The government should preemptively ban travelers form Wuhan, China amid the rising number of deaths due to the novel coronavirus, an opposition lawmaker said.
Sen. Francis Pangilinan said the government should be proactive and not wait for a confirmed case of 2019-nCoV in the Philippines.
“The progressive spread of the coronavirus and the increasing number of deaths due to it should prompt Philippine health and immigration authorities to preemptively ban visitors from Wuhan, if not from the most affected provinces of China,” he said in a statement.
“While the Philippine health authorities have not confirmed a case of the rapidly-mutating deadly disease, it is best for them to be more proactive,” he added.
Pangilinan noted that the Philippines might not be able to contain a full-blown epidemic given the continuing alert levels for Taal Volcano.
He also pointed out that a total 1,626,309 tourists from mainland China visited the country from January to November 2019.
“That’s over 4,800 Chinese tourists every day,” Pangilinan said.
On Monday, the Department of Health said there was no confirmed case of 2019-nCoV in the Philippines although 11 foreigners were being “investigated.”
DOH reiterates that, to date, there are no confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV in the Philippines.
— Department of Health (@DOHgov) January 27, 2020