Hontiveros wants China included in travel ban amid new COVID variant
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Risa Hontiveros urged the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday to recommend the inclusion of China in the travel ban imposed by the government amid the new COVID-19 variant.
Hontiveros pointed out that China has already confirmed that a 23-year-old woman who arrived from the United Kingdom is positive for the recent COVID-19 variant.
The senator said this should prompt the DOH and the DFA to recommend the inclusion of China in the travel ban.
“Tigilan na ang kababalaghan. Bakit exempted ang China? Natatakot nanaman ba tayong masaktan ang damdamin nito? Unahin naman natin ang Pilipinas,” Hontiveros said in a statement.
(Stop all this wonders. Why is China exempted? Are we afraid of them being hurt again? Let’s put the Philippines first this time.)
“Lubos na nakakahawa ang new variant na ito. Huwag na nating hintayin na maghingalo pa ang ating mga ospital at mahirapan pa ang ating mga nars at doktor bago umaksyon,” she added.
(This new variant is highly contagious. Let us not wait for our hospitals to be filled up and for our nurses and doctors to suffer before taking action.)
China has confirmed a positive case of the new COVID-19 variant after a woman arrived in China from the United Kingdom on December 14. By December 24, the genetic sequencing results confirmed that the patient’s strain was the same as the new variant first discovered in the UK.
While the DOH confirmed that there is no recorded case of the new variant in the country yet, the Philippines already imposed a travel ban on 21 countries where the variant was detected effective until Jan. 15, 2021.
These countries are:
- United States
- United Kingdom
- The Netherlands
- Hong Kong, SAR
- South Korea
- South Africa
Zac Sarao, INQUIRER.net trainee
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