People wearing protective masks pray beside their clothes laid out on a table, at a Taoist Baoan temple in Taipei on February 4, 2020. Taiwan has uncovered 10 cases of the new coronavirus so far, including two female Chinese nationals in their 70s who arrived in the country as part of a tour group.
AFP/Sam Yeh
Taiwan already included in temporary travel ban — DOH
Franco Luna ( - February 10, 2020 - 3:11pm

MANILA, Philippines — Taiwan has been included in the temporary travel ban earlier called for by President Rodrigo Duterte on mainland China and its special administrative regions Hong Kong and Macau. 

This is because according to the Department of Health (DOH), Taiwan is officially included under China by the World Health Organization (WHO). The DOH said the travel ban on Taiwan was implemented late last week.

"'Yung resolution ng task force says China. As far as the health community is concerned, Taiwan is part of China," Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo said at a press briefing on Monday. 

"Nagkaroon ng confusion at first [pero] kasama na siya sa ban ngayon." 

Domingo also disclosed at the briefing that Taiwan has already asked for reconsideration of the travel ban.

"Ang Taiwan, if you look at the WHO map and the number of cases that they have, Taiwan is included in China. So since we have a travel restriction in China, then Taiwan is included," he said. 

'Not yet final'?

In an earlier press briefing in Malacañang that same day, though, DOH Undersecretary Gerardo Bayugo contradicted this and said that the resolution was still being considered by the task force. 

A resolution will be released from the inter-agency task force for the inclusion of Taiwan in the travel ban, but it’s not yet final. It will still be discussed,” DOH Undersecretary Gerardo Bayugo said.

Many countries and international organizations, including the United Nations, which the World Health Organization is a specialized agency of, regard Taiwan as part of China under Beijing’s “One China” policy, thus denying Taiwan diplomatic relationships and memberships. Communist China has never ruled over Taiwan.

In a report by CNBC on February 6, Taiwan's foreign ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou was quoted as saying that the WHO's exclusion of Taiwan in official meetings was "putting political considerations over people’s health and safety" which she described as "extremely vile."

Closer to home 

Domingo also disclosed that there were 262 patients admitted in hospitals for possible 2019-nCoV. According to the Health Department, 49 persons are now in quarantine at the Athlete's Village in New Clark City.

He said that N95 masks, hazmat suits and other supplies that were "good for a month" have been deployed and are concentrated in medical centers with confirmed cases. 

Furthermore, the woman who was the first confirmed case in the country of 2019-nCoV has tested negative twice and has been discharged on Saturday after her last test on Friday. The Department was no longer able to report on her whereabouts after she was discharged, and it is unknown if she returned to China or has remained in the country.

Testing negative twice is the DOH's requirement before a person can be declared free of the virus. 

Domingo said earlier that the virus was "not a death sentence" as 98% of the individuals affected by the illness that has killed 560 people in China will recover.

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