Philippine Health Department Says No Need To Restrict Chinese Visitors


(MENAFN- The Peninsula) Bloomberg

The Philippines may require Covid-19 testing on inbound Chinese travelers as it keeps its borders open to visitors from China, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said on Thursday.

'It depends on what the true risk is to us,” Marcos said when asked if there will be additional testing restrictions on travelers from China. 'As long as it's based on science and we feel that there's a need, we will do it,” he said in a statement released by the Office of the Press Secretary.

China is dismantling its stringent pandemic measures in the face of discontent with Covid Zero rules, triggering a surge in infections. Marcos said that 'if the risk is something that is manageable, then I'm sure we can find a way to not completely close our borders to China.”

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The Philippines may allow the state of calamity declared in the Southeast Asian country due to Covid-19 to end as scheduled on December 31. Marcos said he's very hesitant to extend it because 'we are not in a state of calamity anymore.”

Earlier in the day, Maria Rosario Vergeire, the officer in charge at the Department of Health, said there's no need yet to shut the country's borders or impose tighter Covid restrictions on Chinese visitors. 'The direction of this administration is that as much as possible, restrictions should be minimal where we don't compromise health but we also favor the opening up of the economy,” she said.

The health department is confident that existing health protocols are sufficient. Vergeire said the Philippines is in a 'much better position currently” with most of the population fully vaccinated and have learned to adopt good health practices.

China is seeing outbreaks across the country, with almost 37 million people possibly having been infected on a single day last week. The US and Italy joined an increasing number of nations requiring Covid tests for travelers from China. In Italy, health officials said they would test arrivals from China with almost half of passengers on two flights from China to Milan found to have the virus.

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The Peninsula

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