No need for travel ban to Japan, Iran, Italy and Singapore yet: Duque
Despite rising cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Iran, Italy, Singapore, and Japan, the Philippine government does not believe a travel ban to these countries is necessary.
In a press conference Wednesday, DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III said the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATE-EID) believes it is not yet needed to impose travel bans in these four countries. .
"After giving the IATF-EID the health risk assessments, the decision was not to include them in the travel ban," said Duque.
"The IATF-EID believes that imposing travel bans are not yet called for, for now," he added.
Duque said the decision ''may still change'' in the following days.
As to reports of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) stopping issuance of visa-on-arrival to Iranians, he said got this information from DFA Undersecretary Brigido Dulay.
Duque said the answer should come from the DFA.
"All I know is Iran has the highest case fatality rate at 7.3 percent. It appears that they have very rapid transmission and high fatality rate. That's scary," said Duque.
World Health Organization (WHO) data said there are 2,036 cases in Italy, 1,501 cases in Iran, 268 cases in Japan, and 108 in Singapore.
The IATF-EID imposes total travel bans on China and partial travel restrictions on Macau, Hong Kong, and South Korea. DMS