Duterte bans travelers from parts of China after nCoV reaches Philippines

Patricia Lourdes Viray - Philstar.com
Duterte bans travelers from parts of China after nCoV reaches Philippines
Travelers wearing facemasks collect their luggage on a plane after arriving at Tianhe airport in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province on January 23, 2020. China banned trains and planes from leaving a major city at the centre of a virus outbreak on January 23, seeking to seal off its 11 million people to contain the contagious disease.
AFP / Leo Ramirez

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte issued a travel ban on Chinese nationals coming from Hubei province after the health department confirmed the first case of the Novel Coronavirus  in the Philippines.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the president has instructed the Department of Health to implement the protocols it has prepared to contain the disease and stop its transmission.

"Upon the recommendation of [Health] Secretary Francisco Duque, the President has issued a travel ban to Chinese nationals coming from the Hubei province of China where the nCoV originated, as well in other places  in China where there is a spread of the disease," Panelo said in a statement Friday.

The travel ban will remain in place until the threat of the SARS-like illness is over, according to the Malacañang spokesman.

"The DOH assures us that every measure is being undertaken to to contain the spread of the dreadful virus as well as monitoring and placing in quarantine those showing of symptoms of having nCov," Panelo said.

Palace: Follow DOH advice

Malacañang appealed to the public to follow the advice of the DOH to observe proper hygiene as a preventive measure.

This includes regular washing of hands, wearing surgical masks and avoiding going around crowded areas.

The first confirmed nCoV patient in the country is a 38-year-old Chinese woman who came from Wuhan City in Hubei, the epicenter of the pandemic in China.

She visited Cebu and Dumaguete before arriving in Manila, where she is currently being treated and isolated at San Lazaro Hospital.

"There is no way that she will transmit the disease to another person as the hospital personnel are protectively dressed and their mouths and noses covered with surgical masks plus their hands covered with gloves," Panelo said.

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