New coronavirus variant unlikely to spread even if no travel ban yet due to mandatory 14-day quarantine - Palace
Malacanang expressed belief on Monday that the new variant of coronavirus disease is unlikely to spread in the Philippines as travelers from countries with cases of new COVID-19 strain are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine regardless of the result of the RT-PCR test.
In a televised press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said prohibition on flights from the United Kingdom where the new virus strain was detected is in effect until January 14.
"But this is without prejudice on (possibility of) banning also travelers from countries (which reported) new variant," he said.
He also said President Rodrigo Duterte is set to have his regular "Talk to the People" later Monday, after the meeting of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Roque said he was not sure if the possible travel ban from other countries with new variant of COVID-19 cases will also be imposed.
"As of now, we are imposing a 14-day quarantine, that's mandatory, (for all the travelers coming from) all countries with the new strain (of coronavirus) regardless of the result of the PCR test," he said.
"It means that even if there is new strain from other places, it won't spread because they are mandatorily being quarantined in New Clark City," explained Roque, also the spokesman of the IATF.
Aside from UK, the new virus strain was also reported in Sabah, Japan, Singapore, and France, among others.
Some quarters, like some lawmakers, have been urging the government to impose a travel ban on all the countries with new coronavirus variant just to be safe.
The Department of Health earlier said there was no need to enforce yet travel ban from countries with the new strain since there is no community transmission in the Philippines so far. Celerina Monte/DMS