No ban yet on travelers from countries with monkeypox | Inquirer News
Close  
THOSE WITH SYMPTOMS WILL BE ISOLATED

No ban yet on travelers from countries with monkeypox

/ 05:45 AM May 25, 2022
Travelers line up at NAIA Terminal 1. STORY: No ban yet on travelers from monkeypox-hit countries

Passengers lining up for check-in for Philippine Airlines flights bound for the United States undergo health protocols in NAIA Terminal 1 on Jan. 15, 2021. (File photo by LYN RILLON / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — The government is not yet inclined to impose a ban on travelers from countries with confirmed monkeypox cases.

“We should not impose a travel ban yet. With regards to isolation and quarantine protocols, [it] is done for suspected cases…. We just monitor [any]one suspected to be exposed [to monkeypox] and then we isolate if there are symptoms,” Dr. Marissa Alejandria of the Department of Health’s (DOH) Technical Advisory Group on infectious diseases said in a press briefing on Tuesday.

ADVERTISEMENT

She described monkeypox as a viral disease characterized by chickenpox-like rashes or lesions on an infected person.

Alejandria said the disease is zoonotic — that is, transmissible from animals to humans — with the virus entering through the respiratory tract, eyes, mouth or open wounds.

FEATURED STORIES

Surveillance and testing

According to her, the incubation period of monkeypox is 5 to 21 days, followed by about four days of fever, then the appearance of rashes on the face, palms and soles which can take up to four weeks.

Director Alethea de Guzman of the Epidemiology Bureau of the DOH said the department is coordinating with the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ), the Bureau of Immigration and port authorities on the surveillance and testing of incoming travelers.

Should cases of monkeypox be detected in the country, the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine would be designated as the main isolation facility, she said.

Director Beverly Ho of the Disease Prevention and Control Bureau said a “four-door strategy” would be implemented, including strict border controls as a “primary level of defense” and screening, testing and quarantine of travelers with monkeypox-like symptoms.

As part of this strategy, international travelers would be required to register through the BOQ’s onehealthpass.com.ph, 48 hours before departure from the country of origin.

Countries with confirmed monkeypox infections include Singapore, Israel, United Kingdom, United States, and the African nations of Benin, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and South Sudan.

Of those countries in Africa, only Benin and South Sudan had imported cases, and the rest had locally acquired or endemic cases.

ADVERTISEMENT

Animals associated with monkeypox are squirrels, African dormouse, Gambian pouched rat and sooty mangabey.

‘Remain vigilant’

Health officials and infectious diseases experts expressed confidence that the country’s health system is ready to contain the virus.

They said a vaccination drive was not yet needed.

A meeting among medical front-liners to prepare the health-care response to the viral disease is set this week.

The local governments are expected to conduct immediate case investigations and contact tracing once a monkeypox case is detected at the local level.

“We urge the public to remain vigilant with the outbreak of monkeypox. If you are immunocompromised or living with an immunocompromised individual, be extra careful if you have symptoms. Get lesions tested and immediately isolate yourself,” Ho said.

RELATED STORIES

WHO says no urgent need for mass monkeypox vaccinations

DOH heightens monitoring of monkeypox to keep it out

Monkeypox: What to know amid unusual rise in cases

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Department of Health, monkeypox, monkeypox travel ban
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

News that matters

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.