Department of Health (DOH) Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire on Friday said they don’t see any need yet to impose tighter restrictions on travelers coming China.
The decision, Vergeire said, has been consulted with “experts,” and protocols that are being implemented at the moment are still “effective.”
She was referring to current measures and protocols wherein before or upon arrival in the country, foreign nationals (FN), who are not fully vaccinated against Covid-19, are required to present a negative pre-departure antigen or RT-PCR test results.
“Saka po ‘yung mga pumapasok sa atin galing sa China (and those inbound travelers from China), whether it be foreign nationals or Filipinos, wala pa ho tayong nakikitang rason (we don’t see any reason yet) based on science and evidence, that we should add additional restrictions whether it be foreign nationals or Filipinos, ” Vergeire said in a media forum.
“Kailangan nating tingnan ang kabuuan ng sitwasyon at hindi lang natin i-focus ang ating pag-iisip at saka pagdedesisyon sa China dahil alam naman natin na ‘yong (We should look at the whole situation and not focus our minds and decision on China alone because we already know that) interactions between and among the different populations across the globe has happened already,” Vergeire added.
To prevent Covid from spreading, European nations, United States, India, United Kingdom, Japan and Australia have all announced stricter measures on travelers from China.
Earlier, eight unvaccinated Filipinos who arrived in the Philippines from China from December 27, 2022 to January 2, 2023, tested positive for Covid-19.
The DOH said that they tested positive of the virus upon arrival at Ninoy Aquino International Airport via antigen test based on the latest reports from the Bureau of Quarantine.
On the first flight from China, 19 close contacts are being monitored. Of these, 18 are foreign nationals and a Filipino. Seventeen of them are fully vaccinated, while the other one is partially vaccinated, and one unvaccinated.
All of them showed no Covid-19 symptoms, Vergeire said.
“It is not DOH doing contact tracing, pagkatapos namin matrace yung contact (After we traced the contact the) local government play their part by monitoring them,” Vergeire said.
Meanwhile, there were 23, of which 16 FNs and seven Filipinos close contacts who are currently being monitored. All of them are fully vaccinated and showed to symptoms as well.
At least 27 close contacts are also being monitored on the third flight. They are all Filipinos. Only one exhibited Covid symptoms while the rest were asymptomatic.
On the last flight, 20 are being monitored, 12 are foreign nationals and eight are Filipinos. One was unvaccinated, while the rest are fully vaccinated and one is unvaccinated. One is asymptomatic.
Vergeire assured that all close contacts are being monitored on a daily basis. -30-