DOH sees no need to restrict travelers from China - TrueID

DOH sees no need to restrict travelers from China

Philippine News AgencyDecember 29, 2022

MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) sees no need to restrict travelers coming from China, which currently faces an outbreak of Omicron subvariant BF.7 that is driving a surge in its coronavirus disease 2019 (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 (For DOH, we don't see the need to close our border or impose stricter restrictions specific to this country)," Health officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a press briefing Thursday.

Vergeire pointed out that the Philippines is in a "much better position" than in the past due to its high vaccination rate and the public adherence to the minimum public health standards.

"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," she said.

The direction of the Marcos administration, she said, is to keep restrictions to a minimum where health is not compromised but at the same time allows the reopening of economy.

Even without border closure, she made an assurance that the DOH would continue its "strengthened surveillance and monitoring".

"There had been a lot of variants and subvariants that have entered the country and we have detected that. Through our strengthened surveillance system, we were able to manage and our hospitals are better prepared and we are still managing," she said.

"Right now it is just for us to monitor and observe the situations (while) imposing our strengthened surveillance," she added.

Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista earlier recommended adopting protocols set by neighbors like Hong Kong, which requires an RT-PCR test upon arrival.

The United States, Japan, and India had also announced additional health measures on passengers coming from China. (PNA)

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