8 unvaxxed Pinoys from China test positive for Covid–DOH

A passenger arriving from China is tested for Covid-19 at the Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport, north of Paris on Sunday, January 1, 2023. The Philippine Department of Health reported on Wednesday that it has logged eight unvaccinated Covid positive Filipino travelers from China, which has recently eased virus restrictions that were in place for much of the pandemic.

Eight unvaccinated Filipino travelers who arrived in the Philippines from China from December 27, 2022 to January 2, 2023 have tested positive for Covid-19, the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed on Wednesday.

The DOH said that they tested positive of the virus upon arrival at Ninoy Aquino International Airport via antigen test based on the latest report filed by the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ).

On Tuesday, BOQ deputy director Roberto Salvador Jr., in a radio interview, said that the BOQ has intensified its border control with the help of all agencies involved.

Based on current protocols, non-fully vaccinated individuals who are unable to present a negative pre-departure test result are tested upon arrival at the airport, the DOH said.

The individuals are currently under isolation and have undergone confirmatory RT-PCR testing on December 31, 2022 with positive results.

“The department will continue to monitor developments on the matter,” the DOH added.

The Associated Press reported that the Chinese government has sharply criticized Covid-19 testing requirements imposed on visitors from China and threatened countermeasures against countries involved, which include the US and several European nations.

“We believe that the entry restrictions adopted by some countries targeting China lack scientific basis, and some excessive practices are even more unacceptable,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at a daily briefing Tuesday.

“We are firmly opposed to attempts to manipulate the Covid measures for political purposes and will take countermeasures based on the principle of reciprocity,” she said. Mao did not specify what steps China might take.

The comments were China’s sharpest to date on the issue. Australia and Canada this week joined a growing list of countries requiring travelers from China to take a Covid-19 test prior to boarding their flight, as China battles a nationwide outbreak of the coronavirus after abruptly easing restrictions that were in place for much of the pandemic.

The DOH also assured the public that the government continues to conduct Covid-19 monitoring and surveillance activities in the country, as well as keeping an eye for global health events that may occur.

“The DOH continues to remind our kababayans to help prevent transmission through our layers of protection such as sanitation, masking, distancing, good ventilation, and vaccination in addition to practicing healthy habits and a healthy lifestyle,” the health agency said.

With AP

Image credits: AP



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