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Go supports possible China-PH travel ban

January 30, 2020 - Thursday 6:01 PM by Ruth Palo

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Senator Christopher Lawrence Go will recommend to President Rodrigo Duterte the ban on flights and ship travel between the Philippines and China if it is necessary to prevent the entry of the novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV to the country.

This as authorities reported that 170 persons have already died of the 2019-nCoV and over 6,000 are infected in mainland China and abroad.

“Kung saka-sakaling kakailanganin ay irerekomenda natin kay Pangulong Duterte ‘yan. Araw-araw naman po may inter-agency (coordination). Nakatutok tayo dito, ang ating mga health officials, foreign officials. Antayin lang natin ang kanilang rekomendasyon. Kung sakali, pabor ako diyan para maiwasan po itong pagkalat,” Go said in a statement.

The Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) has imposed a ban on flights from and to the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the virus outbreak began in late December. Tourists from Wuhan who visited Boracay were also deported. But flights between other cities in China and the Philippines are still permitted.

In China, certain travel restrictions are in place in the whole Hubei province, while Wuhan City remains on lockdown. As of now, the Chinese government has issued a travel ban in areas around the country for tour groups of Chinese citizens.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has earlier stopped the issuance of visas-on-arrival to Chinese nationals. The DFA eventually temporarily stopped the issuance of visas to travellers from Hubei province, altogether.

“Sa ngayon ay wala na tayong issuance po ng upon arrival visa, di katulad noon na mas maluwag tayo. So ingat tayo, lalo na ‘yang mga galing diyan sa Wuhan. Nakaalerto po ang ating awtoridad. Kapag may sumbong lang, tsinetsek agad ng ating health officials,” Go said. 

The Senator said he agrees with the position of the Department of Health (DOH) on putting some travel restrictions on Chinese visitors entering the Philippines.

He urged DOH to strictly impose precautionary measures to protect Filipinos  by implementing quarantine procedures when necessary and providing regular advisories to guide the public.  

Go also said the government is ready to assist Filipinos in Wuhan who are willing to voluntarily return.

“Kung sino ang gustong umuwi dito, nakahanda po ang gobyerno. Inaantay lang ang go signal po ng bansang China kung payagan na nilang (makabalik) po ang mga kapatid natin sa Wuhan,” he said.