Closing the country’s borders is not needed even though the Philippines recently reported its first case of monkeypox, Department of Health (DOH) officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

“Wala pa so katulad ng direksyon ng current administration, gusto natin na pumupunta na tayo sa phase na tayo po’y nakakabalik na sa ating trabaho, eskwelahan and also itong pagsasara ng borders ay hindi pa kailangan,” Vergeire shared with reporters in Pasig City.

“Unang-una kahit WHO, ang risk ng monkeypox is just low to moderate, hindi kailangang magsara ng borders, hindi kailangang tumigil ng trade… dire-deretso lang kaya lang kailangan talaga mayroon tayong preventive measures in place,” she added.

Vergeire said about 95% of monkeypox infections in the world are passed via sexual activities. However, she noted that the monkeypox virus is not a sexually transmitted disease. 

The WHO said that monkeypox can be transmitted  “during close skin-to-skin contact during sex, including kissing, touching, oral and penetrative sex with someone who has symptoms.”

The country has recorded its first-ever case of monkeypox last week. The patient was a 31-year-old patient who arrived from abroad on July 19. He tested positive for the virus on Thursday, July 28.

Ronald Espartinez