The Department of Health (DOH) said it has instructed the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) to strengthen quarantine protocols among travelers from China due to the surge of Covid-19 infections in the said country. 

“To strengthen its existing measures, the DOH directed the BOQ to intensify quarantine protocols such as heightened surveillance on all respiratory symptoms in all travelers and conveyances coming from China,” the DOH told reporters.

The health department said the BOQ should do an intense review of the Maritime Declaration of Health and the health part of the Aircraft General Declaration.

It added that infected and symptomatic passengers should be reported during arrival. 

The DOH shared the information after being asked if there are scientific grounds to mandate testing for travelers coming from China as suggested by President Bongbong Marcos.

The health department explained that the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) will discuss the guidelines on border control for travelers from China.

 “The IATF will discuss (on) the guidelines on how to deal with the COVID-19 resurgence in China, including our border control for Chinese travelers to the country, for recommendation and approval of the President,” it said.

Ronald Espartinez