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DOH is slammed for not restricting travel from China amid a rise in COVID-19 cases

According to the Department of Health, there is no reason to restrict travel from China.

Health officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire was slammed by netizens after saying that the Philippines has no reason to bar Chinese nationals from entering the country amid rising Covid-19 cases.

According to the Department of Health, there is no reason to restrict travel from China, which is currently experiencing an outbreak of the Omicron subvariant BF.7 strain of Coronavirus leading to a significant increase in Covid-19 cases.

“Base sa pananaw ng DOH kasama ng aming mga eksperto, hindi pa tayo napapanahon o wala tayong nakikitang pangangailangan para magsara tayo ng borders specific to this country o magkaroon ng mas maigting na restrictions sa bansang ito,” Vergeire said in a press briefing.

The Health officer-in-charge said, “The Philippines is “in a much better position” compared to previous times due to the high vaccination rate and the public’s adherence to minimum public health standards.”

Vergeire expressed, “As for our regulations within our borders, we cannot just have our closure and then open it and then close it again and then open it. We are all moving forward because we would like to reach that new normal.”

Netizens criticized the DOH’s stance given that things didn’t work out too well the last time the country decided not to impose travel restrictions.

According to her, “The Marcos administration’s focus is to keep restrictions to a minimum while still ensuring that health is not compromised and the economy can reopen.” She also assured that the Department of Health will continue with “strengthened surveillance and monitoring” even without border closure.

Previously, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista suggested implementing protocols similar to those in neighboring countries such as Hong Kong, which require an RT-PCR test for arriving passengers. The United States, Japan, and India have also announced additional health measures for passengers coming from China.

Written by Charles Teves

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