President Rodrigo Roa Duterte
Photo courtesy of MB.

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has finally issued a ban on travelers from Hubei province, and other places in China hit by the deadly novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), Malacañang said on Friday.

This, after the Department of Health (DoH) confirmed on Thursday the first case of the virus in the Philippines.

In a statement, Palace spokesman Salvador Panelo said Health Secretary Francisco Duque 3rd recommended to Duterte the imposition of a travel ban on visitors coming from the said areas to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“Upon the recommendation of DoH Secretary Francisco Duque , the President has issued a travel ban to Chinese nationals coming from the Hubei province of China where the nCoV originated, as well in other places in China where there is a spread of the disease,” Panelo said.

“It will last until the threat is over given that that the safety of our countrymen is foremost in the President’s mind,” he added.

Panelo said the President also ordered the DoH “to commence the protocols it has prepared for such an eventuality to contain the disease and neutralize its transmission and spread.”

“This raises a serious concern by the administration on the health and safety of our countrymen,” he said.

According to Panelo, the Chinese woman afflicted with the dreadful illness came from Wuhan, flew to Hongkong, then to Cebu, then to Dumaguete and finally landed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

“She is presently confined at San Lazaro. Per DoH Secretary Duque, the patient is being treated and isolated,” Panelo said.

“There is no way that she will transmit the disease to another person as the hospital personnel are protectively dressed and their mouths and noses covered with surgical masks plus their hands covered with globes,” he added.

The Palace official then assured the public that every measure was being undertaken by the DoH “to contain the spread of the dreadful virus as well as monitoring and placing in quarantine those showing of symptoms of having nCov.”

“We ask our countrymen to follow the advice of the DoH to observe personal hygiene as a preventive measure like regularly washing one’s hands and wearing wearing surgical asks in going around crowded areas,” Panelo said.

This article was originally published by The Manila Times. Read the article here.