There is no recommendation yet to ban visitors from Wuhan, China from entering the Philippines in the meantime, Malacañang said on Wednesday.
Despite the outbreak of a new deadly coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, the Philippine government’s assessment was there was no “alarming level” that might prompt the issuance of a total travel ban on travelers from central China, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.
“Wala pa kaming natatanggap na ganung recommendation (We have not received such recommendation),” Panelo said in a Palace press briefing when quizzed if there was a recommendation to stop issuing entry permits to tourists from Wuhan.
“It has not reached an alarming level that we have to do some drastic measures like prohibiting people from entering, especially those suspected to having that kind of virus,” he added.
Panelo, nevertheless, assured the public that the Palace would take prompt action, in case concerned state agencies recommend the issuance of a travel ban on tourists from Wuhan.
The 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has started spreading in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province in December last year.
China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency reported that 571 confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV had been reported throughout China, resulting in 17 deaths, all in Hubei province.
Overseas, the regions of Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, as well as in the United States, Japan and the Republic of Korea have confirmed one case each, with Thailand confirming three.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III has said there is no confirmed case yet of 2019-nCoV in the Philippines.
However, the Department of Health (DOH) is looking into a suspected case of the new coronavirus infection after a five-year-old Chinese boy from Wuhan showed signs of fever, cough, and throat irritation upon arrival in Cebu City.
DOH ‘on top of the situation’
Coronavirus is a “large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV,” according to a definition from the official website of the World Health Organization (WHO).
WHO also warned that coronavirus can be transmitted between animals and people.
Panelo said the government, through the DOH, has intensified its monitoring against the 2019-nCoV.
He expressed confidence that the Health department is “on top of the situation” to prevent the virus from entering the country.
“I talked with Secretary Francisco Duque and he said that we’re on top of the situation,” he said.
“Secretary Duque (said) wala raw (there is no reason to panic),” Panelo added. (PNA)