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Philippines issues temporary travel ban on visitors from China, Hong Kong, Macau

Feb 02. 2020
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By Philippine Daily Inquirer
Asia News Network

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered a temporary travel ban of on visitors from mainland China as well as its special administrative regions in a move to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) following a recommendation from key government officials.

With this move, Duterte expanded his initial travel ban order -- which only covered China’s Hubei province and other parts of China that have confirmed reported cases of the virus.

In a statement issued by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, any person, regardless of nationality, directly coming from China and its

special administrative regions -- namely Hong Kong and Macau -- are banned from entering the country.

Any person, regardless of nationality, who within 14 days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines has been to China and its special administrative regions, is also covered by the ban.

The ban, however, does not cover Filipino citizens and holders of permanent resident visas issued by the Philippine government.

Filipinos and holders of permanent resident visas coming from any place in China and its special administrative regions shall undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

The Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases was also given the authority to ban entry of travellers from other areas with “confirmed widespread” of nCoV, if necessary.

Duterte’s order also does not simply cover foreign nationals travelling from China, as it includes banning of Filipinos from travelling to China, Hong Kong, and Macau.

The president also ordered the establishment of a repatriation and quarantine facility.

Medialdea said that Duterte will preside over a meeting of the Task Force on Monday which will be attended by other concerned agencies.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police have been directed to give necessary assistance in the implementation of Duterte’s order.

As of Sunday, there were two confirmed cases of nCoV in the country -- one of whom died on Saturday (February 1).

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said this is the first reported case of a nCoV-related death outside China.

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