A view of Marina Bay Sands resorts and hotels in Singapore is seen on April 4, 2019.
AFP/Roslan Rahman
Philippines considers Singapore travel ban over COVID-19
Ratziel San Juan (Philstar.com) - February 14, 2020 - 1:06pm

MANILA, Philippines — Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Friday said that authorities are weighing if the 2019 coronavirus or COVID-19 warrants a travel ban on Singapore.

“‘Yung risk assessment ipi-present ko mamaya sa inter-agency task force kung napapanahon ba na i-exclude natin ang Taiwan o Hong Kong...o kung dapat ba nating i-include ang Singapore, Duque was quoted as saying over radio station DZMM.

(The risk assessment which I will present later to the inter-agency task force discusses if it’s appropriate to exclude Taiwan and Hong Kong from the travel ban...or if it’s time to include Singapore.)

However, the Bureau of Immigration said that it has yet to impose a travel ban on Singapore in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, according to a report by The STAR.

Singapore has at least 50 confirmed cases of COVID-19, based on the World Health Organization's latest situational report.

The figure comprises less than 1% of the global infection count of 46,997.

China, in comparison, is host to 99.04% of all confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide.

At least 22 of the cases in Singapore have a travel history to China, while 28 were possibly or confirmed to have been infected in other countries.

An estimated 200,000 Filipinos live in the country, according to the website of the Philippine Embassy based in Singapore.

Singapore is consistently one of the Philippines’ top sources of international tourist arrivals, bringing close to 170,000 visitors annually between 2016 and 2018, according to data from the Department of Trade and Industry.

About 5% or one in every 20 overseas Filipino workers are also based in Singapore, according to the  2018 Survey on Overseas Filipinos by the Philippine Statistics Authority.

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