 2019-nCoV presence in the country from those under present surveillance,” Hontiveros said.
Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto believes the government should put a ‘Great Wall’ to prevent the virus spread.
“There is no hint of racism or xenophobia in this policy. This is an assertion of the national wellbeing and an acceptance of the fact that our defenses and capacity to respond to a health emergency is not that strong,” Recto said.
“When China sneezes, we get pneumonia. If that is the case, then an ounce of border control is worth a ton of cure,” he added.
Senator Joel Villanueva also believes that it’s high time to restrict travels to and from China.
“We appeal to our government to impose travel restrictions to and from China. With the news that the country has recorded the first case of the nCoV this afternoon, the government must prioritize the safety and security of our people over other considerations,” Villanueva said.
Villanueva added that the overseas Filipino workers should also postpone their trips to China amid the coronavirus outbreak.
“For OFWs stranded in the quarantined areas, please follow the health protocol being observed in the area. Help our diplomatic staff there by notifying your status so that every Filipino is accounted for,” he said.

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