Gov’t to place countries under red list when local case of Omicron is detected | Inquirer News
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Gov’t to place countries under red list when local case of Omicron is detected

By: - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
/ 02:46 PM November 29, 2021

MANILA, Philippines —The national government will also place a country or territory under its COVID-19 “red list” when a local case of the new COVID-19 variant Omicron is detected there, Malacañang said Monday.

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Cabinet Secretary and acting presidential spokesperson Karlo Nograles offered the explanation amid concerns that Hong Kong, which has reported cases of Omicron, is not yet among the “red list” countries where travel to and fro is restricted.

Nograles, however, assured that the government is “actively monitoring” developments in Hong Kong and other countries.

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“Active yung monitoring natin sa lahat ng mga nangyayari sa iba’t ibang bansa, especially when it comes to Omicron,” he said.

“The reason why di natin na-red list ang Hong Kong at ‘yung iba pang mga countries is again ‘yung pinaka-consideration natin in red-listing countries is ‘yung detection of a local case ng Omicron in those countries,” he added.

(The reason why Hong Kong and other countries are not included in the red list is because our primary consideration in red-listing countries is the detection of a local case of Omicron.)

In cases of imported Omicron cases, Nograles said the government will monitor how the countries implement their quarantine and testing protocols. If proved to be satisfactory, their current status will remain, whether it is under yellow or green list.

If not, this rule can be overridden.

“Pwedeng ma-override ‘yan kung sa tingin ng IATF at mga eksperto natin ay hindi ganun kaganda ang nakikita nating surveillance, activities na ginagawa doon sa bansang ‘yun, at ‘di ganun kaganda at hidi ganun ka-confident sa ginagawa ng mga genome sequencing at ‘di tayo confident sa mga local cases ng Omicron sa bansang yon,” he said.

(That can be overriden if the IATF and our experts observe that genomic surveillance in those countries is not that good.)

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“Otherwise, we will not red list that country unless nakikita namin na may high probability na mayroon silang namimiss out na local transmission ng Omicron na hindi pa nila nade-detect,” he added.

(We will not red list that country unless we see that there is a high probability that they have missed out detection of local transmission of Omicron cases.)

Malacañang earlier said travelers from Hong Kong must follow testing and quarantine protocols for countries included under “yellow” list.

Countries currently under red list are:

-South Africa

-Botswana

-Namibia

-Zimbabwe

-Lesotho

-Eswathini

-Mozambique

-Austria

-Czech Republic

-Hungary

-Netherlands

-Switzerland

-Belgium

-Italy

The government has likewise suspended testing and quarantine protocols for countries or territories classified as “green” starting Sunday, Nov. 28.

JPV

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