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Published on : Monday, June 8, 2015
The Philippines will not enforce a travel ban to South Korea, but has called on Filipinos there to exercise extreme caution and follow the health advisory of authorities, particularly those employed in the health care sector.
“We have no travel advisory in the immediate term and we don’t have a plan to come up with a travel restriction,” Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said at a briefing Monday.
“The World Health Organization said there is no ongoing pandemic in South Korea in connection with MERS-COV and the South Korean government is taking measures to address the situation there,” he added.
Philippine officials in Seoul are likewise monitoring the situation closely and remains in touch with the Filipino community, Jose said.
MERS-COV symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath and even diarrhea.
Jose said the government will not impose travel restrictions on those who will enter the country from South Korea, noting that precautionary measures are in place in the country’s ports of entry.
Since 2013, 10 Filipinos have died from the deadly virus, which is predominant in the Middle East region, specifically Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, Dr. Vito Roque Jr., officer-in-charge of the DOH Epidemiology Bureau said the Department of Health (DOH) appealed to tourists and other travelers to the Philippines to fill up truthfully and completely the health declaration checklist presented to them upon their arrival at the country’s airports.
Dr. Roque added that it is important that the travelers also observe themselves for signs and symptoms as they give the correct information regarding their conditions.
He also expressed confidence that travelling Filipinos in South Korea will follow the health precautions and protocols such as maintaining proper hygiene and distancing themselves from any possible MERS-CoV patient.