Philippines to impose travel bans on China travelers amidst Coronavirus Crisis

President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has finally agreed to impose temporary travel bans against travelers coming from Wuhan, China.

World health authorities are suspecting that the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak originated from a seafood market in Wuhan, a capital of Hubei province in China.

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Citizens wearing masks amidst coronavirus outbreak. photo from Rappler

The said city is under a lockdown in the middle of the new virus emergency in the effort to quarantine the ground-zero of the coronavirus. However, an estimated of five million people have already left the city before the lockdown was imposed thus the deadly disease has inevitably spread to other parts of the world including the Philippines.

To date, there are 213 and counting cases of confirmed death because of the coronavirus, while there are 9,821 reported coronavirus cases across the globe. The over 9,600 cases are from China alone, while the rest of the numbers are shared by the rest of the countries worldwide.

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photo from Inquirer.net

In the Philippines, the first case of coronavirus was established on January 30, 2020 as confirmed by the country’s Health Secretary Francisco Duque. The patient is a 38-year-old Chinese national who accordingly traveled from Wuhan to the Philippines on January 21 through a transit visa in Hong Kong.

In line with the latest official report, many government officials, lawmakers and ordinary citizens have urged the country’s president to impose travel bans on travelers from the highly affected countries, particularly those from China.

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(c) TN

Previous reports, however, revealed that the President was not keen on the travel ban clamor for the reason of potentially hurting international relations with China. This reports sparked outraged from the Filipino citizens and caused negative reactions particularly on social media.

Lawmakers suggested that corresponding travel bans should be upheld to protect the public’s health against the killer virus.

On January 31 2020, finally, the president has agreed to implement a temporary ban on those travelers coming from Wuhan and Hubei province. The president’s Undersecretary Bong Go revealed the news to the press and also assured that the administration is taking the virus’ threat seriously.

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Photo from CNN

Sang-ayon po si Pangulo na iimplementa ang temporary travel ban sa mga manggagaling mula Wuhan city and the entire Hubei province ng China,” he said

“Rest assured that the Duterte administration takes this threat seriously,” Go added.

Common symptoms of coronavirus include fever, cough and shortness of breath which could lead to death.

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Coronavirus Health Advisory. Photo from Snopes

As of this writing, no vaccine to prevent the 2019-n-CoV is released yet. The best possible way to mitigate virus infection is to avoid exposure to possible virus sources (i.e. crowded places, airports) and maintaining good hygiene.

Sources: CNN/ Philippine Daily inquirer

Featured image from Filipino Times.

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