Solon urges travel ban on countries affected by new COVID-19 variant

Published December 29, 2020, 2:02 PM

by Ben Rosario

San Jose del Monte Rep. Rida Robes made the recommendation as more countries, aside from the United Kingdom, have reported cases of  a COVID 19 variant that is more infectious.

Robes, chairperson of the House Committee on People’s Participation, said Philippine health authorities are already aware of the new coronavirus strain and that immediate steps should be undertaken to prevent its spread in the country.

She warned that awaiting for a confirmation of the COVID 19 variant through local transmission before travel restrictions are implemented, could be ‘too late” for effective control measures to be put in place.  

A pro-active precautionary measure is urgently needed, the lady lawmaker stressed.

“I also appeal to our IATF to recommend (a) travel ban on countries with cases of the new Covid-19 variant which is known to be more contagious. We need to implement all measures to prevent it from coming into our shores because it will definitely be more difficult to control it when it enters our country,” Robes said.

She said while she recognizes that a travel ban would affect efforts to 

jumpstart economic revival, “the health of the people is and should always be of primordial concern.”

Robes also expressed support to President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to  recall his earlier approval of the pilot implementation of face-to-face classes in low-risk areas, originally scheduled in January 2021 in view of the new strain of Covid 19.